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24h Race Nürburgring 2020 - Race Report
Weather swings, continuous rain and a race cancellation during the night: BLACK FALCON braved the most difficult conditions at the 48th 24-hour race on the Nürburgring and achieved excellent finishes with all three cars. Best placed BLACK FALCON car was the Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#38, BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR) driven by Mustafa Mehmet Kaya, Reinhold Renger, Mike Stursberg and Tristan Viidas in 21st place overall and second place in the SP8T class. Directly behind, the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR SP-Pro (#35, BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA) of Marek Böckmann, Tobias Müller, Carlos Rivas and Maik Rosenberg took 22nd place overall as class winner in the SP-PRO. Ben Bünnagel, "Max", Florian Naumann and Michael Rebhan pushed their Porsche Cayman GT4 (#306, BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR) to a hard-earned victory in the highly competitive CUP3 class. The Cayman GT4 team crowned the outstanding team result with 30th place overall and the first BLACK FALCON class victory in the CUP3 at the 24-hour race.
This year the marathon twice around the clock was characterised by the infamous "Eifel weather". The race got underway on Saturday afternoon in rainy weather and completely wet track. The 25.378-kilometre combination of the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife began to dry off in the evening hours before an increasingly heavy and continuous rain set in shortly after nightfall. Due to the excessive amount of water on the track, which had already led to numerous accidents, the race had to be interrupted at 22:33. After the rain had subsided overnight, the race was restarted on Sunday morning at 8:00 am. Until the finish, further rain showers and constantly changing track conditions ensured that conditions remained difficult.
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
The BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR SP-PRO started the 24-hour race from 30th position overall. Marek Böckmann, Tobias Müller, Carlos Rivas and Maik Rosenberg used the difficult conditions in the early stages to their advantage and passed several of the supposedly faster GT3 cars. In the early evening hours, the Porsche was involved in an accident in the Schwalbenschwanz section through no fault of its own, and then headed for the pits for an examination. The mechanics repaired the damaged front end at a record-breaking speed and sent the IDENTICA Porsche back onto the track to catch up after barely 25 minutes. Up to the race interruption the team recovered some positions again and started the second part of the race on Sunday morning from 42th position. In the remaining 7.5 hours of the race, Böckmann, Müller, Rivas and Rosenberg defied the still difficult conditions and worked their way forward continuously with lap times at GT3 level. They finished the 24-hour race in 22nd place overall and as class winners in the SP-PRO after a breathtaking comeback.
BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR
At the 10th anniversary, the BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR competed with the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the SP8T class for the most powerful cars with turbocharger and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS in the CUP3 class, which is reserved exclusively for Porsche Cayman GT4 cars. The AMG GT4 (#38) driven by Mustafa Mehmet Kaya, Reinhold Renger, Mike Stursberg and Tristan Viidas got off to a good start and initially took the lead in the class in the early stages before the team was slowed down by a puncture. The puncture cost the team several minutes and changed the refueling stop rhythm to the disadvantage of the #38: When the race was interrupted with the red flag, the AMG had just stopped regularly, but the direct competitor for the class victory had not yet. As a result, the gap at the time of the interruption was more than one lap, so Kaya, Renger, Stursberg and Viidas started the second part of the race on Sunday morning one lap behind. The pilots took full risk after the restart and made up more than half a lap in the morning hours. In wet and cold track conditions, the TEXTAR-AMG at times circled the Nordschleife half a minute faster than the competition in the class. Despite the fast and faultless drive, however, the gap from the initial phase could not be completely made up, so that the AMG GT4 finished the 24 hours as the second in the SP8T class and as the best-placed BLACK FALCON vehicle in the outstanding 21st overall position.
In the Porsche Cayman GT4 class CUP3, Ben Bünnagel, "Max", Florian Naumann and Michael Rebhan fought a thrilling duel for victory from the first lap. In the first hours of the race the lead changed several times between the BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR-Cayman and the starting number 305. With the onset of night, Bünnagel, Max, Naumann and Rebhan were able to pull away significantly and gained a lead of several minutes, which, however, shrank to a few car lengths due to the race being halted and the repeated starting grid formation. The four drivers continued their excellent performance in the second part of the race and extended their lead on the track steadily. An accident of the #305 in the rain at noontime finally gave the quartet a lead of several laps, which they brought to the finish line with flying colours. With an outstanding 30th place overall and the first BLACK FALCON victory in the CUP3 class at the 24-hour race, the four Cayman pilots crowned the strong performance of the Meuspath based squad in one of the most eventful and difficult 24-hour races of recent years.
Comments on the race
Timo Frings, Head of Motorsport BLACK FALCON: "We have certainly experienced one of the most difficult races in recent years. All our cars crossed the finish line, which is by no means a matter of course in these conditions. The puncture suffered by the AMG in the early stages, combined with the timing of the stoppage, certainly cost us the chance of class victory. In return, the guys showed a spectacular performance on Sunday and proved that they too would have been capable of winning without the incident. With the Cup MR we made a remarkable recovery after the accident on Saturday evening which was not our fault and overtook one third of the field. The Cayman has been going strong all weekend and has performed a perfect race. In general, we can be more than satisfied with the result - especially considering the many weather-related retirements. Many thanks to the whole team for their excellent work over the weekend!
Alex Böhm, Managing Director BLACK FALCON: "The Nürburgring 2020 24-hour race will remain in our memories for a long time. During the night, the - due to the lack of spectators completely dark - Nordschleife demanded everything from our drivers in constantly changing track conditions, and even in daylight the conditions were very challenging. Therefore, I would like to start by congratulating all our drivers, who also managed the feat of not receiving a single time penalty. The fact that we didn't have a single technical problem with all three cars in the race speaks for the quality and ambition of the whole team. I would also like to express my special thanks to the staff in the organisation and catering department for the perfect care of over 100 employees and guests on the track. Last but not least, I would like to thank all our partners who have remained loyal to us even under these difficult conditions and whose commitment has made this success possible in the first place."