• Mercedes Secures Legendary 1-2-3-4 Win At Nürburgring 24 Hours; Weather Strands 69 Cars Early On

Mercedes celebrates an amazing win while others learn how fast weather conditions can change

This last weekend saw the 24 Nürburgring 24-Hour race for 2016, and boy was it one for the history books. The biggest highlight was, of course, Mercedes’ legendary 1-2-3-4 win, but the race also yielded the closest finish in the 44-year history of the race. In the end, Mercedes car No. 4 – driven by Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou, and Manuel Metzger – took first place, completing 134 laps in just over 24 hours. Right on No. 4’s rear bumper was No. 29, driven by Christian Vietoris, Marco Seefried, Christian Hohenadel, and Renger van der Zande, finishing just 5.697 seconds afterward.

Mercedes car No. 88, which was driven by UWE Alzen, Lance David Arnold, Maximilian Gotz, and Jan Seyffarth came in third, just one lap behind No. 4 and No. 29. The fourth Mercedes car, No. 9, was driven by Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel, and Dirk Muller and was also just one lap behind No. 4 and No. 29. BMW claimed a fifth place finish with its No. 23 car and Mercedes also placed sixth with its No. 75 car, finishing three laps after the No. 4 car.

It was a rough battle for first place in the last lap, as at the last second, Engel pulled a risky but effect move and passed Christian Vietoris to claim the first-place spot. Of course, Vietoris and HTP Motorsport filed a protest against Engel’s finishing move, but Race Director, Walter Hornung, declared there was no need for an investigation. This wasn’t all the drama that occurred, however, as weather definitely posed a major problem during the race as well. Keep reading to see what happened and to hear more about that.

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Why it Matters

In what seemed like the strangest weather ever, a single cloudburst appeared over a certain part of the Nürburgring early on in the race, surprising the hell out of drivers and wreaking havoc on the track. At the time, most cars were running slicks as the track was dry, but as the storm cell developed out of nowhere, it began dumping rain and ice. As you can see in the video above, this sudden burst of unfavorable weather had some of the drivers looking like first year rookies, sliding off the track and bouncing off the walls.

Needless to say, it was an eventful race and certainly one for the record books. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured during the sudden onslaught of crashes caused by the weather. It just goes to show how quickly conditions can change and, as luck would have it, it happened in probably the worst possible place around the ‘Ring. Talk about a fun weekend.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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