Falken Porsche 2014 Nurburgring 24 Hours

For no particular reason other than photos of the Falken Porsche from the 2014 Nurburgring 24 hours apparently have the ability to catch one’s attention when poking through the archives, a brief look back in time is warranted.  The Falken 997 Porsche is known as a regular and fan-favorite competitor in the Nurburgring 24 hours.  Falken always has a distinctive paint scheme and does a ton of on-site marketing support.  As you might have seen on this blog or elsewhere, the 997 car was recently put up for sale after a long and successful run as the team will running a new 991 platform for 2016.

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In 2014, the Falken Porsche was piloted by a four-man squad of Wolf Henzler, Peter Dumbreck, Martin Ragginger, and Alexandre Imperatore.  All of these drivers are extremely skilled and experienced which put the car in good hands.  The car qualified 20th overall with a time of 8:19.761 – shockingly 9 seconds off the pole time of Kevin Estre in the Dorr Motorsports McLaren.  In fairness, Estre’s lap in the McLaren was several seconds faster than any other car.  Most cars were in the 8:13 or 8:14 range.  Regardless, the time for the Falken Porsche likely shows more about the team’s endurance mindset than anything about raw speed.

20140621-211105282 20140622-221135224 20140622-221052082 When the checkered flag flew, the car claimed a fourth place overall – two laps off the leader.  The finish was the team’s best overall finish to date and resulted from running a clean and consistent race.  The 2014 Nurburgring 24 hours had relatively good weather which meant a dry and fast race pace.  The team moved into the top 5 after 8 hours of running before moving into fourth about 90 minutes before the finish.

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Leading up to the 2015 race, Dailysportscar.com published an interview with team principal Sven Schnabl.  His planning paid off as the team claimed its first podium in 2015 with the same impressive driver line-up.

Enjoy the pics and best of luck to the Falken Porsche team in 2016!

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Falken Porsche 997 GT3 R For Sale

With thanks to Dailysportscar.com for the pointer, the Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (997) that has raced thousands of kilometers is now for sale.  The team is moving to the 991 platform for 2016, so they have put their 997 up for sale.  Interested?  Check out the listing on Mobile.de with a €500,000 asking price.  The car finished on the podium at the 2015 Nurburgring 24 hours – the team’s best ever result.  In honor of the team and the car, here is a gallery of shots from the 2015 N24 race.

2016 Nurburgring 24h

Have you ever wanted to enter the Nurburgring 24 Hours?  Good news!  The entry form for the 2016 event has now been posted and is available here.  Interestingly enough, it is in English!  There are interesting gems for those who are interested in the race.

Initial entry deadline is April 5, 2016 which gets you the reduced entry fee in excess of €6000  (which includes an irrevocable fee for armco and crash damage).  Need a little more time?  Final entry deadline is April 21, 2016 and the entry fee goes up a bit.

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Space is a premium for the 24 hour race – both in the pits and paddock.  The entry form makes clear that you may need to share your pit box with up to 7 additional teams, but the Germans also permit you to designate the teams with whom you’d like to share space.  No promises, but you can even request which pit box you prefer.

Before you send in your entry, make sure you read the regulations – all 132 pages are posted here in both German and English.  The regulations are comprehensive.  They confirm the start time for the race will be 1600 (4pm).  The maximum number of cars that can run in the race is 180.

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Given the risks, the rules also include provisions like this:  “The Clerk of the Course reserves the right to observe the performances of the teams and drivers during the practice sessions in order to then decide about the final admission to the race. The Clerk of the Course may pronounce a “night driving ban”, if necessary, for any driver. For this purpose, “night” is considered to start one hour after sunset and to end one hour before sunrise. The failure to respect a night driving ban, if imposed, will result in the exclusion of the team concerned.”

The 44th edition of the Nurburging 24 hours will run on May 28-29, 2016.  There is nothing like the starting grid anywhere else.

 

Speed limits lifted at the Nurburgring

After proposals were made in August, the improvements that are expected to enable racing at the Nurburgring for the next three years without speed limits.  Most changes will affect spectator safety, but some spots on the track will be “smoothed” .  The changes are subject to final FIA approval, but presumably they would not be announced unless the track had a good sense that approval will be granted.

For those that can read German, the announcement is posted on the Nurburgring web page here.  Dale Lomas has translated and added a very helpful map to illustrate on his Bridge to Gantry website.  Additional story on Dailysportscar here.

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Canon 5D MarkIII, 70mm, ISO250, 1/1000 sec, f/2.8
May 14, 2015
Nurburgring, 24 hour race practice
Crowd favorite Opel Manta in the Karussell

RUF Yellowbird at the Nurburgring in 1987; in Los Angeles in 2005

20050910-100853226Ever wonder what put Ruf automobiles on the map?  Ever wonder what made the Nubrugring a global bucket-list phenomenon rather than a hidden secret among the Germans that ventured into the Eifel Mountains?  Many car enthusiasts can trace their “ah ha” moment back to a video of a yellow Porsche 911 being driven quickly and sideways through the forests of the North Loop.  We’ve all seen clips, but Ruf just released the full 19 minute version.  Sit back, open to full screen, boost the volume and enjoy:

Hat tip to Dale Lomas and his Bridge to Gantry blog.  If you’re not familiar, Dale’s blog and social media feeds are mandatory reading for any car enthusiast and Nurburgring fan.

Oh yes, the Los Angeles connection.  In September 2005, the Yellowbird was refreshed (including a new coat of paint) and brought to the US for Road & Track magazine’s use and a few car shows.  It was on display at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, north of Los Angeles near Santa Barbara at a Porsche focused weekend event “The Ventura Show”.   The show was an annual event, but ceased sometime around 2011 or 2012.  It was great to see the actual Yellowbird in person.  From humble origins of a 1987 Porsche 911 narrow bodied coupe, the Yellowbird set the performance mark for supercars – the benchmark against which cars like the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 were measured.  Thanks – 10 years later – to Ruf for bringing it to visit Los Angeles.  Photos below from the day:

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2016 Nurburgring 24h news

Still a long way from race day in May 2016, but preparations are underway.  Jim Glickenhaus expects to bring at least two SCG 003 entries as well as the P 4/5 which ran previously (just for sport).  The team has experienced some recent good results in the VLN and gains strength with more track time.  Meanwhile, Jurgen Alzen expects to enter a Ford Mustang in all rounds of the 2016 VLN championship. Story at Sportscar-Info.de (in german).
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Canon 5D Mark III, 102mm, ISO500, 1/320 sec, f/2.8
May 14, 2015
Nurburgring 24h practice, Scuderia Glickenhaus SCG003 in the Karussell
Sadly, the car would crash in wet practice and incur damage too significant to permit it to start the race