The Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 team were the overall winners in the rain-shortened Nurburgring 24 Hours. Using their Dunlop tires, drivers Bernd Schneider, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Sean Edwards and Nicki Thiim, they were able to fend off their main rivals for the win.
The 41st event on historic German circuit had a short list of probable favorites including Aston Martin and BMW teams but the Black Falcon crew was not on the list. Yet the four team drivers were capable of handing the team their second 24 enduro win this year – they earlier took the Dubai 24H top podium step.
The heavy rain storm was followed by a thick layer of fog which shut down the race for nine hours!
As the laps closed down, Schneider for the Mercedes team was in a battle with two of the Rowe Racing Mercedes and the still-surviving Marc VDS BMW Z4.
Before handing the car over to his teammate, Schneider had one super-fast stint which put the No. 9 Falcon in a comfortable lead. However, Edwards did not ease off, even while taking care of the car to ensure the victory.
BMW’s Maxime Martin could still taste the victory and as the clock was winding down, he flew by both of Rowe Racing’s Mercedes but ran out of time and settled for second. Mercedes nearly swept the podium!
More important for the German manufacture is the victory – it was their first overall Nurburgring 24 Hours victory. It was also Schneider’s first win, and the first-ever victory for a British driver.
“It’s the best win of my career; it has to be, being the first win for Mercedes as well, it’s just so special,” said Edwards.