136 cars for Nürburgring 24, including 33 in the best category – Sportscar365

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

A 33-car GT3 field will line up in the premier SP9 class at the Nürburgring 24 next weekend as part of a 136-car field for the Nordschleife enduro.

The SP9 grid includes the big four German manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and defending champion Audi, as well as Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Porsche and Mercedes-AMG are the best-represented marques in SP9 with seven cars each, although all new Porsche 911 GT3 Rs compete in the higher Pro division, while three Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos run in Pro-Am.

The Porsche contingent includes the seven-time N24 Manthey EMA winner with its factory line-up of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, Frederik Makowiecki and Thomas Preining.

Lawrence Vanthoor, who drove for Manthey last year, is now with Dinamic GT alongside Ayhankan Guven, Christian Engelhart and Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich.

Lionspeed by Car Collection includes factory aces Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jamine on its roster, while Falken Motorsports once again brings two Porsches. Rutronik Racing and Huber Motorsport are also involved, while KCMG switched to SP10 this year.

Mercedes-AMG has four SP9 Pro cars split equally between GetSpeed ​​Performance and Haupt Racing Team.

Both GetSpeed ​​line-ups are the same as last year, when Adam Christodoulou, Maximilian Goetz and Fabian Schiller finished third and Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella and Maro Engel took third.

HRT also retained Raffaele Marciello, Philipp Ellis and Luca Stolz, while the Bilstein-backed team’s second car features drivers from outside the Mercedes-AMG factory pool.

All six Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs compete in SP9 Pro, with two-thirds of them racing under the Audi Sport Team banner, denoting improved factory support.

The factory quartet includes an additional car for Audi Sport Team Scherer PHX, which will be driven by past DTM champions Martin Tomczyk, Timo Scheider and Mike Rockenfeller.

The Scherer-Phoenix Racing joint effort also features the No. 1 Audi working with assistance, which Frederik Verwisch considers part of the driver’s line-up.

Vervish is the only member of last year’s winning Phoenix team to remain with Audi. Dries Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde, who won in 2022 with Vervisch and Robin Frijns, are driving BMW and Lamborghini machines this time.

ROWE Racing and the RMG-run Junior Team field full BMW factory line-ups. Walkenhorst Motorsport adds to the BMW M4 GT3 charge with a pair of Pro cars.

The hopes of the non-German manufacturers this year are carried by the likes of the Ferrari Frikadelli Racing Team, who won the N24 qualifier, and ABT Sportsline, who have Lamborghini factory drivers Marco Mapelli and Jordan Pepper in their crew alongside van der Linde and Niki Thiem .

Frikadelli, who is backed by Rinaldi Racing, entered the race with one of three Ferrari 296 GT3s, but was the Italian marque’s only representative in SP9 Pro.

Earl Bamber, Nicky Catsburg, David Pittard and Felipe Fernandez Lazer – who previously drove for the now-defunct Glickenhaus team – form the Frikadelli quartet.

The Aston Martin entry consists of single car entries from continental customer teams Doerr Motorsport and PROSport Racing after TF Sport flew the flag last year.

Outside of the leading SP9 field, there are several GT4 cars entered in SP10, including BMW, Aston Martins, Mercedes-AMG and Toyota, including the KCMG-run GR Supra GT4 EVO. GT4 specification Porsches compete in their own categories.

Haupt Racing Team and Schnitzelalm Racing give the new Mercedes-AMG GT2 its N24 debut in the SP-X class.

One of the TCR entries from Hyundai Motorsport features an all-American line-up of Mason Phillippi, Harry Gottsaker, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis. There is also an Opel Astra TCR driven by Stellantis executives, including group CEO Carlos Tavares.

Other notable entries in a typically eclectic field include a factory Subaru WRX, Bulldog Racing’s Mini Cooper Works and fan favorites Opel Manta and Dacia Logan.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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