Red Bull Team ABT finishes fifth in curious Nordschleife race

When an endurance classic turns into a sprint: In a race that will go down in the already well-filled history books of the legendary Nordschleife, Red Bull Team ABT finished fifth overall. The race was stopped seven hours after the start on Saturday evening and only finished behind the safety car on Sunday afternoon. This meant that Kelvin van der Linde, Marco Mapelli and Jordan Pepper had no chance of converting their good position into a better result.

“Congratulations to Christian Scherer and his team as well as Ricardo Feller on their victory in this strange race,” says ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk. “The Nordschleife once again showed how special it is this weekend and made a normal race impossible. Even though we feel sorry for the 240,000 fans along the track that they saw so little racing action, we of course accept the decision of the race organizers, because the safety of all drivers always has priority. From a sporting point of view, we are of course disappointed because we had a very good starting position on Saturday evening and would have loved to attack again on Sunday.”

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday evening, the race control interrupted the action on the track with a red flag, because heavy fog made a safe race impossible. At this point, Red Bull Team ABT with Marco Mapelli at the wheel was in fifth place overall and within striking distance of the leaders. After starting from fourth place on the grid, the trio was always in the top ten and at times even in the lead. After a long interruption, the race was finally restarted at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, but only completed five laps behind the safety car before it was finally aborted.

It was the eleventh race in total for ABT Sportsline at the Nürburgring classic in various cars and classes. The best results were two second places in 2003 and 2009. 2017 was the last appearance for the time being, before the team returned to the Nordschleife with the Lamborghini last year.

The ABT GT squad will be back on track next weekend: rounds five and six of the DTM season will be held at Zandvoort in the Netherlands. In the two Audi R8 LMS cars will be Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde, who, like Team ABT, is leading the overall standings after victory at the Lausitzring.