【24h Nürburgring Race / Nürburgring】

Fifth place in class for Team Advan x HRT in heavily shortened Nürburgring 24 hours

24h Nürburgring Race

Date 1-2 June 2024
Course Nürburgring
Weather Rain & Cloudy / Heavy fog
Surface Dry & Wet

Team Advan x HRT finished the 52nd edition of the Nürburgring 24 hours in fifth place in SP9 Pro-Am, having permanently fought for the lead. During the battle for the lead, the red flag came out due to foggy conditions, interrupting the race for more than 14 hours. On Sunday afternoon, five laps behind the safety car were held, and with conditions not improving the race was declared finished after 50 laps. It was the shortest distance that has ever been covered at the classic in the Eifel mountains with 240,000 spectators on site.

Team Advan x HRT had a spectacular start in rainy conditions with Hubert Haupt taking a convincing lead in SP9 Pro-Am for the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3. After stints on Yokohama Advan Wet weather tires, cut Yokohama Advan racing slicks and pure Yokohama Advan racing slicks tires, Team Advan x HRT managed to keep the class lead until Saturday evening.

The weather conditions then took a turn again and proved very difficult with rain falling down at different spots on the 25.378 km long legendary Eifel track. Every single lap provided the drivers with different weather conditions, making the right tire choice extremely difficult. During this stage of the race, Team Advan x HRT had to conceal the SP9 Pro-Am lead but stayed in contention with the leaders.

With all drivers set to take back the lead, the stage was set for a spectacular five-way battle for the SP9 Pro-Am win including the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3. However, the battle would never be fought as the red flag came out at 11.22pm and the race would not resume under green flag conditions again. Team Advan x HRT was in 3rd position at that time. When the race was restarted behind the safety car, Team Advan x HRT came into the pits after three laps, ready to put on a fight for victory with a full tank and fresh rubber. This demoted the Mercedes-AMG to 5th, but with a strategic advantage once the race would go Green.

This, however, never happened, as race direction decided to end the race prematurely, so the late pit stop backfired. Team Advan x HRT was classified in 18th position overall and 5th in SP9 Pro-Am, which didn’t reflect the performance by both Haupt Racing Team and the Yokohama Advan racing tires. Yokohama will use the experience gained in these tough conditions to further improve both its racing and street tire range.

Driver’s Voice

Hubert Haupt [Team ADVAN×HRT]

“From my point of view, we could definitely have restarted during the final three hours today. You could race on 90 percent of the track without any problems. A code 120 in the places where racing is not possible would have been possible. It’s a huge shame for all the spectators. We certainly would have put on an exciting show at the end with our Yokohama Advan tires and were looking forward to a nice battle for the class victory. But it is the way it is.”

Engineer’s Voice

Masaaki Miyoshi [The Yokohama Rubber Co.,LTD. Motorsports Tire Development Dept. No.1 Tire Development Division]

“A lot has happened this weekend. For example, due to wet conditions at the start, we had a very good lead, and it was also a good opportunity for tire development. Although the race time was very short, we learned a lot throughout the race and gained very valuable data. Our tire performance was very good in these relatively cold temperatures. We were prepared for 10 to 40 degrees air temperature.

“It was our first 24h race with HRT. As anticipated, it is a highly professional and competitive team. The communication between our parties was very good during all races so far and we are building a very good partnership together. We have found a lot of new challenges through the 24 hour race and will continue to improve our tires together at the next NLS races. I’m looking forward to our next races with HRT.”