Two records in one fell swoop: record winner Manthey Racing has won the shortest ADAC TOTAL 24-hour race in history. A total of 14.5 hours of fog interruption had turned the 49th edition of the legendary "Eifel Marathon" into the "Eifel Sprint". In the end, Frenchman Kevin Estre in the Manthey Porsche #911 took the seventh victory overall for the team from Meuspath after a furious start phase and a flawless final stint - the perfect present for the 25th anniversary. Italian Matteo Cairoli and Dane Michael Christensen cheered their teammate as Estre rolled across the finish line with the "Grello" 8.8 seconds ahead of the #98 Rowe BMW with final driver Sheldon van der Linde, Martin Tomczyk, Marco Wittmann and Connor de Phillippi. It was the second closest finish in the history of the race. Third place was secured by the #7 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG, which meant that three different brands finished on the podium.
"Even though it was a shame for the spectators here at the track and at home in front of the TV: the cancellation of the race tonight was without alternative in terms of safety," said Manthey Managing Director Nicki Raeder. "This turned the 24-hour classic into two extremely exciting sprint races over the shortest distance in the history of this event. Nevertheless, we had to attack to the maximum and give everything from the first to the last lap under the most difficult conditions. But we are maximally pleased with this success, which we are particularly happy to celebrate in time for Manthey's 25th anniversary." For each of his three drivers, it is their first victory in the ADAC TOTAL 24h race. "It's incredible, I'm at a loss for words. It was such a tough race, very intense. I gave it everything, it was very hard to get through without making any mistakes. I'm crazy proud of this team," said Estre.
Rowe Racing on the podium again
"The race was a bit short, but very fierce and exciting," said team boss Hans-Peter Naundorf, whose squad finished on the podium again with the #98 Rowe BMW after winning last year. "Second place means a lot to me. Of course it's a shame when you miss out on victory by such a narrow margin. But standing on the podium at the 24h race is always something special. It's also an accolade for the team. Now it's time to celebrate," said Martin Tomczyk. For the Rowe-BMW #1, which had also been in the leading group for a long time, the mission to defend the title came to an early end after a technical defect.
Anniversary edition in May 2022
With a track distance of just 59 laps and 1,497.302 kilometers, the 49th edition of the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race was the shortest ever. This was well below the mark of 76 laps set in 1992. In total, the wheels rolled for only 9.5 hours of the actual 24 hours. All participants, organizers and fans are now hoping that the 50th anniversary of the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race from May 26 to 29, 2022, will again go the full distance and take place in front of full grandstands.