Lucas Luhr just missed out on a third Nurburgring 24 Hours win on Sunday after helping BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS to second overall at the Nordschleife.
The German, along with co-drivers Maxime Martin, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook, came within just 40.729secs – the smallest margin between first and second in the event’s history – of taking victory aboard the Belgian squad’s #25 BMW Z4 GT3.
Indeed, the 2015 edition was also one of the most dramatic and remained up in the air right until the final lap thanks to Luhr et al’s stint-by-stint battle with the #28 Audi R8 LMS. Lead changes at every pit-stop had the huge crowd – both trackside and around the globe – enthralled by the sensational duel up front.
Starting sixth on Saturday, the #25 crew’s race was initially compromised when a rain shower and subsequent wrong tyre choice necessitated a fight back from outside the top 20.
It was during the night that the car made spectacular gains on the leading cars, moving into a position to challenge for victory. In the end, though, they were just unable to overcome the strong challenge from Audi and ended up second, having swapped the lead for more than eight hours.
“The whole crew can be really, really proud,” remarked a chuffed Lucas afterwards. “I know second is not the result we wanted but it’s a very tough field and we competed right at the very front of it. I’m really, really proud of the guys, they worked their tails off, and the same goes for the sister car. They were unlucky, because they were right up there, leading the race, and then fell back. It’s a great result, especially in such a strong field.”
Lucas now returns to his regular factory BMW Team RLL seat for round six of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen. As well as counting towards the regular TUSCC, the six-hour race is the third event of the North American Endurance Cup season.