Just one week after the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, several drivers headed to the 47th edition of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Among them were Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber, Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre (Manthey Racing's Porsche 911 RS), all previous Le Mans winners in various classes. Like at Le Mans (for the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid), flat tyres in the final moments of the race somewhat upset the order established after several hours of competition, and a penalty was incurred by the Bamber-Christensen-Estre-Vanthoor driver line-up.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix's #4 Audi R8 LMS shared by Dries Vanthoor, Frédéric Vervisch, Pierre Kaffer and Frank Stippler claimed the top step on the podium. This was the first victory at the merciless German circuit for all but Stippler (second win at the Nürburgring).
This Nürburgring podium was quite a family affair: younger brother Dries Vanthoor on the top step was joined by older brother Laurens Vanthoor on the second. Seven years separate the two drivers (ages 21 and 28) and they represent Audi and Porsche, respectively, both a part of the Volkswagen Group. Motorsport, endurance racing and 24-hour races are a big part of the Vanthoor family. Laurens Vanthoor: "Dries is seven years younger than I am, but he has always been interested in competition. It has always been that way: at stoplights, in go-karts, with a simulator. I know he's always watching me. Dries has always been happy for me, but you could see it in his eyes that he wanted to achieve the same things as me. I am so happy he knows what it feels like to win."
Yesterday, Dries won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, like his big brother a few years ago. This isn't the first time they've shared the same fate: Dries won the 24 Hours of Dubai as did his brother, and in 2017, he won the LMGTE Am class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Ferrari fielded by JMW Motorsport. Laurens won the LMGTE Pro class at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche.
Click here for the 2019 24 Hours of the Nürburgring classification.
PHOTOS: Above, older brother Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche) and below, younger brother Dries (Audi) after his win yesterday at the Nürburgring.
BREAKING NEWS: THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS POSTPONED TO 19–20 SEPTEMBER 2020