The 2021 Nurburgring 24 Hours saw a weather-shortened race (again!), multiple noteworthy incidents (again!), a Manthey Racing Porsche win (again!) and a trio of first-time winners with Matteo Cairoli, Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre taking the victory in the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The #911, which completed just 59 laps in the c.9 hours of running around a long overnight break for fog, ran with just three drivers after Lars Kern was ruled out with ill-health during the weekend.
The weather interruption, which brought out the red flags after 6 hours of racing at 21:30 local time, was extended several times from its initial hoped for restart time of 09:00 on Sunday morning, eventually lasted for 15 hours leaving just three and a half hours of running to the finish.
Unsurprisingly the remainder of the race was somewhat akin to a sprint with multiple incidents and near misses before Estre took the checkered flag under nine seconds ahead of the #98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 with Sheldon van der Linde coming oh so close to defending the team, and BMW’s victory from 2020, leading into the final pitstop. The South African though would finish on the second step of the podium alongside Connor De Phillippi, Martin Tomczyk and Marco Wittmann.
The final step on the podium went to the #7 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed AMG GT3 of Maximilian Goetz, Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello with Marciello making the crucial pass on the hard charging #44 Falken Motorsports Porsche of Sven Mueller on the penultimate lap leaving Mueller to fend off the fast-closing Christopher Haase in the #2 Audi Sport Team Car Collection R8 LMS, the pair crossing the line just 0.166 of a second apart.
6th and only a further second back was the #20 Schubert Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, Jose Krohn bringing the car home after losing places in the final laps from a potential podium finishing position, fending off yet another challenge, this time from the #8 GetSpeed Performance AMG to the line. The #23 Huber Motorsport and #33 Falken Porsches came home 8th and 9th with the #40 10Q AMG rounding out the top 10.