Ötigheim/Nürburgring (rw). The Ötigheim touring car racing team MK-Motorsport can be very satisfied with a ninth place overall in the "ADAC 24-hour race" on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring among 180 starters. The BMW M3 Group N was placed between VW's two factory Golf cars. In addition to the final second place in the class up to three litres capacity, a place on the winner's podium was also possible in the overall standings. But changing the rear axle took more than half an hour.
Teams from all over the world, even from Australia, had travelled to the Nürburgring to compete with Michael Krankenberg from Ötigheim and his team in this endurance test. Horst von Saurma-Jeltsch, Frank Schmickler and Peter Oberndorfer, euphonious names in the motorsports scene, drove for the Baden racing team in the 24 hours.
After the first training the MK mechanics team under the leadership of team boss Andreas Lautner was able to get the chassis problems under control. Also in the race the tendency was upwards, where the factory teams of BMW and VW were to be found.
Super-fast pit stops and balanced driver performance after the start at 4 pm 30 minutes after midnight meant fourth place overall. Then enormous noise announced the exitus of the rear axle, which was removed from the replacement M3 and installed in the race car, a masterpiece by chief mechanics Alex Koch and Klaus-Dieter Fenske.
From 26th place due to repairs they finally worked their way up to ninth place and were one place ahead of the VW works team with Kurt Thiim, who normally drives in the Ötigheim long-distance team.
Marc Krankenberg had less luck with his first long-distance operation on the ring. Already during practice a team mate suffered engine damage with Ford Fiesta. Also in the race the spare engine gave up after seven hours. After the engine replacement and the renewed engine damage five hours before the end, Marc Krankenberg was able to confirm the confidence placed in him with a good performance during his three-and-a-half-hour drive.
Published in BNN 22.06.1998.