You have to admire the total chaos of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Cars of all stripes run the famed Nordschleife — from GT3 machines, like the Porsche 911 prepared by Manthey Racing that won this year’s event, all the way down to TCR touring cars and lightly-modified production vehicles.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the aforementioned 911 was, of all things, a Dacia Logan running in the SP3 class. And that Dacia stole the hearts of those in attendance and those watching from around the world, as it finished not in last after 24 hours, 4 minutes and 8 seconds.
Yes, the humble Dacia, run by Team SwiftWing.de and Ollis Garage, finished in 98th position with 41 total laps — good for second-to-last place and two minutes ahead of a Porsche Cayman. It must be said that the Dacia was also more successful than 22 other cars that failed to complete the race.
But the best moment of all — one that really speaks to the spirit of the Nürburgring 24 Hours — was when the Dacia crossed the finish line in front of the Manthey 911, for whom the checkered flag was actually being waved. If you look at the still image below with zero context, it appears that an inoffensive-looking subcompact of nondescript origin accidentally wandered onto the Green Hell and inexplicably won the whole damn thing.
There were four other cars in the Dacia’s SP3 class, a Toyota GT86 Cup car, two Corolla Altis entries, and an Opel Manta. The Manta didn’t finish the race, so the little Dacia that could and all of its 165 horsepower took home fourth in its class. The Nürburgring 24 is wonderful, isn’t it?