Brock (Hopkins) had a great start to the race and was able to avoid getting involved with any of the 1st lap shenanigans and was able to pilot the #082 Beast Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 from 19th to 8th before the end of the first stint, followed by a respectable stint from Jack (Wells) to keep the team within striking distance of the front runners. From that point, the team started moving up the field with relative ease. As the sun began to set and the visibility began to drop, the evening drivers started to come alive, with Taylor Lane and Jeffrey Belk putting in respectable first stints out on the track.
Beast Racing took their first major hit of the race when Lane caught the outside wall exiting Schwalbenschwanz on the 6th lap of his 2nd stint, he would return to the pits at the end of his 7th lap with the steering slightly misaligned. The engineers worked quickly to fix the issue and the car was released after a short period with Belk at the helm, dropping the team back to P9 from P3. As the night continued on, the team meticulously worked their way back through the field and, as the sun started to break over the horizon, the overnight drivers of (Drew) Adamson, Belk, and Hopkins had cemented their vehicle into the 4th position.
For the next few hours, Beast would maintain P4 with a sizeable margin to the team behind and inching their way closer to a spot on the podium. Unfortunately, the team would take another major hit to their podium chances when their Mercedes AMG GT3 became beached on a curb after the rear end stepped out and went around with Lane at the wheel. Lane made every effort to get the machine rolling again, but the rear diffuser had the tires just far enough off of the track for them to not be able to find any way to get the car rolling. Due to this, the track team had to be called out for an immediate tow and, upon arriving back at the garage, the engineers went to work behind the wall to fix any damage received over the duration of the event. This would drop the team back in the standings to P9.
After repairs to the car were complete, Wells took over the controls and by the end of his final stint of the race, had the car comfortably in P7. This left the drivers of Belk and Hopkins to see to the finish of the event, Hopkins coped well in the high heat of the late morning/early afternoon where Belk struggled.
At the checkered flag, Beast Racing was able to squeeze out a P6 due to an incident for one of the other teams on the final lap. The team has a plethora of data to look back on now to learn from and to see what the next steps are going forward in the search for greatness. For most teams, a 6th place finish is an amazing feat, and while so, the team at Beast Racing know there time is coming.
“It was fun watching the team figure out the track and flesh into one unit over the last month of practice. We worked hard to be prepared for the race and used what we learned to decide the best game plan on when our drivers would be most productive with the vehicle and how best to pilot it throughout the event.” – Jeff
“It’s unfortunate with the incidents that we had. I know myself, Drew and Taylor all ended up catching the wall within a corner of each other all at different times, unfortunately Taylor got the worst of it. The Little Carousel seems to be our main Achilles heel on the circuit with most of the damage we received over the duration being from that small section. Then the curb was just bad luck, if we had rolled back a little less or a little more, we would have been good to keep going but we ended up just coming to a stop at the worst possible point and then there was nothing else we could do about it.” – Jeff
”We, as a team, have something very good going for us here. If we can just work on minimizing all of the small issues and work on our weak points, for example, my issue at the end with the high track temperatures, we are a major contender for wins. When it comes to spatial awareness, we are high on that scale, we can keep the car clean and off of other drivers and able to keep from getting involved with stuff happening around us. -Jeff
“It is a huge honor to drive for a team as high-caliber as Beast Racing and to be part of something at this level, if we can keep up what we did in this race and just work to minimize the issues, I can absolutely see us coming away with a win by the end of the year. I thank them for the opportunity which they have given me and look forward to a long partnership with the team.” -Jeff
“We had the team and the car to stick it to the leaders, but luck was definitely not on our side. Onwards and upwards to Le Mans where we will build upon this result.” – Taylor
“The team was firing on all cylinders at the Nurburgring. I couldn’t match the pace of my fastest teammates during the race due to limited experience at the green hell. However, I feel I did well to avoid any real incidents over the 32 laps I completed. Towards the end of the race with the car slightly out of shape I was only a few seconds off the pace that the fastest guys, Brock and Jeff, ran in the same machinery. Ultimately all of us can be happy with our progress through the field and P6 is a great result here.” -Jack
“What an awesome ride Beast Racing had in this year’s Nurburgring 24! We welcomed back an old face in Jeff Belk and he was really impressive leading up to and in the race itself. Also joining us was Taylor and Jack, who I have grown accustomed to sharing a ride with, as well as Drew, who added some well needed rest time for the others by putting in a few stints during the grueling night as well as in the morning. It was an up and down race…but for the most part we found ourselves competing for a top 10 just a few hours in and were confident we had carved a space out there barring no massive wreckage.” -Brock
“Much like Bathurst, I enjoy this circuit so much as it’s such a big testament to driver skill…to put in all the focus it requires for just one lap. You get on the long stretch of Antoniusbuche and have a moment to catch your breath before heading into the tight right and left hander of the Yokohoma s’s. Add in the day/night transitions and it was quite the site to behold battling with another car late into the night, which I had the chance to do in my 2nd pair of stints. Overall, it was Beast’s best Enduro finish since Road Atlanta in October of last year and gives us plenty of momentum going into Endurance racing’s pride and joy, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We look forward to getting back to podium stature in the HPD.” -Brock