Harley Haughton, from Stockport, is already looking forward to competing in next year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours despite suffering heartbreak in Germany last weekend (1-2 Jun).

The 19-year-old Briton was leading the Cup 3 class when he encountered oil and lubricant on the track, sending Haughton sliding off track and into another car which had moments earlier suffered the same ordeal.

Apart from being bruised, Haughton stepped from the Sorg Rennsport entered Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS uninjured but the car was too badly damaged to continue leaving Harley and his intended co-drivers Björn Simon (GER), Philipp Hagnauer (SUI) and Edoardo Bugane (ITA) hugely disappointed after a promising start.

Haughton had set the second fastest Cup 3 time in preliminary qualifying and started fourth in class after deciding to opt out of the later sessions and preserve the car for the main event. 

Harley started the race on “wet” weather tyres due to the track conditions but pitted early for “slicks” as the track dried and took the lead of the Cup 3 class prior to the accident after an hour and a half of racing.  

Haughton returns to Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie action at the German venue on 22 June.

Harley said:

“Hugely disappointed but I can’t wait to have another attempt at this race! 

Approaching a fast, ‘blind’ double right corner, there was a single waved Yellow Flag. I slowed down but not enough to avoid skidding on oil/coolant. Another car had already fallen victim and crashed, and I ended up following him into the barrier.”

“Thankfully both he and I were unharmed apart from a couple bruises but that was the end of our race. Of course, you can always back off more and drive more carefully but in that split second, with the information I had available, I did what any driver racing for victory would have done. 

“After the race I visited the stewards of the event, who agreed with me that I was not at fault for the incident, and it was just part of the risk of racing at the ‘Green Hell’.

“The team were gutted but everyone recognised and assured me it was not my fault. I feel terrible that neither Bjorn, Edo nor Phillip got to participate in the race but these things happen in motor racing.”

“I would love to go back racing at the 24 hour next year. I am very thankful for everyone’s help, hard work and support along with all of the Sorg Rennsport team. We will definitely come back stronger in three weeks’ time for the NLS event.”