Land Audi prevails in dramatic Finale

From deep frustration to virtually over the moon in 20 minutes: Thanks to quick-witted move in the tyre gambled during the final pit stop – with just two more laps to go – Markus Winkelhock, Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies and Connor de Phillippi celebrated the win in the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race that already seemed to be lost. 90 minutes before the end of the race a defective sensor cost the Team Land’s Audi R8 LMS #29 the lead that it had held for many hours and the dream of the race win seemed to be over. But when rain suddenly began to fall, the team used an originally already mulled pit stop to equip the car at the last moment with wets. The result: the team did not only close in on the rivals that had seemed to be uncatchable but even passed them to regain the lead. The WRT-Audi #9 that held the lead at this point on time went off on its slick and hat no chance of keeping the Land sister car at bay. René Rast who drove the final stint even lost second position to Nick Catsburg in the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 #98 after both cars had switched to wets for the final lap.

“I just don’t know what to say as I believed the race to already have been lost for us” said Markus Winkelhock who was virtually lost for words after his third win in the endurance classic, following the ones in 2012 and 2014. For Christopher Mies (2015) it was the second 24-Race triumph while Kelvin van der Linde, Connor de Philippi and Team Principal Wolfgang Land celebrated their firs 24h-Race win – in front of 205,000 spectators on site.

Hitchcock thriller in the final minutes
“Now I finally know why they call the Nordschleife ‘The Green Hell,’ said de Phillippi. And van der Linde who drove the final stint, added: “I only heard the order ‘Push, push, push!’” Team Principal Wolfgang Land also was delighted. “This was a true Hitchcock thriller,” he said. “Now it’s party time.”
Three-time Le Mans winner Marcel Fässler, who raced the Audi #9 together with Rast Nico Müller and Robin Frijns once again had to leave the Nürburgring empty-handed, on the day after his 41st birthday. But despite all his disappointment, he didn’t begrudge the fellow Audi drivers the win ”As they really deserved it.”
At the same time, the Rowe Racing squad also was in party mood. “That was pure chaos,” said Team Principal Hans-Peter Naundorf after his team’s best 24h-Race result to date that was secured by Catsburg, Markus Palttala, Alexander Sims and Richard Westbrook. “The decisions were made intuitively and the second place is a success for everybody. The show was huge. That was motor racing on the highest level.“

“This was literally hot race weekend. Fantastic weather, tough battles up to the final minute of the race and fans that partied to the max, The 24h Race truly was a huge motor-sport festival,” said Race Director Wolfgang Hornung who witnessed – after 23.75 hours in sunshine that was anything but the your typical Eifel weather – a spectacular finale in the wet. As a downpour in the closing stages jumbled the result. While Rast and Catsburg on their slick were virtually helpless and drove at snail’s pace, around the Nordschleife, van der Linde in the Land Audi that was shod with wets battled his way back up to the lead.

The best Mercedes-AMG was last year’s winner, the Black Falcon #1 in fifth position, followed by the Frikadelli Porsche #31 that finished sixth. The Wochenspiegel-Ferrari #22 came seventh and the best Bentley was the Abt Bentley #37 in 16th position.

News and quotes 15:30hrs

Following a dramatic final phase, Audi Sport Team Land won the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race with their Audi R8 LMS #29. Second place was secured by the BMW M6 GT3 #98 for Rowe Racing and Audi Sport Team WRT’s #9 came third.  

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

14:40 Uhr Mo driver swap. Engel will drive the final stint.

15:12 Uhr Accident at the Metzgesfeld.

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / van der Zande (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

14:44hrs Lance David Arnold to drive the final laps.

9 – Müller / Fässler / Frijns / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)

15:08 Uhr Pit stop: slicks for Rene Rast.

15:22 Uhr Comes in for another stop..

19 – Klingmann / Müller / Edwards / Onslow – Cole (BMW M6 GT3)

15:25 Uhr Cruises following a crash in the Tiergarten area with heavily

damaged rear along the Döttinger.

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

14:40 Uhr Krumbach for Keilweitz.

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

15:11 Uhr Pit stop. The team initially opts for slicks to then review its decision and equip the car with wets. Background: In the refuelling hectic Team Land lost second by second, thus allowing Rowe Racing #98 to pass them. Now Team Land hopes to be able to make up for the lost ground and re-gain the position in the wet sections

15:19 Uhr The Land Audi is virtually flying. Thanks to the decision to opt for wets, the Land Audi R8 LMS can go flat out while #9 already had an off-track moment..

15:20 Uhr Maximum attack of the Land Audi. Passes the sliding Rowe BMW #98 .

15:22 Uhr Takes the lead while #9 pits.

15:23 Uhr Land is back in the lead. Thanks to the switch to wets the team was able to strike back on the crucial l lap while the WRT Audi #9 and the Rowe BMW #98 had to come in for tyre changes. Pure drama.

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

15:01 Uhr Klaus Abbelen for: Sabine Schmitz.

31 – Christensen / Bachler / Siedler / Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

14:44 Uhr Klaus Abbelen: “This was our final stop. Klaus was replaced by Lucas,. #30 currently is raced by Sabine but I will drive the final stint in this car. If we finish as it currently looks I will be really happy.”

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

14:59 Uhr The Falken BMW pits for splash&dash.

15:02 Uhr Driver swap: Dusseldorp for Dumbreck.

42 – Wittmann / Blomqvist / Tomczyk / Farfus (BMW M6 GT3)

15:07 Uhr The team gets a set of wets ready.

15:15 Uhr Is driving with damaged rear.

15:17 Uhr Switches to wets

48 – Heyer / Schneider / Dontje / Assenheimer (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

15:25 Uhr Switches to wets

50 – Baumann / Buhk / Mortara / Sandström (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

14:44 Uhr Maxi Buhk to drive the final stint.

15:10 Uhr Loses it on the wet track at  the entry Adenauer Forst and hits the crash barriers.

98 – Palttala / Catsburg / Sims / Westbrook (BMW M6 GT3)

14:30 Uhr Rowe Team Principal Hans-Peter Naundorf: “We haven’t got any chance of winning the race and the battle for second place is tough, in particular as the team have opted for different strategies. I think it will be really close, in the end.”

14:44 Uhr Pit stop. Nick Catsburg remains in the car and gets a fresh set of tyres. For the time being, the car is passed by the Land Audi #29.

15:22 Uhr Pits for wets.

15:27 Uhr At the Adenauer Forst the Rowe BMW passes the WRT Audi #9 for second place and finishes in this position.

News and quotes 14:30h

The 23rd hour of the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race made for a true drama: At 14:01hrs, the Audi R8 LMS of Audi team Land that held the lead had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop. Following a short check the team diagnosed an electronics problem, a sensor was reset and the car rejoined the race – but the lead was gone, with the sister car of Audi Sport Team WRT taking the lead, followed by the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3.  The Land Audi now holds third position..

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

13:32hrs Maro Engel for Adam Christodoulou,

13:46hrs Adam Christodoulou: “The first part of my double stint was really nice. I don’t know if all the cars were driven by other drivers in the second part but I nearly had an accident twice. It’s not easy if the others don’t use their rear-view mirrors. But the car isn’t damaged and that’s the most important fact. We have to keep on pushing as everything can happen in a race like this one.”  .

3 – Müller / Jäger / Engel / Seyffarth (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

13:44 Uhr Thomas Jäger for Dirk Müller.

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / van der Zande (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

14:06 Uhr Lance David Arnold prior to his final stint: “To drive the final stint and be the one to finish the race is nice. I really look forward to doing so. It’s a pity we are slightly behind the front-runners, following the time penalty we received yesterday and couldn’t make up for the lost ground.’

9 – Müller / Fässler / Frijns / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)

13:58 Uhr Rene Rast for Nico Müller.

14:12 Uhr At the end of lap 149 we have got the 20th change in the lead.

14:26 Uhr With 70 more minutes to go, the race leaders have completed 151 laps.

19 – Klingmann / Müller / Edwards / Onslow – Cole (BMW M6 GT3)

12:40 Uhr Scheduled stop. .

13:48 Uhr Onslowe-Cole for Klingmann.

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

13:32 Uhr Driver swap Daniel Keilwitz  for Georg Weiss, Weiss: “I don’t know our exact position. The car runs flawlessly and that’s really pleasant. But we have to wait and see. After all. There still are two hours to go.”

 

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

12:56hrs Scheduled stop.

14:00hrs Back to the pits after one race on the GP circuit..

14:05 Uhr Major disappointment at Land. The car rejoins the race after a sensor reset but the lead is lost. The power problems seem to be over.  .

14:12 Uhr Kelvin van der Linde tries hard to close in on the leaders

14:14 Uhr Markus Winkelhock: “We fought for 23 hours and no we have to cope with such an end. That’s really bitter. But that’s racing. My team-mates cried and that’s allowed in such a situation. But we possibly could make it to the podium that would be a minor dose of solace. Nonetheless, if you contest this race you also want to win it.”

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

13:06 Uhr Andreas Ziegler gets into the cockpit for the final time.

31 – Christensen / Bachler / Siedler / Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

13:21 Uhr Pit stop. Klaus Bachler drives the next stint.

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

12:40 Uhr Scheduled pit stop, Seefried for Imperator.

13:55 Uhr Peter Dumbreck for Marco Seefried. Seefried: “What a nice and interesting stint. I had a battle with a Schubert BMW. But passing him was impossible or extremely risky. And I didn’t want to take this risk.”

42 – Wittmann / Blomqvist / Tomczyk / Farfus (BMW M6 GT3)

12:39 Uhr Wittmann: “Winning the race by our own effort is impossible. The gap is far too big. We had problems with the gas pump that cost us 3.5 to four minutes – exactly the time we would need to make it to the podium. Nonetheless, we delivered by battling our way back up from 13th to fourth.

98 – Palttala / Catsburg / Sims / Westbrook (BMW M6 GT3)

13:31hrs Team Principal  Hans-Peter ‘H’” Naundorf: “Everybody tends to moan in the run-up. But you have to take the things as they come and make the best of it. The last 12 hours were really stressful. You fight and fight but the gaps just don’t get smaller. That’s really exhausting as you wait and wait and wait.”

13:37hrs Nick Catsburg for Alexander Sims following a double stint. Catsburg is supposed to finish the race.

News and quotes, quotes from 12:30hrs

The 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race slowly is approaching its home straight. 138 laps into the race, Audi Sport Team Land’s #29 still are the dominating leaders. In the past 21 hours of racing, the experienced Nordschleife specialists Christopher Mies, Connor De Phillippi, Markus Winkelhock and Kelvin van der Linde opened a 2:15.071-minute gap over the second-placed WRT Audi #9.  With three more hours to go, the lead of the two best-placed teams over the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 #98 in third position amounts to more than a lap, with the Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon #1 following another three minutes behind..

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

11:21hrs Adam Christodoulou for Manuel Metzger.

12:27 Uhr Scheduled stop.

9 – Müller / Fässler / Frijns / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)

10:33hrs Driver swap, Marcel Fässler for Robin Frijns.

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

10:32hrs Scheduled stop, no driver swap.

11:20hrs The leading Audi increase its lead over its toughest rival, #9, by at least five seconds per lap.

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

10:35hrs Andreas Ziegler: “A good stint. I had to be careful while overtaking and let the leaders pass – and I succeeded in doing so. It’s really hot in the car – like going to sauna, dress yourself and go in for sports.”

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

11:45hrs Alex Müller for Klaus Abbelen .

31 – Christensen / Bachler / Siedler / Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

10:50 Uhr Lucas Luhr: “We can’t match the pace of the leaders but want to continue on a consistent level and finish the race. We know from the past that the Green Hell tends to absorb some cars at the very end of the race.

Let’s hope that we aren’t one of them and we will be able to gain some positions, instead. .

11:0hrs Norbert Siedler for Lucas Luhr.

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

11:01hrs Alexandre Imperatori for Stef Dusseldorp.

11:14hrs Hits the rear the Manthey-Porsche #150 under yellow.

11:16hrs The Falken BMW has to take the emergency exit in the Veedol Chicane.

11:31hrs Following the off-track moment, resulting in a damaged tyre, the team checks the right rear-wheel suspension and brakes before the car is sent out again without fixing two cooling hoses. Team-Manager Sven Schnabl: “It must work for one stint. We hadn’t the hoses available and didn’t want to lose even more time. We will fix them after this stint.”

.

42 – Wittmann / Blomqvist / Tomczyk / Farfus (BMW M6 GT3)

12:18hrs Blomqvist for Wittmann.

98 – Palttala / Catsburg / Sims / Westbrook (BMW M6 GT3)

12:20hrs Stop without driver swap. Sims is driving a double stint..

704 – Westphal / Mailleux / Simonsen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)

11:03hrs Accident in the Flugplatz area. The car went off in the second kink, crashed backwards into the crash barriers and must be salvaged, now. The driver, Andreas Simonsen is okay and gets out of the car.

11:07hrs The car is towed away.

News and quotes 10:30hrs

19 hours into the race the two Audis still are the dominating leaders of the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race. The Land vehicle #29 leads, 1.26.301 ahead of the WRT R8 LMS #9.  Meanwhile, BMW had to cope with bad news: following an accident, the previously partly third-placed BMW M6 GT3 (#43) of BMW Team Schnitzer Motorsport dropped out of the contention for a podium position. Consequently, Rowe Racing (#98) and Falken Motorsports (#33) gained a position. However, their gap to the leaders amounts to a lap. And while the race to date was held in perfect conditions, fans and drivers now nervously observe the sky. The weather forecasters expect thunderstorms for the time around noon – what could massively jumble the order.  

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

09:06hrs Metzger for Buurman.

09:11hrs Buurman: “Driving the car feels nice. I think that we are slightly slower than Audi and BMW. With just six more hours to go, attacking now will be difficult. We would need a dose of luck.”

4 – Haupt / Al Faisal / Stolz / Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

08:57hrs Hubert Haupt gets behind the wheel.

09:19hrs Pit stop.

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / van der Zande (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

10:24hrs Pit stop, Maximilian Götz remains in the car for the second half of a double stint.

19 – Klingmann / Müller / Edwards / Onslow – Cole (BMW M6 GT3)

09:02hrs Onslow-Cole for Edwards.

10:15hrs Scheduled stop. John Edwards remains in the car to complete his double stint.

10:23hrs Torsten Schubert: “We currently hold sixth position, with #19. A position we can’t be happy with. We wanted to be a factor in the battle for the win but failed to achieve this goal. But we hope that our BMW colleagues will be able to attack the two leading Audis.

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

09:55hrs Oliver Kainz for Georg Weiss.

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

08:37hrs With 8:22.120 minutes, the current leaders set a new fastest race lap.

09:22hrs Kevin van der Linde for Christopher Mies.

09:31hrs Mies: “Yes, we are followed by another Audi but at the end of the day we both want to win the race. And don’t forget the BMW behind us. So, the race is not yet over. We are just discussing which will be the next car I will race in.  Here or in the #28? But currently the #29 has got priority.”

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

09:14hrs Stops for fresh tyres, fuel and new brakes. Andreas Ziegler to drive the next stint.  .

09:19hrs Sabine Schmitz: “My stint was fine but there were a lot of incidents, out there, The tyres still work well but in the closing stages of a stint it’s getting more difficult.

10:28 Uhr Driver swap Klaus Abbelen for Ziegler

31 – Christensen / Bachler / Siedler / Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

09:54hrs Lucas Luhr for Klaus Bachler, Bachler: “Driving this stint was big fun. The track is good, the car runs flawlessly. We are positioned between eighth and tenth position. There still are six hours to go and we wouldn’t mind to continue this way.”

37 – Brück / Menzel / Verdonck / Jöns (Bentley Continental GT3)

09:39hrs Christian Menzel for Christer Jöns.

42 – Wittmann / Blomqvist / Tomczyk / Farfus (BMW M6 GT3)

08:52hrs Martin Tomzcyk for Blomqvist.

43 – Farfus / Lynn / Felix Da Costa / Scheider (BMW  M6 GT3)

10:13hrs Farfus who was battling out for a podium finish crashes in the Breitscheid area. The car is standing and must be towed away. Team-mate Timo Scheider: “Augusto apparently had a close encounter with another car, resulting in a close encounter. The result: more than just damaged tyre. Suspension parts also seem to be broken.”

98 – Palttala / Catsburg / Sims / Westbrook (BMW M6 GT3)

09:37hrs Team Principal Hans-Peter Naundorf: “If you have been one of the front-runners you must have done many things right. Nonetheless, we believed that we would be able to pressurise the Audis on a higher level. Nonetheless we are close together and still a lot of things can happen.”

10:03hrs Scheduled stop for fuel and driver swap. Richard Westbrook for Markus Palttala: “We have got no problems, the car is running perfectly. But it’s difficult to still try to in the race. Nonetheless, all the drivers are highly motivated. We are swapping the drivers every hour, now.”

99 – Eng / Sims / Martin / Basseng (BMW M6 GT3)

09:44hrs Philipp Eng for Maxime Martin.. Maxime Martin: “We currently have no problems. But we are far behind and can’t make up for the lost ground, But there are some other BMWs among the front runners.

702 – Mutsch / Piccini / Laser / Mailleux (SCG SCG003C)

09:39hrs Thomas Mutsch for Andrea Piccini.

09:51hrs Andrea Piccini: “The car is running well but we are hampered by the well-known refuelling problem. It’s a pity that the team won’t be fully rewarded as our pace is competitive. A double stint isn’t easy as driving this car is very exhausting. And now, the temperatures are rising again.”

704 – Westphal / Mailleux / Simonsen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)

08:42hrs Franck Mailleux: I had a lot of Code-60 zones. Some teams are driving rather slowly but we really go for it. The car running well and without the close encounter in the early stages we possibly could hold a top-five position.”

09:54hrs Andreas Simonsen rein – Felipe Laser.

10:04hrs The Glickenhaus goes off the track while approaching the Adenauer Forst and skids across the grass.

News and quotes 08:30hrs

With seven more hours to go, the race leader of Audi Sport Team Land has completed 111 laps. Less than a minute behind (50.586 seconds), the #9 of Audi Sport Team WRT still holds second place.  Following a collision while lapping another car the Schnitzer BMW #43 has lost its third position and dropped back to fourth and so, thus opening the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 #98 the chance of moving up to third.  With consistent times, the Falken Motorsport M6 #33 worked its way up to fifth. And the independent Wochenspiegel Ferrari 488 GT3 – surrounded by works cars – holds sixth position.  

4 – Haupt / Al Faisal / Stolz / Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

08:09hrs Luca Stolz replaces Abdulaziz Al Faisal. Stolz: “I drove into the morning and doing so was really nice. Apparently many people get tired, now, and as a result we witness more accidents. It’s fun to race although our pace isn’t quite up to the task.

9 – Müller / Fässler / Frijns / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)

07:08 Uhr Stops for new brakes. Nico Müller for Marcel Fässler.

07:10 Uhr Fässler: “Currently the race is running rather well for us but we have to stay careful. We will try to close the gap.

08:09 Uhr Scheduled stop. .

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

06:53 Uhr The race leader pit. Christopher Mies for Markus Winkelhock.

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

07:18 Uhr Marco Seefried for Alexandre Imperatori.

43 – Farfus / Lynn / Felix Da Costa / Scheider (BMW  M6 GT3)

07:58 Uhr The third-place BMW suffers a puncture right rear tyre at the Döttinger Höhe. Is back in the pit-lane..

07:59 Uhr Alex Lynn for Felix Da Costa.

08:02 Uhr Antonio Felix da Costa: “I had a close encounter with another car, resulting in a puncture. He didn’t see me and touched my rear.”

48 – Heyer / Schneider / Dontje / Assenheimer (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

07:43 Uhr Patrick Assenheimer for Indy Dontje.

07:45 Uhr Indy Dontje: “No problems in my double stint. Everything went really well. Driving into the sunrise was fantastic. I could set good times and in the second stint I was faster than in the first.”

702 – Mutsch / Piccini / Laser / Mailleux (SCG SCG003C)

07:34 Uhr Andrea Piccini replaces Thomas Mutsch who says: §The car is running really super and lap-times-wise we can match the leaders. Unfortunately we had fuel-tank capacity problems from lap one. We can’t refuel enough fuel for eight laps and consequently lose a lot of time.

704 – Westphal / Mailleux / Simonsen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)

08:29 Uhr Pit stop for new brakes. .

News and quotes 20:30hrs

After five hours into the race, Audi Team Land Motorsport holds the lead in the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race. The team from the Westerwald region has completed 32 laps on the 25.378-kilometre combination of GP circuit and Nordschleife with its Audi R8 LMS #29 and has got a 24.379-second lead over the second-placed WRT Audi #9.  Third place still is held by the Haribo Racing Team’s Mercedes-AMG #8. The racing at the front end of the field still is very close, with the first 23 cars still racing on the same lap. 

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

18:35hrs Pit stop: Christodoulou for Metzger

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / van der Zande (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

20:32hrs Pit stop for tyres and a driver swap. Renger van der Zande for Maxi Götz.

9 – Müller / Fässler / Frijns / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)

18:50hrs Scheduled pit stop.

10 – Stippler / Rast / Vervisch / Müller (Audi R8 LMS)

19:01hrs Pit stop with driver change. Stippler for Verwisch

19:05hrs Frederic Vervisch: “We had a problem at the beginning. A wheel was loose and we lost a lot of time. Afterwards, the stint was okay.”

20:30hrs Collides while lapping with the Renault Clio #125. Hits the crash barriers and spins across the track. Nico Müller tries at first to continue but realises that he can’t control the car and gets out.  The Audi is towed away by the ‘DMSB-Staffel’. At the point in time of the crash it held fourth position.

19 – Klingmann / Müller / Edwards / Onslow – Cole (BMW M6 GT3)

18:49hrs Tom Onslow: “This is my first Nürburgring 24h Race and the fat that I’m here alone is a dream come true!  My stint ran rather well. I just love being here. The sun is shining but it’s not too hot in the car as we have got air condition. It’s neither a sauna nor a fridge. And now it should get cooler and easier.”

20 – Krohn / Müller / Spengler / Wittmer (BMW M6 GT3)

19:53hrs Was hit from behind during a Code-60 phase. Bruno Spengler: “Fortunately he hit me straight into the rear, so the damages should only be cosmetic.”

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

20:23hrs Oliver Kainz for Daniel Keilwitz. Keilwitz: “My stint actually was quite alright and I gained several positions. I occasionally had some bad luck with the traffic but that’s a problem everybody has to cope with. The car runs flawlessly and we are really quick.”

28 – De Phillippi / Mies / Haase / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)

18:31hrs Christopher Haase: “It’s rather hot and the pace is really high. The car is running well and the balance is fantastic. The traffic currently is okay but the situation certainly will be more demanding in three to four hours. ”

18:53hrs Scheduled pit stop

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

20:12hrs Pits from the lead, #9 and #5 arguably will follow soon.

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

19:29hrs Team Principal Klaus Abbelen gets behind the wheel. For the Frikadelli team everything is running as scheduled.

31 – Christensen / Bachler / Siedler / Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

19:06hrs Driver swap: Lucas Luhr for Klaus Bachler.

20:19hrs Pit stop, Norbert Siedler for Lucas Luhr.

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

19:05hrs Pit stop, Dusseldorp for Dumbreck

37 – Brück / Menzel / Verdonck / Jöns (Bentley Continental GT3)

19:47hrs Driver swap, Christian Menzel for Nico Verdonck .

38 – Jöns / Mamerow / Pepper / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)

18:51hrs Crashes in the Kallenhard area

19:06hr Pit stop with driver swap:  Jordan Pepper for Chris Brück.

19:18hrs Chris Brück: “My toughest race to date. It’s hot, very hot in the car. Usually we drivers can drive back-to-back stints but if we did so we would be too tired in the night. Therefore we changed our strategy and drive single stints, now.

19:52hrs Technical defect in the Breidscheid section.

20:19hrs Exits the pit lane and skids in turn one with locked wheels right into the gravel.

19:57hr Pit stop, no driver swap. .

43 – Farfus / Lynn / Felix Da Costa / Scheider (BMW  M6 GT3)

18:51rs Alex Lynn for Timo Scheider

18:54hrs Timo Scheider after his first stint: “We have to be slightly more careful and have to opt for a somewhat more conservative approach due to the high temperatures to go easy on our rear tyres. Should we do so we shouldn’t have problems to survive the night.”

44 – Ragginger / Werner / Bergmeister / Vantoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

19:37hrs Following an accident Jörg Bergmeister stands in the Kesselchen area.

19:42hrs Update: Jörg Bergmeister informs the team via radio that he was hit by another car while lapping in the Klostertal area and crashed into the crash barriers.

47 – Asch / Baumann / Hohenadel / Mücke (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

19:42hrs Stands in the garage, with mechanics working hard in the engine bay.

48 – Heyer / Schneider / Dontje / Assenheimer (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

19:19hrs Patrick Assenheimer for Kenneth Heyer

20:33hrs Schneider for Assenheimer.

50 – Baumann / Buhk / Mortara / Sandström (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

18:37hrs Pit stop, no driver swap, Baumann continues.

702 – Mutsch / Piccini / Laser / Mailleux (SCG SCG003C)

19:09hrs The sixth-placed Glickenhaus pits.

19:24hrs Felipe Laser for Andrea Piccini and the latter says: “It’s super hot in the car. The BMW and the Audi behind me pressurised me quite a lot. And even more so as I was driving on used tires. Therefore, the last two laps were anything but easy. But we are happy with the race so far.”

704 – Westphal / Mailleux / Simonsen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)

19:32hrs Pit stop with driver swap. Westphal for Mailleux

911 – Dumas / Makowiecki / Pilet / Lietz (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

20:11hrs The damage is beyond repair. The end of the race for the Manthey Porsche.

News and quotes 18:30hrs

With three hours of the race contested, the Rowe Racing BMW #98 holds the race lead. At the end of lap 19, the Audi teams Land and WRT hold second and third positions while the pole sitters, the Traum Motorsport SCG003C #704 had to cope with a setback: the car was hit from behind and had to pit for a short repair stop – but rejoined the race just seven minutes later. 

3 – Müller / Jäger / Engel / Seyffarth (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

17:54hrs Thomas Jäger takes over.

18:01hrs Pits with damaged car .

18:04hrs The radiator is damaged. Thomas Jäger had hit the #70 from behind.

18:17hrs Thomas Jäger: “The collision occurred in the NGK Chicane. #704 braked hard under yellow and I had no chance of avoiding it. Now the car is broken.”

18:21hrs The car is repaired following the collision with #704.

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / van der Zande (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

17:10hrs Pits top, Alzen takes over.  .

18:18hrs Pit stop with driver swap. Maximilian Götz for Alzen.

10 – Stippler / Rast / Vervisch / Müller (Audi R8 LMS)

16:31hrs One lap after the sister car, Nico Müller also pits.

20 – Krohn / Müller / Spengler / Wittmer (BMW M6 GT3)

16:37hrs Jörg Müller: “My first stint ran flawlessly. But this is the definitively hottest 24h Race I contested at ‘The Ring’. Therefore, the tyre management represents the top priority – and I think I did quite well in this area.”

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

16:37hrs Is hit at the right rear wheel by #59 at the end of the home straight and spins – needs a minute to continue.

28 – De Phillippi / Mies / Haase / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)

17:38hrs Driver swap Christopher Mies for Christopher Haase.

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

16:44hrs Pits after seven laps. Sabine Schmitz for Alex Müller.

17:53hrs Driver swap: Andreas Ziegler for Schmitz.

31 – Christensen / Bachler / Siedler / Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

16:43hrs Pits after seven laps Michael Christensen for Norbert Siedler

17:53hrs Klaus Bachler for Christensen.

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

17:49hrs Driver swap: Peter Dumbreck for Marco Seefried.

36 – Kane / Smith / Soulet (Bentley Continental GT3)

16:51hrs Drives slowly in the Bellof-S area.

16:58hrs Is pushed into the garage. Team assumes a drive-shaft damage.

17:13hrs Rejoined the race after the repair

18:21hrs Driver swap, Guy Smith replaces Steven Kane.

37 – Brück / Menzel / Verdonck / Jöns (Bentley Continental GT3)

17:20hrs Christer Jöns for Christian Menzel.

17:35hrs Christian Menzel: “It was a tough stint. It’s very hot and the heat makes the racing even more exhausting. The tyres cope really well with the track temperatures. We will keep on pushing and hope that our pace will be even better when it’s getting cooler.”

38 – Jöns / Mamerow / Pepper / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)

17:11hrs Christopher Jöns spins into the gravel at the end of the home straight.

17:54hrs Chris Brück for Christian Mamerow.

42 – Wittmann / Blomqvist / Tomczyk / Farfus (BMW M6 GT3)

17:32hrs Blomqvist for Wittmann..

43 – Farfus / Lynn / Felix Da Costa / Scheider (BMW  M6 GT3)

17:37hrs Pit stop: Antonio Felix da Costa is replaced by Timo Scheider.

44 – Ragginger / Werner / Bergmeister / Vantoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

17:39hrs Martin Ragginger: ”I was in the traffic all the time and so, I never could really go for it. But we want to contest this trace with a prudent approach to finish, in the end – just as we did in the previous year.”

17:41hrs Driver swap: Martin Ragginger is replaced by Laurens Vanthoor.

47 – Asch / Baumann / Hohenadel / Mücke (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

17:3hrs Pits

48 – Heyer / Schneider / Dontje / Assenheimer (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

18:17hrs Bernd Schneider: “I’m happy with my stint. The car has got a good balance but is too slow on the straights.”

50 – Baumann / Buhk / Mortara / Sandström (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

17:19hrs Pits. Dominik Baumann takes over.

17:25hrs Maximilian Buhk: “My start wasn’t so good as I collided with a Manthey Porsche. I think that the driver didn’t see me. But now our steering wheel is  standing askew and the balance also suffered. I didn’t come in, we have to race with the car like it is.”

17:26hrs Pit stop: Dominik Baumann for Maximilian Buhk.

98 – Palttala / Catsburg / Sims / Westbrook (BMW M6 GT3)

16:44hrs During the pit stop,  Rowe steals the lead from the previous leaders, the team of the pole sitters around Jim Glickenhaus.

17:10hrs Driver swap and tyre change. Catsburg for Sims.

17:20hrs Alexander Sims: “A good stint. Other than the others we stopped early. We wanted a free track and this plan worked really well. To be honest, I didn’t even realise that I held the lead until the team told me via radio. The lead certainly was the result of the short stop.”

101 – Walkenhorst / Tresson / Schiwietz / van Lagen (BMW M6 GT3)

16:44hrs The team apparently solved the operating-voltage problem and the car rejoins the race.

122 – Beckmann / Hass / Strycek / Schulten (Opel Manta)

18:10hrs The iconic coupe crashes backward into the crash barriers but the Opel can continue with damaged rear and slowly returns to the pits.

702 – Mutsch / Piccini / Laser / Mailleux (SCG SCG003C)

16:38hrs Felipe Laser:”My start was quite alright and I succeeded in avoiding all the turmoil. It was important for us to just to not be too aggressive but opt for a somewhat conservative approach. Furthermore it’s really warm. I again and again went out of the slipstream to cool the engine. And in the closing stages of my stint I even had some nice overtaking manoeuvres.”

16:40hrs Pits for tyres, driver swap: Thomas Mutsch for Felipe F. Laser.

17:28hrs Pits for the second time.

18:18hr Pit stop with driver swap: Andrea Piccini.

18:25hrs Thomas Mutsch: “The car runs sensationally and the circuit is really great. In my first set of tyres the pressure was slightly too high but we corrected that for the second. We want to finish the race but definitely will push. You mustn’t use part throttle, here.”

704 – Westphal / Mailleux / Simonsen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)

16:43hrs The race leader pits. New tyres and driver swap, Andreas Simonsen for Jeff Westphal.

16:50hrs Jeff Westphal: “It was a long stint. I used the first laps to find a rhythm. On the one hand, everybody tries to go easy on their cars but on the other, they all are pushing. I also tried to find the balance between taking it easy and pushing. The traffic is incredible and you quickly lose time. And of course you don’t want to take too many risks although this means that the others can close in on you. I see us in the top five.”

18:01hrs After lap 16, the car is pushed with damages on the right rear into the garage.

18:08hrs Following a fast repair the car rejoins the race.

Turbulent starting period in the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race

The 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race made for a lot thrilling motor racing as early s in the first hour. At 15:30hrs, a total of 156 vehicles started in brilliant sunshine into the race twice around the clock.  

US-American Jeff Westphal in the Glickenhaus racer #704 of Traum Motorsport that sensationally secured the pole position for its squad defended its lead during the flying start and also was the first car to enter the Nordschleife. The Land Audi #29 that also started from row on the grid that was raced by Kelvin van der Linde lost three positions on lap one, with fellow Audi drivers René Rast (#9) and Nico Müller (#10) moving up to second and third.

When the front runners approached the cars to be lapped as early as on lap two, DTM driver Rast made no compromises and used his first chance of passing race leader Westphal when the latter braked behind a slower car

On lap four, however, following a first Code-60 zone  caused by two minor accidents Westphal regained the lead. This time he was the one to surprise Rast – who also had to cope with a slower car ahead of him  when he accelerated earlier at the exit of the speed-limited area.

With seven laps and an hour respectively contested, Westphal still is holding the lead. As Rast already pitted for the first time, the positions two to four now are held by the Audis #10. #29 and #5 with Frank Stippler behind the wheel, followed by the second Glickenhaus-SCG003C, #702, raced by Felipe Laser. The latter four vehicles pitted on lap seven – just as the Wochenspiegel-Ferrari #22, the best-placed AMG #3 with last year’s winner Maro Engel at the wheel, the best Porsche, #911, with Fred Makowiecki and the fastest Bentley #38 with Christian Mamerow  in the positions six to nine. Best BMW – in 16th position – was the Rowe Racing M6 GT3 #98 that pitted for fresh tyres as early as on lap three.

Manthey-Porsche #911 the fastest in the warm-up

On Saturday morning, the Manthey-Porsche # 911 set the fastest lap time in the warm-up for the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race. The quartet Romain Dumas, Fred Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet and Richard Lietz crossed the line in 8:24,329 minutes and were slightly faster than the Glickenhaus racer #704. The pole-sitters – Jeff Westphal, Franck Mailleux, Andreas Simonsen and Felipe Laser – finished second with their 8:24.576- minute lap. 

About a quarter off the entire field set at least one timed lap in the 60-minute session, while some of the other squads used the session for a final performance check.

The race twice around the clock will be started on Saturday at 15:30hrs CEST. The fans can watch the action live throughout the race on the Free-to-Air TV station RTL NITRO or – with numerous additional onboard camera perspectives – via the live stream at www.24h-rennen.de.

Heinrich / Schrei win with a BMW M1

The ADAC 24h Classic featuring racing cars of the 1970s and 1980s provided fair and thrilling motor racing – a successful kick-off  of the 24h-Race weekend for all the visitors at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In the end, Achim Heinrich and Michael Schrey prevailed in battle for the overall win and crossed the line with their BMW M1 as race winner and with a clear lead over the rest of the field.   . 

So, their opponents had no chance of winning the race. The gap of Heinrich / Schrei on the fastest of their rivals temporarily amounted to more than three minutes and when they crossed the finish line to 2:03.352 minutes. Second place was secured – in the closing stages – by Maximilian Struwe / Sascha Schwalme with a Porsche 911 RSR, followed by Michael Küke who contested the race with an identical car. No doubt, the competition never was a threat for the M1 squad. Heinrich / Schrei dominated the feature race at the 25-kilometre race throughout the three-hour distance. Meanwhile, Daniel Schrey (#506, Porsche 935 K1) who held second place for quite a while was forced into early retirement by a technical problem with just half an hour to go.

The quotes after the ADAC 24h Classic feature race 

Maximilian Struwe (#500, Porsche 911RSR): “We are really happy with having finished second as we were third on the grid. In the race, my team-mated unfortunately was forced to drop back but he battled hard and when I replaced him, the car was in perfect condition. Tyres, brakes – everything was fine. It was virtually hopeless as the lead of the others over us amounted to nearly two minutes. But I pushed hard and in the end we did it. A really pleasing result – just perfect.”

Michael Küke (#504, Porsche 911 RSR): “In the opening stages I was able to follow Daniel Schrey. In the first half of the race we were faster than in the second. In the closing stages I just wasn’t able to keep Maximilian Struwe at bay.”

Achim Heinrich (#303, BMW M1): “I have to admit that this really looked superior but when you are sitting in the car things look completely different. To finish first you have to finish first. And the car often had it quirks. It was rather hot inside and the race was tough. I really can’ t remember when I witnessed this kind of good conditions at the Nürburgring for the last time. Usually, the weather here is bad.”

Top-30 Press Conference quotes

After the thrilling Top 30 Qualifying, the three fastest drivers, Jeff Westphal, Connor de Phillippi and Robin Frijns, answered the questions of the media representatives in a press conference.

Jeff Westphal (#704, Traum Motorsport): “Sitting here feels just great. That’s the deserved reward for the hard work the team has been executing in all these years. We changed the brake balance short before the session and this move obviously paid off. At the beginning of my lap I had slight understeer and had to really take the tyres to their very limit. And in the closing stages of the lap I tried to stay at the limit.”

Connor De Phillippi (#29, Audi Sport Team Land): “We really all can be proud of our achievements. Team Land that is contesting the race for the first time with works support and did a really great job. A great debut as works team. I haven’t been driving a lot behind the Glickenhaus vehicles but I think that they have a particular advantage compared to us in the areas aerodynamics and top speed. On the other hand, our Audi R8 LMS seems to be better on the brakes and in slow corners. On my first lap I stressed my tyres extremely and the result was my fastest lap. But I possibly could have opted for another strategy and save my tyres for the second lap.”

Robin Frijns (#9, Audi Team WRT): “I was really happy with my first lap. I could improve at the beginning of my second but then the car suddenly felt weird. I didn’t want to risk an accident and just cruised back. The grid position is nice but it’s a 24h race and everything can happen. I know the atmosphere created by the fans from last year but every lap around the Nordschleife is just fantastic.”

Top 30 Qualifying: The competitors

The starting order for the 45. ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen is ready.

Pos. Kl. Competitor Driver Car St.-No.
1 SP9 Audi Sport Team WRT Robin Frijns Audi R8 LMS 9
2 SP9 Falken Motorsports Martin Ragginger Porsche 911 GT3 R 44
3 SP9 ROWE Racing Philipp Eng BMW M6 GT3 99
4 SP9 Haribo Racing Team Mercedes-AMG Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 8
5 SP9 Manthey Racing Fred Makowiecki Porsche 911 GT3 R 911
6 SP9 ROWE Racing Alexander Sims BMW M6 GT3 98
7 SP9-LG Bentley Team Abt Christian Mamerow Bentley Continental GT3 38
8 SP9 Falken Motorsports Stef Dusseldorp BMW M6 GT3 33
9 SP9 Black Falcon Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG GT3 4
10 SP9 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 3
11 SP9 Audi Sport Team Land Christopher Mies Audi R8 LMS 28
12 SP9-LG Bentley Team Abt Maxime Soulet Bentley Continental GT3 36
13 SP9 Schubert Motorsport Jens Klingmann BMW M6 GT3 19
14 SP9 Audi Sport Team Land Connor De Phillippi Audi R8 LMS 29
15 SP9 Phoenix Racing Mike Rockenfeller Audi R8 LMS 5
16 SP9 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Adam Christodoulou Mercedes-AMG GT3 1
17 SP9 AMG-Team HTP Motorsport Christian Hohenadel Mercedes-AMG GT3 47
18 SP9 BMW Team Schnitzer Marco Wittmann BMW M6 GT3 42
19 SP9 Manthey Racing Sven Müller Porsche 911 GT3 R 59
20 SP9 Manthey Racing Mathieu Jaminet Porsche 911 GT3 R 12
21 SP9 Audi Sport Team WRT Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS 10
22 SP9 Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 50
23 SP9-LG Bentley Team Abt Christopher Brück Bentley Continental GT3 37
24 SP-X Traum Motorsport Jeff Westphal SCG003C 704
25 SP9 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Jochen Krumbach Ferrari 488 GT3 22
26 SP9 BMW Team Schnitzer Augusto Farfus BMW M6 GT3 43
27 SP9 Schubert Motorsport GmbH Jesse Krohn BMW M6 GT3 20
28 SP-X Traum Motorsport Felipe Fernandez Laser SCG003C 27
29 SP9 MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport Indy Dontje Mercedes-AMG GT3 48
30 SP9 Frikadelli Racing Michael Christensen Porsche 911 GT3 R 31

News and Quotes second qualifying session

In the final seconds of qualifying session two, Daniel Keilwitz set the fastest lap time with his Wochenspiegel-Ferrari #22. With his 8:14.591-minute lap, the German who alternates in the Cockpit of the Ferrari with Georg, Oliver Kainz and Jochen Krumbach (all Germany) was the absolutely fastest and qualified for the Top 30 Qualifying in superior style. “I really had luck as there was no traffic on my fast lap,” said Keilwitz. “But we know that we are fast and can match the pace of the front-runners. We wouldn’t mind if we could continue like that.” 

The reigning champions – in the Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 #1 – finished second but already were qualified for the Top 30 Qualifying. And earlier, Maro Engel (Monaco) who contests the race in two cars, already qualified the sister car #3 for the time-trial battle for the pole with the third-fastest lap time. In this car he will alternate with Dirk Müller, Thomas Jäger and Jan Seyffarth (all Germany), in #1 he is teamed up with  Adam Christodoulou (UK), Manuel Metzger (Germany) and Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands).

Altogether, there still were 12 positions for the Top 30 Qualifying available and these 12 positions were assigned after the session according to the times set in the two qualifying sessions. The 30 cars that will contest the Top 30 Qualifying also will be equipped with a blue light that will be mounted behind the windscreen and helps the drivers of the slower cars detecting them in the rearview mirrors. The starting order for the Top 30 Qualifying traditionally will be publicly drawn on Friday from 15:00 to 15:40hrs CEST (14:00 to 14:40hrs BST) in the ring°boulevard. And at 19:50hrs CEST, the battle for the pole will be kicked off. The fans can witness the action live at the free-to-air station RTL NITRO or – with numerous additional onboard-camera perspectives – via the live stream at www.24h-rennen.de.

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

09:57hrs First improvement of the fastest lap time by on Friday morning – by last year’s race winners: 8:21.491 minutes.

3 – Müller / Jäger / Engel / Seyffarth (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

10:24hrs New leaders: 8:18.943 minutes

11:29hrs Maro Engel: “I was lucky and found a free lap. The car is really well prepared.”

4 – Haupt / Al Faisal / Stolz / Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

10:59hrs Hubert Haupt: “We are really happy. Daniel Juncadella set a very good lap time. We really hope for making it to the Top 30 Qualifying.”

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

10:49hrs Oliver Kainz: “We are totally happy with the car. But we just were out on the wrong tyres. Now we will change them and then it’s Daniel’s turn.”

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

10:48hrs Marco Seefried: “The track feels good and we will have a fast race, We still will sort several bits and bobs out as we arguably will get a really warm race. In all the previous races it was clearly cooler than now and this definitely will be a factor.”

34 – Saurenmann / Rocco / Koch / Slooten (Audi R8 LMS)

09:48hrs Stops just a few metres after having exited the pit-lane due to technical problems.

43 – Farfus / Lynn / Felix Da Costa / Scheider (BMW  M6 GT3)

10:05hrs Schnitzer regains the lead: 8:18.992 minutes

10:34hrs Augusto Farfus: “We still have to qualify our car for the Top 30 Qualifying. And to do so represents our No 1 priority for this session. I hope that the lap time set by us today will be fast enough to do so.”

11:29hrs Martin Tomczyk: “We haven’t driven the car with these tyres in these temperatures. Therefore we want to gather some experiences over the distance, learn more about the tyre’ and what it does if it is taken to this limit. That looked rather good to date and according to the forecasters it will be even warmer, on the coming days.”

99 – Eng / Sims / Martin / Basseng (BMW M6 GT3)

10:00hrs The BMW force strikes back: new fastest lap time: 8:20.893 minutes, 0.598 seconds faster

100 – Krognes / Di Martino / Henkola / Menzel (BMW M6 GT3)

10:38hhrs Crashes into the crash barriers in the area between Metzgesfeld and Kallenhard.

News and quote qualifying one

August Farfus gave BMW Team Schnitzer the provisional pole for the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race at the Nürburgring. In the BMW M6 GT3 #43, the Brazilian set the fastest lap time by crossing the line in 8:22.307 minutes. Second position, with a gap of 0.948 second to the quickest, was secured by the Bentley Abt Team #39, followed by the pole-sitters’ sister car, the Schnitzer BMW #42, 1.565 seconds behind the fastest.   

1 – Engel / Christodoulou / Buurman / Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

21:36hrs Manuel Metzger: “It was a good session and we had fun. The first lap was somewhat difficult as the position of the sun was very low. The situation was better on lap two but now I was hampered by a lot of traffic. Therefore, my first lap was faster. The car felt good . Anything i9s running as planned. We want to make it to the top 30 and should we fail to do so this would be a disappointment.”

4 – Haupt / Al Faisal / Stolz / Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

23:01hrs Luca Stolz: “We still had some problems in the free practice session and our main goal was to solve them. Furthermore, we still have to qualify for the Top 30 Qualifying and currently, the situation looks quite promising. But tomorrow we will have to push again to make sure that we really make it.”

20:39hrs The quickest with a 8:29.260-minute lap. Slightly faster than the team-mates in car #1.

5 – Stippler / Rockenfeller / Busch / Moller Madsen (AUDI R8 LMS)

22:37hrs Mike Rockenfeller: “There still is a lot of traffic, out there. Apparently a lot of teams are looking for the racing line in the dark. Our car feels good and we are working on completing our programme.”

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / van der Zande (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

23:17hrs Uwe Alzen: “I completed the two laps I needed to qualify. The track is in a good condition. There were no accidents. We now focus on our preparations for the Top 30 Qualifying as we already are qualified.”

22:18hrs Lance David Arnold: “Our car has been repaired and it’s running well. We now have to adjust the lights and test several other things at night.”

21:16hrs Maximilian Götz on the open bonnet in the closing stages of the session. “This was the result of a minor rear-end collision Uwe Alzen had with a Porsche, a misunderstanding on the GP circuit during an overtaking manoeuvre. The car was slightly compressed and the bonnet opened.” But it wasn’t a major damage and was quickly repaired.”

19 – Klingmann / Müller / Edwards / Onslow – Cole (BMW M6 GT3)

22:10hrs John Edwards: “I didn’t drive in the afternoon and so I drove my first laps at dawn. In these conditions, the Nordschleife is even more special. Altogether, everything was fine. Finally, the preparation time is over and the action is on.”

20 – Krohn / Müller / Spengler / Wittmer (BMW M6 GT3)

22:47hrs Bruno Spengler: “I first of all I had t to carefully approach to racing at night. There was quite a lot if traffic, several yellow flags and Code 60. It was good that I could gather so much night experience.”

22 – Weiss / Kainz / Keilwitz / Krumbach (Ferrari 488 GT3)

22:55hrs The team works on the jacked-up car.

21:54hrs With a 8:23.737-minute lap Jochen Krumbach sets the second-fastest time.

21:06hrs Daniel Keilwitz: “A lot of traffic out there. I think I lost 10 seconds on the GP circuit alone. Now the cars will be spread all over the circuit and so, we all should be able to go faster.”

29 – De Phillippi / Mies / Winkelhock / van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS)

21:30hrs Kelvin van der Linde: “The conditions currently are really nice. Okay, the low position of the sun is slightly disturbing but the track is in a good condition and the temperature is dropping. This means that the tyres will get into a good working frame. We currently are working our race setup and only tomorrow we will go out for a fast qualifying lap.” We made some setup changes that proved to be real improvements. This race with all the fans and camp fires is truly incredible.”

30 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Ziegler / Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

21:28hrs Driver swap: Andreas Ziegler is replaced by Sabine Schmitz.

33 – Dumbreck / Imperatori / Dusseldorp / Seefried (BMW M6 GT3)

23:34hrs The Falken BMW doesn’t meet the minimum height that has been stipulated for this year. The result: a 10-position grid penalty after the qualifying.

37 – Brück / Menzel / Verdonck / Jöns (Bentley Continental GT3)

22:54hrs Christopher Brück: “The conditions aren’t perfect. There is a lot of dirt on the track. Therefore we are slower than in previous races. Tomorrow we should be able to faster as the circuit slowly is getting cleaner.”

21:15hrs Driving slowly at the Döttinger Höhe area

38 – Jöns / Mamerow / Pepper / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)

21:16hrs Christer Jöns: “I now completed my first multi-lap stint. The conditions were interesting as the sun is just setting. We still have to improve some details.”

42 – Wittmann / Blomqvist / Tomczyk / Farfus (BMW M6 GT3)

21:04hrs 8:23.872 minutes – new fastest lap time Min.

43 – Farfus / Lynn / Felix Da Costa / Scheider (BMW  M6 GT3)

23:29hrs Augusto Farfus has set a new fastest lap time (8:22.307 minutes) that is a 10th of a second faster than the one previously set by his team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa.

23:28hrs Timo Scheider: “We basically are happy with our position. As we have not yet qualified  we now really have to go for it.  And the fact that we did so in the dark is particularly nice. But I think that we will witness several changes in Q2. Antonio set the time on soft tyres. A very good feat for a Nordschleife rookies.”

23:17hrs Takes the lead with an 8:22.402-minute lap.

47 – Asch / Baumann / Hohenadel / Mücke (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

22:19hrs Christian Hohenadel: “We adjusted the headlights and checked if everything is fine. It’s perfect! I now will drive a lap in the dark to prepare myself for the night stints.”

21:53hrs Baumann after his stint: “Unfortunately our right front tyre lost pressure. We still have to find out what happened. We have to adjust the headlights as soon as it’s dark out there.”

48 – Heyer / Schneider / Dontje / Assenheimer (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

22:00hra Kenneth Heyer: “Actually the session was quite good. We are testing two things in today’s qualifying session and one of these two changes already worked really well. We clearly improved our pace and everything is running as scheduled.”

50 – Baumann / Buhk / Mortara / Sandström (Mercedes-AMG GT3)

22:22hrs Edward Sandström: “Driving on the Nordschleife in the dark is really big fun. It’s a privilege to have the chance of driving such a fantastic car on the Nordschleife- Everything went fine in my stint.”

704 – Westphal / Mailleux / Simonsen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)

23:06Uhsr Felipe Laser: “We had to come in for a short unscheduled stop. We currently are trying different brake pads and had to pit to change them, But we will go out again right away

911 – Dumas / Makowiecki / Pilet / Lietz (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

23:15hrs Richard Lietz is replaced by Romain Dumas and say: “Things are running well, so far but it goes without saying that we want to improve consistently. Currently we are still working on the setup – but only on details, After all, every driver is supposed to feel comfortable in the car. Everything making a driver’s life easier is very important.”