The race of the year is on. At 16:00hrs sharp, Race Director Walter Hornung sent the ADAC Zurich 24h-race field into the ‘Green Hell’ for the legendary chase twice around the clock. The first hour was dominated by the two BMWs Z4 GT3 representing the colours of the BMW Sports Trophy Teams Marc VDS and Schubert. The BMWs Z4 GT3 #20, #26 und #19 contested the first stint as synchronised racers until the first pit stop – after about 50 minutes – jumbled the order for the first time. With the first hour contested, Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, #19) held the lead, followed by Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3, Bentley Motors Ltd, #84) and Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport Team WRT, #28). Fourth position was held by the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (ROWE Racing, #23).
1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
Gained two positions in the traffic and holds 11th place, now.
2 – Buurman / Simonsen / Christodoulou / Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Had to let two BMWs Z4 pass and currently holds fourth place.
4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
Driver swap. Frank Stippler for Marcel Fässler.
5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Scheduled pit stop.
6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
Matthias Lauda: “So far, everything went fine. We just lost a few positions in the opening stages and now we have to focus on finding our rhythm.”
8 – Alzen / Holzer / Siedler / Götz (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Pit stop for the Haribo Mercedes.
11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
Scheduled pit stop.
13 – Dittmann / Albrecht / Lachmayer / Schall (Chrysler (Dodge) Viper)
Holds a 16-second lead over the Saxon 1-Series BMW in the alternative category.
19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
The second Schubert-Z4 passes the MarcVDS-BMW for second place.
20 – Baumann / Hürtgen / Klingmann / Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3)
Leader after lap one.
Crossed the line in 8:31.227 min.
Wehrseife area: on his second lap, Martin Tomczyk already laps the first car.
Claudia Hürtgen: “Martin drove a great first lap and had no problems whatsoever when it came to getting through the traffic. We started into the race in good style – and now we will have to wait and see how things will develop.”
22 – Engel / Seyffarth / van der Zande / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Pits with damaged right front tyre.
Mechanics are working on the car – suspension problems. The incident resulting in the damage occurred on the way to the Hohnrain chicane.
The Problem has been solved. After three minutes, the car rejoins the race.
Renger van der Zande: Of course, it’s always bad to have a puncture as early as on lap two. But we will keep on fighting. Things like this can happen to the others, too. Therefore, the race is far from being over, for us.
25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
8:23.887 minutes – the fastest .lap time so far.
26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
Jörg Müller re-passes fellow BMW driver Dirk Werner on the home straight. The original order is re-established.
pits and rejoins the race.
84 – Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
Works its way up from eighth to fifth on lap one.
Passes #2 for fourth place.
87 – Weber / Bermes / Preacher / Still (Aston Martin Vantage V8-GT4)
Already more than minute lead in the GT4 category