The big prologue for the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring, from 26th to 29th May, ended with race wins for BMW and Mercedes-AMG. For much of the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers, the advantage was with the BMW teams, who dominated the action with the brand-new BMW M4 GT3. Augusto Farfus in the #99 Rowe Racing BMW and Christian Krognes at the wheel of the Walkenhorst Motorsport car (#101) won the Top Qualifying sessions to secure pole position for the two three-hour races on Saturday and Sunday, before victory in Saturday’s opening race went to the BMW Junior Team (#72). Race two saw the lead change hand several times, before the #3 Mercedes-AMG of Mercedes-AMG Team Getspeed emerged triumphant. However, teams with Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche cars also had a say at the front of the field in both races, which were classified separately. The signs are good that we are in for an exciting 50th anniversary edition of the 24h Nürburgring. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Nürburgring ticket shop (www.nuerburgring.de). News and information on the anniversary race is available on the official homepage: www.24h-rennen.de.
With a new format, the 24h Qualifiers impressed all involved this year. Two Top Qualifyings and two races, plus qualifying sessions and warm-ups, made for plenty of driving time on the Nordschleife – and offered ideal conditions to prepare perfectly for the longest race of the year on the longest and most difficult racetrack in the world. One highlight for many drivers was the second Top Qualifying, in which all of the weekend’s cars were eligible to start.
Strong performance from BMW teams
The BMW representatives can leave the Ring with their heads held high, having dominated the action at the 24h Qualifiers from Friday to Sunday lunchtime. Rowe BMW driver Augusto Farfus, who secured pole position in the first Top Qualifying and ended race one as runner-up behind the BMW Junior Team (#72), summed it up: “Saturday’s race was fantastic. The rain made it a bit tough in the end. I am proud to be on the podium again and also pleased for the Juniors that they won. BMW has done an incredible job with its youth development programme.” The overall winner of the 24-hour race in 2010 has raced alongside the youngsters as a team-mate at times, and played a role in their training. “Perhaps we have shown them a bit too much,” he laughed. “They are called Juniors but, based on the last two years, they are among the most experienced drivers here on the Nordschleife. They have speed and talent. You don’t need to teach them anything else.”
The young BMW drivers backed that statement up again on Sunday, taking the lead when the two Rowe cars and the pole-sitter from BMW team Walkenhorst Motorsport (#101) were stopped in their tracks by crashes or technical issues. However, a time penalty for exceeding the speed limit in a Code 60 zone then turned the close race in the favour of the chasing Mercedes-AMG. GetSpeed had impressed with a consistent performance, and had actually led with both cars at times. They were worthy winners in the end, ahead of the BMW Juniors. “Fantastic,” said a beaming Maxi Götz, who brought the #3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 home after three hours of racing. “I cannot believe it. Although we crossed the finish line second and were only promoted to first place after the penalty, you first have to get through a race like this without making any mistakes. That is why we are on the top step of the podium.”
Big anniversary for the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring at the end of May
The highlight of the motorsport season on the Nordschleife takes place in just three weeks. The ADAC TotalEnergies is celebrating its 50th staging with a huge programme on the weekend of 26th to 29th May. As well as the crème de la crème of the Nordschleife teams going head to head for the overall victory, another highlight on the track will be the two races in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (FIA WTCR). BMW M GmbH is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a BMW M Race of Legends, to which many world-famous drivers have been invited. Rounding off the programme on the track are the historic races in the Touring Car Legends and ADAC 24h Classic series. Off the track, familiar highlights including the Adenauer Racing Day (Wednesday), the big autograph session (Thursday) and the Falken Drift Show (Friday evening) will attract many fans, as will a meeting of former 24h winners and a large exhibition of 24h cars from five decades.