- Arjun Maini drives fastest through the “Green Hell” in 8:13.190 minutes
- Large crowds of spectators at the Nordschleife and at the campsites
- Top qualifying on Friday afternoon from 17:30 live on NITRO and in the live stream
DTM driver Arjun Maini was the fastest man in the “Green Hell” at the start of the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring. In 8:13.190 minutes, the Indian set the fastest time of the day shortly after the start of the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday evening in the #6 Bilstein-Mercedes-AMG, after he had already been the fastest in the 1st qualifying session in the afternoon (8:14.785 minutes). Maini, along with Australian Jordan Love and team principal Hubert Haupt, is one of the teams still fighting for a place in Top Qualifying 2 on Friday evening, where pole position for the 51st edition of the “Eifel Marathon” will be contested. This first highlight of the weekend will be shown live on free-TV on NITRO as well as in the live stream at www.24h-rennen.de/live from 17:30. Tickets for the Nordschleife classic are still available at the open ticket booths.
However, if the #6 Bilstein-Mercedes-AMG does not show similar speed again in the 3rd qualifying session on Friday from 13:30 to 14:45, it will lose the best time to the #911 Manthey-Porsche, which had a time of 8:13.469 minutes. This is due to a speeding offence in the pit lane, the Mercedes-AMG trio will be stripped of the fastest time from all qualifying sessions after Qualifying 3. “Unfortunately, I messed up the penalty myself. Coming out of the pit lane, I hit the limiter too early,” said Haupt: “But tomorrow the faster times will be set anyway.”
13 teams have already secured a place in top qualifying 2
The 2nd qualifying session of the 24h Nürburgring was used by all teams to get used to the special challenges of twilight and night while driving into the evening. A total of 13 teams were able to take a particularly relaxed approach to the practice sessions, as they are already qualified for Top Qualifying 2 through their performances in the Nordschleife races so far this year. This individual time trial on Friday afternoon will decide what the final starting grid will look like on Saturday and which driver will be awarded the Glickenhaus Trophy for pole position. In addition to a place for the fastest team in the Pro-Am class in the three qualifying sessions, five further grid positions are open for Top Qualifying 2. These go to the five fastest cars in Top Qualifying 1, which is also held as an individual time trial over two fast laps.
Atmospheric start on Wednesday
Since Monday, visitors have been flocking to the Nordschleife and the campsites have been filling up so that campers have already had to switch to sites on the Grand Prix circuit. No wonder, then, that on Wednesday a dense line of fans lined the streets of Adenau as a parade of 30 cars drove through the racing town in the Eifel: the traditional Adenau Racing Day set a successful start to the weekend, with drivers, fans and officials celebrating an atmospheric come-together. “The event is awesome once again,” said a delighted former DTM champion Timo Scheider, who shares an Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II with the two former DTM overall winners Mike Rockenfeller and Martin Tomczyk this weekend: “Just great how the fans live and love it here.” The fan programme at the Ring is also packed in the coming days. Whether it’s the fan mile on the ring°boulevard, the autograph session with pitwalk and the Falken drift show on Friday evening or the RAVENOL giant wheel as the central eye-catcher in the paddock: there’s plenty to experience this weekend. Information about attractions and schedules as well as lots of news and visitor information can be found on the official homepage at www.24h-rennen.de.
The longest motorsport weekend of the year traditionally opened on Thursday morning with the Rundstrecken-Challenge-Nürburgring. With temperatures around three degrees, but sunny conditions, 175 participants took on the mixture of regularity and sprint laps. Victory went to the duo Volker Wawer and Stefan Schmickler with their Porsche Cayman.