Engel and Götz clinch first row for Mercedes-AMG

On Friday, former DTM driver Maro Engel secured the pole for the 47th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race by crossing the line with his Black-Falcon Mercedes-AMG #2 in 8:10.910 minutes. On the 25.378-kilometre combination of Nordschleife and GP circuit, Engel was 0.137 seconds faster than fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian Götz in the Mann-Filter Mercedes-AMG #48 and will guide the 156-car field into the biggest race in the world, this Saturday at 15:30hrs. With his fastest qualifying lap, Engel also secured the Glickenhaus Trophy for the fastest driver on ‘The Ring’, thus repeating the feat he already had achieved in 2016. The race will be covered FTA live and nonstop by the German TV station NITRO. Furthermore, the motor-racing enthusiasts also can follow the entire race action twice around the clock via the live stream, live timing and live ticker at the website www.24h-rennen.de.

“Having the chance of driving absolutely flat out on this circuit for two laps is just incredibly awesome. But we still have to contest a 24h race. And we also have to really thank the fans” said Engel who already had been the 24h-Race pole-sitter in 2016. At the same time, he also gave the Mercedes-AMG GT3 its second pole. Maximilian Götz who was defeated by Engel said: “The fact that the team trusted me and wanted me to battle for the pole was a real honour. But it goes without saying that you aren’t completely happy if you have been defeated by such a tiny margin.”

2018 pole sitter also slightly slower

Engel and Götz both improved their times on their second lap, thus outqualifying Laurens Vanthoor in the Manthey-Porsche #911 who held the provisional pole after the first lap. Consequently, Vanthoor dropped back to third. The Belgian had been the pole sitter in 2018 and also was the quickest in the second qualifying session on Friday afternoon. After this session, three PRO teams and eight Pro-AM teams succeeded in joining the 17 squads that had qualified for the individual time trial in the run-up to the 24h Race, thus also securing the sought-after blue light that makes it easy for the other competitors to identify the quickest from afar. These 17 vehicles secured their Top-Qualifying positions as early as in the first two VLN rounds and the 24h Race Qualifying Race. Frederic Verwisch was the fastest Audi driver and took his Phoenix-Audi #4 to fourth position. The Octane-126-Ferrari #55 came 10th, followed by the Konrad-Lamborghini #7 with Marco Mapelli behind the wheel. The best BMW driver, Christian Krognes in the Walkenhorst-BMW #101, had to settle for finishing 13th.

Three Porsches win the ADAC 24h Classic

In the afternoon, the crowds were entertained by the 24h Classic Race. The race was won by German Michael Küke in his Porsche 911 Carrera RSR who completed the three-hour race without alternating with another driver. “I have been competing in this race since 2004 but this is my first win,” beamed Küke who prevailed against Dr Edgar Althoff / Jörg Müller (Porsche RSR). The podium was completed by a third Porsche that was raced by the brothers Marc und Dennis Busch.

German team comes second and third in the first FIA WTCR race of the weekend

In the first WTCR round of the weekend, the German All-inkl.com-Team finished second and third courtesy of Esteban Guerrieri and Nestor Girolami. The only one who could beat the two Argentineans was Hungarian Hyundai driver Norbert Michelisz. Local hero Benjamin Leuchter took his VW Golf to the fine seventh place.

Luca Stolz first on track in Top – Qualifying

First on track for the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen Top-Qualifying will be Luca Stolz. The Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon driver draw the first spot for his #3 Mercedes AMG GT3. Overall, 28 drivers will fight for the Pole Position and the Glickenhaus-Trophy. Klaus Bachler in the #44 Falken Motorsports Porsche will start last for his two fast laps on the Nürburgring.

The cars will start in the following order in Top-Qualifying:

1 3 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon
Luca Stolz
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
2 31 Frikadelli Racing
Matthieu Jaminet
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
3 22 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau
Hendrik Still
Ferrari
488 GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
4 6 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon
Yelmer Buurman
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
5 16 GetSpeed Performance
Jan Seyffarth
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
6 55 Octane 126
Simon Trummer
Ferrari
488 GT3
SP9 PRO-AM
7 39 KCMG
Edorado Liberati
Nissan
GT-R Nissmo
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
8 911 Manthey-Racing
Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
9 101 Walkenhorst Motorsport
Christian Krognes
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
10 100 Walkenhorst Motorsport
Jordan Tresson
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
11 705 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
Felipe Fernandez-Laser
SCG
SCG003C
SP-X PRO
12 8 IronForce by Ring Police
Lucas Luhr
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
13 11 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau
Daniel Keilwitz
Ferrari
488 GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
14 18 GetSpeed Performance
Philip Ellis
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
15 2 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon
Maro Engel
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
16 42 BMW Team Schnitzer
Augusto Farfus
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
17 5 Phoenix Racing
Frank Stippler
Audi
R8 LMS
SP9 PRO
18 48 Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter
Maximilian Götz
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
19 99 Rowe Racing
Jesse Krohn
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
20 17 GetSpeed Performance
Fabian Schiller
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
21 45 Kondo Racing
Matsuda Tsugio
Nissan
GT-R Nissmo
SP9 PRO
22 7 Konrad Motorsport GmbH
Marco Mapelli
Lamborghini
Huracan GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
23 12 Manthey-Racing
Matteo Cairoli
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
24 29 Audi Sport Team Land
René Rast
Audi
R8 LMS
SP9 PRO
25 1 Manthey-Racing
Fred Makowiecki
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
26 98 Rowe Racing
Tom Blomqvist
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
27 4 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
Frederic Vervisch
Audi
R8 LMS
SP9 PRO
28 44 Falken Motorsports
Klaus Bachler
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO

 

Manthey Porsche #911 the quickest in qualifying session two

The Manthey-Porsche #911 set the fastest lap time in the second qualifying session for the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race at the Nürburgring. Virtually in the last second of the session, held on Friday afternoon, Belgian Laurens Vanthoor crossed the line of the 25.378-kilometre combination of Nordschleife and GP circuit in 8:17.449 minutes, thus outqualifying the previous leader, the Konrad-Lamborghini #7, by a second. Just 75 thousandths of a second behind the Lamborghini, the Phoenix Audi #4 finished third. The next item on the agenda is the public drawing of the Top-Qualifying starting order from 18:00hrs. The battle for pole in the individual time-trial format will begin at 19:00hrs, with every competitor having the opportunity to set two timed laps.

#1 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Makowiecki,Pilet,Tandy)

16:29hrs / Patrick Pilet: “My laps were okay but choosing the suiting tyres is tricky. It seems to be warm but the track isn’t. I expected more grip. Now we want to sort out some details for the Top Qualifying.”

#6 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Bastian,Buurman,Piana)

15:23hrs / Patrick Assenheimer: There was a lot no traffic. We went out rather early, right after the lights went green. Therefore, we had expected that just some 10 to 20 cars would be ahead of us. But many of them went out very slowly and so, we had to slightly slalom around them. But the lap was good for us as we found out that the track was okay. The car handles well and now we hope that the flying Dutchman sets the necessary time.”

#8 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Slooten,Luhr,de Leener,Jans)

16:30hrs / Lucas Luhr: “As usual it is very exciting here at the Nürburgring and in the heavy traffic it’s a gamble. The balance of our car is fine and we hope that we will make it to the Top Qualifying. Then we will have some time for the fine-tuning but we still have to find something to be able to deliver a hammer time.”

#12 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Klohs,Kern,Olsen,Cairoli)

16:03hrs Matteo Cairoli: “We succeeded in making some setup improvements, on the past laps. The car handles well and we are confident regarding the Top Qualifying.”

#29 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,Rast,van der Linde,Haase)

15:57hrs / René Rast: “For me, the second qualifying was a relaxed session. I completed my obligatory laps as doing so was my first goal. The race action out there was really civilised and the number of incidents was limited. The car handles well and I’m excited to find out what will happen tonight.”

#30 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Abbelen,Müller,Renauer,Preining)

15:46hrs / Thomas Preining: “It’s my first appearance at the Nürburgring and I feel more and more at home on the track. The car handles well and we have found the setup we wanted to have. There are just some details that have to be optimise but doing so won’t be a problem. I wasn’t able to set a really competitive lap time as I had to pass a car in every corner. Now I’m looking forward to the race.”

#39 – Nissan GT-R Nissmo GT3 (Menzel,Liberati,Jöns,Vaxiviere)

15:32hrs / Nico Menzel: “I went out on used tyres to check the car. Now, Edoardo and Matthieu have to take us to the Top Qualifying. We have got good chances in the Pro-Am class.

28 Competitors for Top Qualifying

The 28 competitors in the Top-Qualifying for the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race have been determined. Following the second qualifying session, three Pro teams and eight Pro-Am teams joined the 17 teams that qualified for the individual time trial already in the run-up to the 24h Race. For each of the cars, a theoretical fastest lap time was generated by using the average of their five fastest split times set over the course of the weekend in every section. The Top Qualifying will start at 19:00hrs CEST, with the starting order being drawn from 18:00hrs in the Parc Fermé area.

The 28 competitors at a glance:

98 Rowe Racing
Tom Blomqvist
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
101 Walkenhorst Motorsport
Christian Krognes
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
42 BMW Team Schnitzer
Augusto Farfus
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
1 Manthey-Racing
Fred Makowiecki
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
911 Manthey-Racing
Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
2 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon
Maro Engel
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
4 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
Frederic Vervisch
Audi
R8 LMS
SP9 PRO
99 Rowe Racing
Jesse Krohn
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 PRO
100 Walkenhorst Motorsport
Jordan Tresson
BMW
M6 GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
45 Kondo Racing
Matsuda Tsugio
Nissan
GT-R Nissmo
SP9 PRO
31 Frikadelli Racing
Matthieu Jaminet
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
705 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
Felipe Fernandez-Laser
SCG
SCG003C
SP-X PRO
12 Manthey-Racing
Matteo Cairoli
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
5 Phoenix Racing
Frank Stippler
Audi
R8 LMS
SP9 PRO
29 Audi Sport Team Land
René Rast
Audi
R8 LMS
SP9 PRO
3 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon
Luca Stolz
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
44 Falken Motorsports
Klaus Bachler
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 PRO
48 Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter
Maximilian Götz
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
6 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon
Yelmer Buurman
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
16 GetSpeed Performance
Jan Seyffarth
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 PRO
55 Octane 126
Simon Trummer
Ferrari
488 GT3
SP9 PRO-AM
17 GetSpeed Performance
Fabian Schiller
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
7 Konrad Motorsport GmbH
Marco Mapelli
Lamborghini
Huracan GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
8 IronForce by Ring Police
Lucas Luhr
Porsche
911 GT3 R
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
22 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau
Hendrik Still
Ferrari
488 GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
11 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau
Daniel Keilwitz
Ferrari
488 GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
39 KCMG
Edorado Liberati
Nissan
GT-R Nissmo
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM
18 GetSpeed Performance
Philip Ellis
Mercedes-AMG
GT3
SP9 Pro-Am PRO-AM

 

World Premiere at the Nürburgring: the new Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG extends its range for customer racing teams and launches the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 within the framework of the Nürburgring 24h Race. The new vehicle represents a consequent enhancement of the globally successful customer-sports-car designed and built in Affalterbach. “I am happy that we are able to present the car here, within the framework of the 24h Race,” Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers said on the occasion of the launch of the new GT3 racer. “The Nürburgring 24h race means a lot to the brand Mercedes-AMG. The race has got such an outstanding mojo and therefore it’s really special for us to be among the front runners. The 24h Race and the Nordschleife are renowned brands and being here is big fun for Mercedes-AMG,” added Moers while looking proudly at the new vehicle.

In addition to the new look, the new racer also features numerous technical optimisations that take the properties of the car – that already have been popular with teams and drivers so far – to a new level. The new car replaces the Mercedes-AMG GT3 that was launched in 2015 and has been sold 130 times since then. And now, the German performance and sports-car brand launches the next evolution step based on the successful car.

The new Mercedes-AMG GT3 smoothly continues the spectacular appearance of its predecessor. The look is dominated by modified components: but the new front skirt, new flics, new front diffuser and new rear skirt do not only change the looks of the new car but also improve its performance. Meanwhile, the car still is powered by the well-known normally aspirated AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine.

In late 2019, at the end of an extensive testing and trial period, the car will be delivered to the teams to contest its debut season in 2020 – the 10th anniversary season Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing.

Mann-Filter Mercedes #48 clinches provisional pole

On Thursday evening, the Mann-Filter-Mercedes #48 secured the provisional pole position. With his Mercedes-AMG GT3, Italian Raffaele Marciello crossed the line in 8:24.801 minutes, thus being some two 10ths of a second faster than the Car-Collection Audi #14 in second position. Behind the third-placed Black Falcon Mercedes #6, another two manufacturers made it to the top five: the Manthey Porsche #911 and the Rowe BMW #98. The second qualifying session where the teams will battle it out for the last available Top-Qualifying positions will be held on Friday from 14:55 to 16:45hrs.

Later, from 19:00hrs, the cars will go out to fight for the pole position in the big showdown – the Top Qualifying. In the classic individual time-trial format, the drivers of the fastest cars have got two laps for setting a fast lap time to secure the pole position and the coveted Glickenhaus Trophy for their team. The starting order for the Top Qualifying will be publicly drawn from 18:00hrs CEST in the Parc Fermé (at the scrutineering in the paddock), with the drivers that will contest the Top Qualifying for their teams drawing the starting-order positions themselves. NITRO covers the Top Qualifying live and the website www.24h-rennen.de provides a live stream as well as live ticker and live timing.

On Thursday afternoon, the practice session was aborted due to torrential rain. At this point in time, two-time DTM Champion Marco Wittmann was the quickest, with his Rowe-BMW #99. After the rain, the WRCR field went out for the qualifying for the second race, with local hero Benjamin Leuchter taking his Golf TCR to pole. “I realised early that the track was drying and told the team to shoe the car with slicks. They did so at the perfect point in time and now I’m absolutely happy” beamed the German who already looks forward to the first of the three WTCR races – on Friday from 17:30hrs. Meanwhile, the Rundstrecken-Challenge Nürburgring kicked the race weekend off in the morning, in dry conditions. The event was won by Winfried Assmann in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

On Friday, the visitors also may look forward on numerous highlights aloof from the track. In the evening, the Falken Drift Show will entertain the crowds at the Müllenbachschleife (from 19:50hrs). Afterwards, the party is continued in the DSK tent that also is positioned at the Müllenbachschleife, with the band ‘Skybagg’ making for great atmosphere. As usual, the admission will be free. Just as attractive on Friday evening: to visit the GP paddock and from 19:55hrs, the pit lane will be opened for the pit walk.

The 24h-Race grid: From Entrepreneur to Musicians

The ADAC Total 24h Race does not only feature the most different vehicles but also quite a range of competitors. In addition to the professional racing drivers, the grid comprises – for instance – entrepreneurs and even musicians, such as Smudo, front man of the German HipHop band ‘Die Fantastischen Vier’. Here, we present the most prominent 24h-Race participants:  

Titus Dittmann (#13):  

Titus Dittmann. He is regarded as the ‘Godfather’ of the German skateboard scene, is founder of the fashion and skating label ‘Titus’ and the charity organisation ‘Skate-Aid’ that supports international and humanitarian children and youth projects. Furthermore, he is a thoroughbred motor-racing enthusiasts.      

Fabian Vettel (#18): 

Fabian Vettel is the younger brother of four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel.  The native Hessian already successfully established in professional motor racing and contests the ADAC GT-Masters with a Mercedes AMG GT3 die ADAC GT-Masters.   

Volker Strycek (#122): 

Back in 1984, Strycek won the title in the maiden DTM season. With 40 participations in the Nürburgring 24h Race, the long-term Opel Motorsport Boss Volker Strycek is the record holder in the race that he won in 2003.   

François Wales (#164): 

François Wales is the Peugeot Sport DirectorLast year, he was responsible for the development of Group PSA customer-sport vehicles and E sports-cars of the ‘Peugeot Sport Engineered’ range, with the first example – the concept car 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered – having been unveiled in March, at the Geneva Motor Show.     

‘Smudo’ (#320): 

The successful musician and front man of the German HipHop band ‘Die Fantastischen Vier’ is an enthusiastic hobby racer with a soft spot for sustainable and eco-friendly motor sport with organic fuel, recycled oil and organic-fibre parts on the latest GT3 Porsche.   

Romain Dumas (#31): 

A true jack of all trades in the Porsche camp: he competes in every motor racing category – from Le Mans via the Dakar to Pikes Peak – and usually crosses the finish line as winner. The Frenchman is two-time Le Mans winner, WEC Champion and already has got four Nürburgring 24h Race wins under his belt.   

Lucas Luhr (#8): 

With wins in the ALMS, the 24h races at Daytona, Spa-Franchorchamps and – two times – at the Nürburgring Lucas Luhr is a truly successful endurance racer. In addition, he is the 2011 FIA GT World Champion  

Marcel Fässler (#14):  

The Swiss has been waiting for his first win in the Eifel marathon for a long time. After his DTM years with Mercedes and Opel he joined Audi to win three times at Le Mans and the 2012 WEC title.  

Nick Tandy (#1): 

Three years after having won the Porsche Carrera Cup, in 2011, the Briton was signed as Porsche works driver and won the 2015 Hours of Le Mans with Nico Hülkenberg and Earl Bamber. And in 2018, he added wins in the 24h races at Spa-Franchorchamps and the Nordschleife to his tally.  

Quotes pre-event press conference

Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche), Christopher Haase (Audi), Philipp Eng (BMW) and Maximilian Götz (Mercedes AMG) look ahead to the 2019 ADAC TOTAL 24h Race and talk about their first metres in the practice session.

Jörg Bergmeister # 44 Falken Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R

“The Falken tyres have been exclusively designed for Porsche. This can be an advantage but a disadvantage too as we haven’t got any comparison possibilities with other Porsche vehicles. Nonetheless, I’ve got the feeling that we will be better than we looked so far – provided it remains dry. We definitely hope for nice conditions, with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees, and possibly throughout the race,” he says smiling. “Basically, all the manufacturers have the chance of winning the race as the BOP makes for a well-balanced field. It goes without saying that I will cross my fingers first of all for Porsche. The atmosphere around the Nordschleife is very special and can’t be compared with Le Mans. My pole tip is – what will come as no surprise – Klaus Bachler as he will drive our car in the Top Qualifying. I’m looking forward to the race although I still have got a slight sleep deficit, following the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Christopher Haase / # 14 Audi Sport Team Car Collection Audi R8 LMS / # 29 Audi Sport Team Land

“I completed three laps on slicks. On the first lap I drove up at the Flugplatz and all of a sudden the track was wet. So I thought: oh oh, you’d rather brake. Later, in the Metzgesfeld section, the track was dry again but that’s exactly what makes the Nürburgring so special. The sun is shining when you start but after a few kilometres you enter the rain cloud. And you realise why the circuit also is called Green Hell. On my third lap, the rain got torrential and so I opted for returning to the pits. This means that we actually had to cope with everything the weekend can bring on one single lap. Therefore, I think that we are well prepared.

I’m going to contest the race for two teams: Audi Motorsport Team Land and Audi Sport Team Car Collection. Yes, Land already won the race once but both teams are highly professional and experienced what is the most important key factor to succeeding at the Nürburgring. At the same time, switching from team to team won’t represent a major challenge for me. After all, both teams contest the race with Audis R8, the tyres are the same, the cockpits too and so, I have just to put my inlay on the seat and off I go. My Car Collection colleagues all have already won this race and together we secured the win in the Dubai 24h Race.

An additional motivation for making it to the Top Qualifying is the fact that you can complete traffic-free laps on the circuit. I think that every driver is dreaming of having the opportunity to really go for it at the Nürburgring without being hampered by anything. And to do so in qualifying laps where you take the car to its very limit – just a dream.”

Philipp Eng / # 98 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3

“It will be a head-to-head battle of all the big manufacturers. You mustn’t write off anybody, in the run-up,” says Philipp Eng who has contested quite a number of races in DTM, at Le Mans – and now at the Nürburgring. His employer, BMW, is regarded as one of the top favourites. “Altogether we have got a competitive package. Our BMW M6 GT3 has been used in motor racing since 2016. Therefore, we drivers know the car very well. But I’m a professional pessimist. Nonetheless, I want to win this race – just like anybody else. Winning the Nürburgring 24h Race would be a huge dream finally coming true. But 24 hours are long and so many things can happen – and even more so at the Nordschleife. Nowhere else are you driving through different climate zones on one lap.”

When it comes to the new Top-Qualifying format, Eng is of a positive opinion. “First of all, I want to thank my team. We made it to the Top Qualifying. Now it’s important to make it to the very front of the grid. There, the blue light always indicates that you are a fast car. As I see it, the new qualifying format is just great. I think it’s cool as there will be slightly less traffic. It goes without saying that I already look forward to tomorrow’s top qualifying session and can’t wait to see what will happen. For a driver, trying to be the fastest in all the nine section represents a huge stimulus. I just must not make any mistakes and then the result hopefully will be great.”

Maximilan Götz / #48 Mercedes AMG Team Mann Filter

Maximilian Götz makes clear announcements: “You have to hold the lead and defend it. Although the race usually isn’t decided before the final hour has begun. But if you have been driving behind the leaders for a long time it’s difficult to fight your way back up. Therefore we hope that the weather forecast for tomorrow will be better and more constant.”

The Mercedes AMG Team Mann Filter still has to qualify for the individual time trial. “We still have to qualify but there are just three more Top-Qualifying positions available and I think that there are eight cars that are keen on these positions. It could be that I will drive the fast lap but it also could be that Rafaele does it. But no matter which of us four drivers will be in the cockpit – we all are able to deliver. At the end of the day we also have to keep an eye on the weather. More rain has been forecasted. So, there are so many crucial factors, and so much luck… We hope for the best!”

“The new Top-Qualifying format is really fairer. There are nine sections and you have to try to drive five or six fast laps as it’s the average that counts. It’s thrilling, a new format and I think it’s great. Particularly for those who have not yet qualified, the new format is extremely thrilling. You have to really push in the qualifying session! The previous years were slightly difficult for Mercedes-AMG, from weird weather to generally unfortunate circumstances for us. But at the end of the day everybody has got what it takes to win.

I still regard us as tip for the Top Qualifying but Ferrari and Lexus also have been competitive. It’s difficult to assess the competitiveness of these exotic teams but it could be that one of them does really well. Nonetheless, we also will give our very best to make it!”

Organisation, Facts and Figures

A gigantic team is necessary for organising the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race. To make for a successful event, the effort on and aloof from the track is enormous. Race control, organisation, marshals, safety stuff and the competitors – they all contribute to the success. Birgit Arnold, member of the organisation management, and Manfred Strack, the operative project manager of the biggest motor-racing event in the world, come up with expressive figures.

Race control
35 Staff members form the race-control team. The inner circle also comprises – apart from the Race Director and head of organisation – the head of track safety, the head of medical operations as well as the race-control assistants and secretaries.

130 People are working for the extended organisation, such as the stewards, scrutineers and the technology committee. Furthermore document-approval helpers and driver information, welcome centre / check in, time keepers, presentation ceremony Parc Fermé, camping organisation, support programme, runners – and far more.

Marshals
960 Marshals are positioned all around the Nordschleife – split into 17 sections. Responsible for the coordination are 32 section chiefs and their deputies.

80 Marshals are working in the pit lane. Since 2014 they have been wearing protective gear: fire resistant overalls as well as helmets and reflective armlets and reflective vests.

35 Officials are busy at the other side of the pit lane to control the paddock activities and make sure – for instance – that the safety regulations are complied with.

30 Persons are driving the shuttle vehicles that the team members, marshals, journalists and VIPs from one place to the other.

35 Marshals are necessary for the pre-start and the starting grid, another 20 will control the Parc Fermé on Sunday.

1.800 That’s the number of guests from all over Germany the ADAC will welcome for the town-club meeting held within the framework of the 24h Race.

Safety
52 DMSB-Staffel members will be working in shifts to be able to give on-track aid as fast as possible. They are on site in 11 S vehicles.

30 Persons are part of the intervention team that safeguards crash sites to allow for extrication and other rescue measures. This year, four intervention-team Audis A6 Avant are positioned around the track. Furthermore, another five Audis A6 Avant Medical Cars are used to enable the emergency medics to get even faster to the crash sites.

30 Staff members are the crews of the additional E-Unit safety and rescue vehicles, equipped with oil binders and additional fire extinguishers.

2 Specially equipped extrication vehicles make easier the extrication of competitors that possibly could have suffered spinal injuries.

Salvage
30 Experts are responsible for salvaging stranded or damaged vehicles. They are positioned around the circuit, equipped with tow trucks and salvage tractors. Two of the vehicles are equipped with compressors, rammers and specially trained staff to be able to repair bigger crash-barrier damages right away.

In the case of emergencies
100 Medics and paramedics that are working in shifts represent the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Race medical corps. Eight emergency vehicles are positioned around the circuit and in the fully equipped medical centre, a team of emergency medics, surgeons, anaesthetists and paramedics is ready at any time. Further five emergency vehicles, two doctors and more than 30 paramedics are responsible for the exterior area. Several hospitals are on the alert, an emergency helicopter is position next to the medical centre.

90 Fire fighters are on site at the Nürburgring: Eight vehicles are positioned around the circuit (one of them extra at the refuelling station for alternative fuels), three of them tank fire engines in the exterior area.

100 Is the maximum of patients that can be looked after in the case of a major catastrophe by a lebE (life-threatening situation) trailer made available by the Red Cross.

Nürburgring
150 Full-time employees are working to support the Nürburgring 1927 GmbH & Co. KG during the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race. By attending to everything from the circuit administration up to issuing keys they make sure that the huge motor-racing venue with its numerous areas is kept operational.

600 Helpers of the track organisers are needed for operating the box offices and controlling the gates during the event.

680 Mobile toilets have been positioned around the Nordschleife.

60.000 Parking spaces for passenger cars can be found around the 25.378-kilometre combination of GP circuit and Nordschleife.

1,5 Mio. Square metres of camping sites are available for the visitors.

9 km Curbs, the all have to be re-coloured and the complete edge markings on both sides of the track also must be re-coloured.

18 km Of hoardings are needed to mark the restricted areas.

10.000 Working hours have to be executed by 60 persons in the run-up to the event until everything is organised and assembled.

6.000 m Of hoardings are used to protect nature-protection areas.

146 Showers are available for the visitors.

144 Water Toilets are available for the visitors.

1062 cbm Water barrels and 15 10cbm water tanks provide water for the visitors.

62 Mobile flood-light masts make for the illumination.

Competitors
158 Vehicles can be found on this year’s 24h Race entry list. Exactly the figure that has been allowed to contest the race, following the scrutineering. The cars will be raced by some 580 drivers from 32 countries. Altogether, the grid features vehicles of 22 manufacturers.

210 Vehicles will contest the ADAC 24h-Classic race. In the three-hour race, about 450 drivers will race vehicles from five decades.

174 Vehicles of the ‘Rundstrecken Challenge’ (RCN) kick the event off with their performance test that also is contested by about 400 drivers.

27 Competitors will be on the grid of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), that will contest its three championship races (three laps each) at the Nordschleife in the 24h-Race support programme.

13 Vehicles will contest the two Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup races that will be contested – other than all the other races of the weekend – only on the GP circuit.

Catering
80.000 Sausages and seven to eight tonnes of French fries will be eaten on the four days of the event around the circuit.

The figures are approximate data. Due to short-notice retirements or additional demand, the number of persons can fluctuate. For clarity reasons, several function areas have been emitted and so, there is an addition discrepancy. Altogether, some 2500 persons are working in the 24h-Race organisation.

Practice session aborted due to thunderstorm

The first clash of the drivers, teams and manufacturers on the 24h-Race weekend had to be stopped after just 53 minutes. Due to torrential rain and an extreme-weather warning for the Nürburgring area, the Race control opted at first for red-flagging the practice session but a short time later it was decided that the session wouldn’t be restarted. Following the cloudburst, there was too much water on the track in many areas.      

The first fastest lap time of the weekend was set by two-time DTM Champion Marco Wittmann in the Rowe BMW #99. Before the rain began to fall, the German crossed the line of the 25.378-kilometre combination of Nordschleife and GP circuit in 8:27.519 minutes, followed by the Getspeed Mercedes #17 and the Rowe sister car, #98, in second and third position. At 20:30hrs CEST, the 24h race action will be continued with the three-hour qualifying session 1.  

10 Years GT3 at the Nürburgring

Since the introduction of the international GT3 class at the Nürburgring in 2009, the starting grid of this category has been featuring a consistently growing variety with more and more potential winners making for fascinating motor racing.     

While the previous years were dominated by enhanced GT vehicles, buying a ready-made potential winner was possible from 2009.  

Although it took the GT3 racers two years to prevail in the battle for the overall win, the new racing cars were able to match the pace of the quickest right away, a fact that was demonstrated by the pole position in the debut season.   

Number of competitors 24h Race:
2009: 23 Competitors
2010: 27 Competitors
2011: 26 Competitors
2012: 31 Competitors
2013: 33 Competitors
2014: 31 Competitors
2015: 31 Competitors
2016: 38 Competitors
2017: 33 Competitors
2018: 31 Competitors
Total: 304 Competitors 

2019: 34 Competitors
Total: 338 Competitors 

14 different brands raced in the GT3 category from 2009 to 2018:
Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini, Bentley, Nissan, McLaren, Chevrolet, Dodge, Alpina and Ford. In 2019Lexus will be the 15th brand.  

From 2009 to 2018, three different brands made it to the top step, with the GT3 debut win having been secured in 2012:
2012: Audi
2013: Mercedes-AMG
2014: Audi
2015: Audi
2016: Mercedes-AMG
2017: Audi
2018: Porsche 

4x Audi, 2x Mercedes-AMG, 1x Porsche 

Pole positions clinched GT3 Teams:
2009: Ford GT
2010: Audi R8 LMS
2012: BMW Z4 GT3
2013: Audi R8 LMS ultra
2014: McLaren MP4-12C GT3
2015: BMW Z4 GT3
2016: Mercedes AMG GT3
2018:Porsche 911 GT3R (Laurens Vanthoor: 8:09.105 Min., new 24h-Race qualifying lap record) 

Fastest race lap and 24h-Race lap record: 
2018: Nick Tandy – Porsche 911 GT3R – 8:17.340 Min. 

Weather warning

Severe weather warning for all the Nürburgring visitors:

the German weather service forecasts an approaching thundery front that will hit the Nürburgring today from 14:45hrs. Torrential rain and lightning strikes have to be expected. Please safeguard your camping equipment and first of all yourself from the adverse weather. The Nürburgring and the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race will keep you updated on the current situation via the track loudspeakers, Radio Nürburgring (VHF frequency 87,7) and www.24h-rennen.de.

Nordschleife: The greatest car race in the world

The countdown for the race of the year is on: this weekend (20th to 23rd June) at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, 160 cars are going to contest the arguably biggest and greatest car race in the world. About 600 drivers will entertain the 200,000 expected spectators on site and the TV / live-stream audience with fantastic motor racing while they battle it out for one of the most prestigious trophies in international motor racing. This year’s favourites are the BMW squads but the reigning champions with their Porsches also delivered in the run-up to the 47th edition of the 24h Race. And it goes without saying that Mercedes-AMG and Audi with their strong works-driver line-ups and customer teams are determined to also become a factor in the battle for the overall win. Apart from the 24h Race, the three FIA Touring Car World Cup (WTCR) rounds represent the second highlight of the weekend. Prior to the German WTCR meeting, the German All-inkl.com-Team are the team-championship leaders and their Argentinean driver Esteban Guerrieri (Honda) holds the lead in the driver’s championship. The only German driver on the WTCR grid for the fifth of the 10 race meetings is Benjamin Leuchter, a true Nordschleife specialist who completed his 1000th Nordschleife lap many years ago. Tickets can be purchased at the box offices. And those who can’t travel to the Eifel to witness the 24h race action on site can do so in Germany on NITRO that will cover the race FTA from the lights to the flag. Furthermore, the official website (www.24-rennen.de) will feature an extensive video stream, live results, a live ticker as well as background features and information throughout the weekend.

Just a week after the sport-car endurance racing highlight at Le Mans, the Nürburgring now is going to stage the arguably most important endurance race on the touring-car and GT calendar. The favourites for this year’s 24h Race are BMW and Porsche that were particularly successful in the Nordschleife races to date. Just four weeks ago, the BMW M6 GT3 celebrated a one-two-three in the 24h Race Qualifying Race, the final tests for this weekend’s season highlight. And the winner was a vehicle of the Walkenhorst squad. “Incredible, it’s just a dream,” Team Principal Henry Walkenhorst said after the race. “Now the ultimate highlight will come and we will use the momentum resulting from this success to also deliver there. We just can’t wait for the 24h Race.” Second and third places were secured by the two Rowe Racing BMWs and the result also represented a boost for them. “A good result,” third-placed Connor de Philippi said afterwards. “We still should be able to find some more performance for the race. Then we will return to the Ring to hopefully make it to the top step.”

Reigning champions look forward to racing at the Nordschleife

One of the Porsches 911 GT3 R of the Manthey team also seemed to be on the way to secure a podium but with just a few more minutes to go the car suffered a technical failure and had to pit where it had to retire. Nonetheless: the Porsche spearhead that will contest the legendary race with the #1 on its car due to having won it in 2018 proved to be in great shape and very competitive. And the reigning champions look forward to the task. “It’s one of the greatest and most difficult GT races in the World,” said Richard Lietz (AUT): “And it’s one of the last great adventures. To contest this race with the #1 on your car is something special. Every single lap represents a challenge.” Team mate Patrick Pilet (FRA) confirmed: “In this race, absolutely everything represents a challenge. The circuit, the weather – and even more so the traffic. „But that’s exactly what turns this race into such a special event. It’s the most difficult race and if you want to succeed here you have to be a real team. That’s why I love this race so much.”

Huge support programme aloof from the track

The extensive support programme will begin before the first vehicle has entered the track: on Wednesday, from 16:00hrs CEST, the city centre of Adenau will be the venue of the ‘Racing Day’, revolving around the 24h Race. And from Thursday, the fans on site can discover a lot of things everywhere: At the Fan Mile in the ring°boulevard, partners and manufacturers showcase themselves, accompanied by entertainment and catering. In the Fan-Arena in the historic paddock, the Falken Drift Taxis, motorbike-stunt shows with Chris Rid and the Stihl Timbersports lumberjacks entertain the crowds and in the GP paddock, the visitors have the opportunity to glance over the shoulders of the teams’ mechanics and engineers, enjoy a ride in the big Ravenol Ferris wheel or visit the Audi (Sport Campus) and Mercedes-AMG (Fan Zone) areas. Please find everything worth knowing about the support programme in the category ‘Service’ at the official website, www.24h-rennen.de.

The 24h Race at a glance

This weekend, the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race that is regarded as ‘The biggest and greatest race in the world’, will be attended by some 200,000 spectators that will be witnessing the race action from all around the 25.378-kilometre combination of Nürburgring Nordschleife and GP circuit.

160 vehicles alone will contest the feature race of the weekend. These cars will be raced by more than 600 drivers, from world-class racers to amateurs. Meanwhile, the bandwidth of car categories ranges from brawny GT3 vehicles to close-to-production touring cars.

More than 2000 persons are working for the organisers to make for a flawless course of the action.

The BMWs (M6 GT3) and Porsches (911 GT3-R) are regarded as the top favourites, this year, with the squads relying on Audi (R8 LMS) and Mercedes-AMG vehicles being their toughest rivals. Other teams in the top categories will contest the race with Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus and Nissan GT3 racers. And Glickenhaus will add to the excitement with their exotic SCG0003. Furthermore, Toyota / Lexus, Subaru, Honda and Hyundai also will travel to the Eifel with works squads to try to secure class wins.

Meanwhile, the Touring Car World Cup (FIA-WTCR) is going to hold the fifth of its 10 race meetings, this weekend and so, one of the drivers will leave the Eifel as half-time champion. Prior to the three races at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the German Honda team All-inkl.com Münnich Motorsport hold the lead in the team standings, with their driver Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) being the leader in the drivers’ championship. The motor-racing support programme also comprises the ADAC 24h-Classic, the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup and the RCN.

The German FTA-TV partner NITRO covers the race from the lights to the flag. An extensive live stream can be accessed via the social-media channels and the event website.

Also extensive: the support programme aloof from the track: for the first time, a charity football tournament will be held in the ring°arena and the Adenauer Racing Day represents the kick-off of the weekend as early as Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, the Fan Mile (ring°boulevard) will be the venue of the official autographing session and on Friday evening the crowds at the Müllenbachschleife will be thrilled by the Falken Drift-Show.

Throughout the weekend, the fans will be entertained by numerous activities at the ring°boulevard (Fan Mile), the historic paddock (Fan Arena) and the GP paddock (inter alia Ferris wheel, Audi Sport Campus und Mercedes-AMG Fan Zone).

24h Race features a top-class field

The 2019 ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen, held from 20th top 23rd June, will be a summit of motor-racing superstars. The entry list for the longest and most gruelling race at the longest racetrack in the world comprises some 160 cars, inter alia about three dozens of teams for the top categories with winning potential. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche will contest the race with works drivers and highly competitive customer-sport projects. Meanwhile, Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai will try to secure class wins in different categories. Independent GT3 teams that contest the race with Lamborghinis, Ferraris ad Nissans also will be among the front-runners. Due to the diversity of brands and the course of the season so far, making predictions regarding the race result is extremely difficult. All the German premium-car manufacturers delivered in fine style, in the rounds of the VLN Endurance Championship, with the reigning champions, Manthey Porsche, and the BMW team having been the fastest most recently, in the 24h Qualifying Race. So, an ultra thrilling 2019 edition of the 24h race is virtually guaranteed! Tickets for the race of the year are available in the ticket shops of eventimsports.de and www.nuerburgring.de.

>> click here to see the entry list of the ADAC TOTAL 24h race 2019

It’s the race of the year and the race of superlatives: When the biggest car-racing grid worldwide will start into the race on the Corpus Christi weekend (Thursday, 20th June to Sunday, 23rd June) the Nürburgring will be buzzing: The organisers are expecting more than 200,000 visitors that will camp around the 25.378-kilometre circuit. More than 2,000 helpers – from the Race Director to the car-park attendants – are involved to make for fair and safe motor racing and cope with the huge visitor rush. The fans once again will turn the combination of GP circuit and the legendary Nordschleife into a huge party zone where the smell of barbecue fires will be mixed with the typical motor-racing mixture of fuel and hot tyres. It’s the ‘Chanel No 5“ for true motor-racing enthusiasts that will have the chance of witnessing a unique battle. After all, the fact that teams and manufacturers make a huge effort when it comes to cars and drivers demonstrates the meaning of the win in this greatest race of the year.

Porsche and BMW the favourites
One thing can be taken for granted: the battle for the Nordschleife crown will be close and intense. The #1 will decorate one of the two Porsches 911 GT3 R entered by the reigning champions, Manthey Racing. Last year, Richard Lietz, Frédéric Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy won the race at ‘The Ring’ and made history by doing so as they gave their Manthey team the record-breaking sixth victory in the legendary race. The team also delivered in the 24h Qualifying Race and seemed to be on the way to secure a podium – but a final safety stop in the closing stages of the race made them drop back and offered BMW the opportunity to celebrate a one-two-three: the BMWs M6 GT3 entered by Walkenhorst and Rowe Racing clinched all the three podiums in the final test for the 24h Race and both teams also will contest the season highlight with two GT3 racers each. Porsche will be represented by – in addition to Manthey Racing – the 911 GT3 R of Ring Police and the vehicles of the public’s darling, Frikadelli Racing. And one of the two Falken Motorsport racers also will be a 911 that will be raced by an excellent line-up. The sister car of the works team of the Japanese tyre manufacturer is a BMW M6 that is just as competitive – what means that Falken could have two hot potatoes in the battle for the overall win. Another two BMWs will be entered by Speedline Racing and BMW Team Schnitzer. The latter squad has got five 24h-Race overall wins under their belt, thus being one of the most successful teams in the history of the event – and their driver line-up with racers who already demonstrated their skills in DTM, WTCR and the 24h Race underlines that the Bavarians will give their very best to again draw level with Manthey Racing.

Competitive overall-win contenders and dark horses
This year, seven Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles entered by the three teams Black Falcon, GetSpeed and Mann Filter will represent the Stuttgart based manufacturer. Recently, Black Falcon succeeded in shining particularly. They secured the pole for the 24h Qualifying Race and also delivered in the race. With fifth and 10th places, the Meuspath based squad even secured two top-10 positions. And last but not least, Audi, represented by five R8 LMS, signed a great mix of endurance-racing specialists, DTM drivers and Nordschleife aces for their 24h Race line-up. Phoenix, Team Land and Car Collection are the squads representing the Audi colours. And in the early stages of the 24h Qualifying Race Marcel Fässler demonstrated the potential of the racing cars from Ingolstadt. The Swiss made the perfect tyre choice into the race and virtually outclassed the entire field. In the end, his R8 LMS finished eighth. And the battle for the overall win will be spiced up by independent teams that also will contest the race with husky vehicles. Konrad Motorsport, for instance, will contest the race with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Or the Wochenspiegel-Team and Octane 126 that will enter Ferraris 488 GT. And don’t forget Kondo Racing and KCMG from Far East with their Nissans GTR Nismo GT3. Particular KCMG from Hong Kong demonstrated their potential by winning in the Pro-Am ranking and finished ninth overall. Also very interesting are the Lexus involvements: Totoya Gazoo, the official works team of the biggest car manufacturer in the world, enters an LC and Japan’s Bandoh-Racing-Team travels to Germany with a FC F GT3. And there is – of course – the team around the US investor, filmmaker and Nordschleife fan James Glickenhaus. With the special design SCG003C the team will not only enter one of the most beautiful cars on the grid but a really fast one. By finishing sixth in the 24h Qualifying Race the American squad demonstrated that it mustn’t be underestimated.

German stop of the Touring Car World Cup
The ADAC TOTAL 24h Race also will be the venue of the German FIA Touring Car World Cup. The highest international touring-car category will contest the fifth of its 10 race weekends at the Nordschleife and consequently will celebrate its half-time champion, at the end of the weekend. And the chances for a good German result look promising. After all, the drivers of the German All.inkl.com team proved to be really competitive in the so-called ‘Supergrid’ although the regulars have got 14 FIA championship titles and another 29 titles under their belts. With their Honda Civic, the two Argentineans Esteban Guerrieri and Nestor Girolami made a fantastic start into the season and currently hold the championship lead with 296 points, followed by Cyan Racing (258) and BRC Hyundai (236). Guerrieri travels to the home races of his team as championship leader. He scored 161 points, to date, and recently defended his lead in the Netherlands. On the Dutch race weekend, Thed Björk in the Chinese TCR racer of Lynk & Co finished second to steal the second championship position of Gurrieri’s team mate Girolami. Björk shone in particular on the previous race weekend at Zandvoort where set the fastest practice lap time and won the first and third races of the weekend. In the second race, however, Guerrieri consolidated his lead – that just had been secured by his team-mate Girolami – with a lights to flag win. Second and third positions were clinched by the Volkswagen drivers Benjamin Leuchter (GER) and Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), who took VW back to the front-runner just in time for the German race weekend. But the drivers of the other brands on the grid – Audi, Alfa Romeo and Cupra – also succeeded in impressing with strong performances, in the season so far.

Support programme with numerous highlights
The great motor-racing programme is completed by the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, the ADAC 24h-Classic and the performance test of the ‘Rundstrecken-Challenge’ (RCN).While numerous events and activities aloof from the track also have proven to be extremely popular with the crowds, in the past. Such as the Adenauer Racing Day on Wednesday, 19th June, representing the start into the 24h Race weekend. And the simultaneously held One World Charity Cup, a football tournament for drivers and fans. On Thursday, the official autographing session will lure the fans to the ring°boulevard where numerous exhibitors, teams and partners will showcase themselves throughout the weekend. The Falken Drift Show at the in Müllenbachschleife and the pit walk taking place at the same time a will be the Friday-evening highlights. In the historic paddock, the Fan-Arena featuring drift and motorbike-stunt shows as well as the Stihl Timber Sports tree-felling demonstrations have got what it takes to entertain and thrill the visitors.