Starting drivers

Right before the start of the 47. ADAC TOTAL 24h-race the excitement of the fans is rising at the Nürburgring.

The following drivers will be the starting drivers:


Pos. 1: #2 Mercedes- AMG GT3 

Maro Engel

Pos. 2: #48 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Lance David Arnold

Pos. 3: #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Kevin Estre

Pos. 4: #4 Audi R8 LMS 

Pierre Kaffer

Pos. 5: #31 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Matt Campbell

Pos. 6: #6 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Yelmer Buurman

Pos. 7: #1 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Patrick Pilet

Pos. 8: #3 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Luca Stolz

Pos. 9: #16 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Jan Seyffarth

Pos. 10: #55 Ferrari 488 GT3 

Simon Trummer

Pos. 11: #7 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 

Marco Mapelli

Pos. 12: #12 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Lars Kern

Pos. 13: #101 BMW M6 GT3 

Christian Krognes

Pos. 14: #18 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Luca Ludwig

Pos. 15: #29 Audi R8 LMS 

Christopher Mies

Pos. 16#42 BMW M6 GT3 

Augusto Farfus

Pos. 17: #5 Audi R8 LMS 

Kim Luis Schramm

Pos. 18: #44 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Dirk Werner

Pos. 19: #705 SCG 003C 

Thomas Mutsch

Pos. 20: #99 BMW M6 GT3 

John Edwards

Pos. 21: #98 BMW M6 GT3 

Connor de Phillippi

Pos. 22: #39 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 2018 

Edoardo Liberati

Pos. 23: #22 Ferrari 488 GT3 

Leonard Weiss


Pos. 24: #8 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Lucas Luhr

Pos. 25: #45 Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 

Tom Coronel


Pos. 26: #100 BMW M6 GT3 

Jordan Tresson

Pos.27: #17 Mercedes AMG GT3 

Markus Palttala

Pos. 28: #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 

Oliver Kainz


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

“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 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.

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.

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!”

Lumirank: New position-display functions

In both the 24h Qualifying Race and the 24h Race, a large-scale LED display behind the windscreen of the competing cars provides the visitors with important information. Compared to last year, the system was refined once again, for 2019. As the time-keeping data also will record the driver currently driving the respective car, the display also will show an acronym of his name.

On the displays of the majority of the cars, the name of the current drivers will slowly alternate with the current position in the race. In the car of the race leader, the display will flash in addition and in cars that have not yet completed a timed lap, the name will alternate with place holders ??? („_ _“). This will be – for instance – the case if a car doesn’t complete a lap on the entire circuit but opts for using the short layout. In the pits or in standby, the display shows the number and the acronym ‘24H’. In the case of the Manthey Porsche #911 driven by Richard Lietz, the LEDs consequently would display:

  • 911 and 24H alternating: in standby
  • _ _ and LIE alternating: car on the track but no timed lap completed.
  • 023 und LIE alternating: The car holds 23rd position
  • 001 and LIE flashing by turns: The car holds the lead.

For the spectators on site, the new detail makes the Nordschleife action even more transparent. 24h Race Director Walter Hornung is convinced: “The LED displays are great for all the fans on site. In the Eifel woods, informing the crowds via video walls is far more difficult than at other circuits. Therefore, the position displays are extremely important for keeping track of the race action. And even more so as the 24h-Race field will comprise more than 150 cars.”

24h Schedule is online

The schedule of the 47th edition of the ADAC Total 24h Race at the famous ‘Ring’ is online. Please find it here as pdf download document or for online reading:

> Schedule ADAC Total 24h race

TOTAL the new title sponsor of the 24h race

The Nürburgring 24h Race has got a new title partner: from 2019, the endurance race held at the legendary Nordschleife will bear the name of mineral-oil group TOTAL. After the expiration of the contract with the previous title sponsor, Zurich, the 2019 edition of the prestigious event will be the first that will be held – from 20th to 23rd June – under its new name, the ‘ADAC TOTAL 24h Race‘. Consequently, Germany’s biggest and greatest circuit race with some 200,000 visitors over the course of the weekend and a huge field of about 160 touring cars and GTs is in good company. After all, the internationally most tradition-rich Belgian Spa-Francorchamps 24h Race and the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France also cooperate with TOTAL. For the brand that is mainly known to the German motorists thanks to its fuels and engine oils, the multi-year deal with the 24h Race held at the Nürburgring, the longest and most demanding racetrack in the world, represents a new challenge.

Due to the new deal, the 24h race has got a new name partner that suits the profile of the event perfectly. “With a partner that also is involved in the mobility industry, many future discussion will be very easy,” underlines Peter Meyer, the ‘ADAC Nordrhein e. V.’ Chairman. “I’m happy about the contract with a partner that not does not only appreciate the immense publicity of the Nürburgring 24h Race but also has got mobility know-how and passion in its genes.” In nearly no other event, perseverance and competitiveness are subjected to tougher test than at the legendary Nordschleife. The fight of man and material as well as the extreme challenge in the technical and racing areas in the 24h Race fascinate both hundreds of thousands of visitors on site and millions of TV viewers around the world.

“We truly are looking forward to shaping the future of the Nürburgring 24h Race together with ADAC Nordrhein,” said Bruno Daude-Lagrave, Managing Director of TOTAL Deutschland GmbH, on the occasion of the signing of the cooperation deal in Berlin. “Our premium fuel, Excellium, and our engine oil, TOTAL Quartz, are particularly designed to protect the longevity of the engines. That’s our natural association with endurance racing. We already are cooperating with Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps and are proud to now also support the third mega-event among the international 24h races as partners.”

The signing of the deal with the new partner makes an end to the long-term cooperation of the Nürburgring 24h Race with the insurance group Zurich. “We’d like to thank Zurich for the long and amicable cooperation,” said Matthias Wurm, Managing Director of Sporttotal Live GmbH, the promoter of the 24h race. “We are really delighted with having found TOTAL as new partner we now will open a new chapter with and particularly press ahead with the internationalisation.”

Manthey-Porsche establish new record with lap No 6

The 46th ADAC Zurich 24h Race ended with a 90-minute final spurt. The race was red-flagged for about two hours due to rain and then, the Manthey-Porsche #912 defeated the Black-Falcon-Mercedes #4 in a spectacular sprint battle and gave the team the record-breaking sixth overall win. After the restart at 13:59hrs CEST, these two cars were the only ones in the same lap and thrilled the 210,000 spectators on site and the millions at home in front of their TV sets or mobile devices with a fierce fight that was won at the end of the day by Frenchman Fred Makowiecki for Manthey. For the team that is based in Meuspath, right at the Nordschleife, it was the first triumph since 2011. It was the sixth win for the squad that established a new record with this success and is the exclusive record holder, now. At the same time it was the 12th win for Porsche. The 47th edition of the legendary event will be held from 20th to 23rd June, 2019.

“What a race! Very emotional, great for Porsche and the entire motor-sport,” said the Briton Nick Nandy, 2015 Le Mans winner, who won the race together with Richard Lietz (Austria), Patrick Pilet (France) and Makowiecki. “A win for the entire team. This is one of the toughest races in the world, virtually everything can happen and there are so many potential winner cars on the grid. In your life you possibly have two or three chance of winning such a race. It’s fantastic.” For all the four victorious drivers it was their debut win in the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. “It couldn’t have come any better regarding the 70th birthday. We credit this win to Dr Porsche on the occasion of the next decade in his life We established a new lap record and wouldn’t mind to continue like this,” said Porsche Sport Director Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser.

Crucial move at the Mercedes-Arena
The crucial overtaking manoeuvre was made by ‘Mako’ with 1:11 hours to go at the entrance of the Mercedes-Arena. The two rivals touched and the Mercedes-AMG spun, with the Porsche taking the lead. But Christodoulou wasn’t ready to give in and pressurised his rival to the max. Even a slight crash-barrier contact didn’t stop the Briton. In the end, however, Makowiecki crossed the line 26.413 seconds before Christodoulou, thus making for the second-closest finish in the history of the race. The closes was the Black Falcon win in 2015 with a 5.697 lead.

“I tried absolutely anything but there was nothing I could do. We’ll be back next year,” said Christodoulou who failed – just as Maro Engel (Germany), Manuel Metzger (Germany) and Dirk Müller (Germany) to win the race a second time. Third place was secured in a just as thrilling battle by Dutchman Yelmer Buurman in the Black-Falcon-Mercedes #5, followed by the Aston Martin #007 and the Black-Falcon-Mercedes #6. Last year’s winners, the Audi Sport Team Land Audi R LMS #1, finished sixth, thus being the fourth manufacturer among the top six.

Even before the race was temporarily red-flagged – incidentally the first time since the Black Falcon win and the only seventh since the races debut edition in 1970 – the famous Eifel weather displayed even its most notorious facets – from brilliant sunshine to thunderstorm-like heavy rain.

“This was one of the most thrilling 24h races of all times and one of the most nerve-wrecking four all those involved,” said Race Director Walter Hornung: “It featured everything that’s making motor racing so fascinating. Sensational drivers, great racing cars, weather gods that provided the most different conditions and a circuit that takes the drivers to their limits in every single second.”

Mega fast opening stage
The race was started on Saturday afternoon in brilliant sunshine with a spectacular show of Kevin Estre in the Manthey-Porsche #911. The Frenchman took the lead from the pole and was virtually flying, broke the lap record – that had been established by Augusto Farfus in 2015 – two times and quickly opened a gap on the rest of the field, thus laying the basis for the comfortable lead of his team in the following hours. The #911 controlled the field until late in the night but then, Romain Dumas lost in on a trail of oil, crashed – and the race of #911 was over.

Afterwards, the sister car, #912, stepped into the breach. Due to different pit-stop rhythms, #912 and the Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 #4 alternated in the lead but then, Patrick Pilet in the Porsche accelerated to early out of a Code-60 zone. As it was about the lead, the offense was investigated by the race control extensively by dint of GPS data, vehicle data and video footage – but in the end, all these data confirmed the offense (82kph in a Code-60 zone) and the team received a 3:32-minute time penalty. The battle for the win seemed to be over, but then, the red flags due to the dense fog 20.5 hours into the race nullified the gap between the two cars that still were racing on the same lap.

Action galore on and aloof from the track

The programme of the biggest race in the world does not only provide the fans with a huge dose of motor racing but also quite a lot of highlights aloof from the track. The multifaceted programme ranges from the Falken Drift Show on Friday evening at the Müllenbachschleife through the Red Bull FMX-Show that will be held there right afterwards – to the Stihl Timbersports Show contest in the historic paddock – also on Friday evening. There, the Falken drift team also wows the crowds several times a day in the Fan arena with a big stand.

“In the Falken Drift Show held on Friday evening at the Müllenbachschleife we entertain the crowds with about 20 cars and for nearly an hour with a spectacular drift show in the Dunlop Kehre. We thrill the fans on the grandstand with every conceivable kind of spectacular drifts: individual drifts, drifts with several cars in a row – or parallel drifts. But all this is just show, no competition,” says Dutchman Rohan van Riel who takes a Falken-BMW M5 to its very limits. “And we perform the same show – with four cars – from Thursday to Sunday and several times a day in the Fan Arena in the historic paddock.”

Right after the Falken Drift Show, the Red BULL FMX Show also will be held at the Müllenbachschleife. “Three FMX drivers, one of them Luc Ackermann, the reigning European Freestyle Motocross Champion, show a 15-minute freestyle programme with their motocross bikes, featuring stunning flights over two big ramps. On Saturday this programmed will be showed a second time, right before the start of the 24h race on the home straight, in front of the Mercedes stand,” says Chris Baur, the Red Bull Motorsport-Manager Germany.

Furthermore, the Timbersports sport lumberjacks will make for a lot of chopped wood in the historic paddock. “On Friday evening we hold a show contest in the Fan Arena, with the six fastest sports timberjacks battling it out with one another in six different disciplines. Furthermore, we present the fastest power saw of the world in action. It’s powered by a 290cc kart engine,” reveals Thorsten Schledorn, the Stihl Timbersports Series presenter.

Qualified Teams Top-30-Qualifying

The first motor-racing decisions for the 24h Race are brought about long before the weekend of the legendary race. The coveted starting positions for the Top-30 Qualifying have been assigned from the first round of the Endurance Championship Nürburgring, VLN. This means that there are – including VLN round two and the 24h Race qualifying race – three races held in the run-up to the 24h race that offer the competitors the chance of securing one of the soughtafter positions. According to the 24h-Race regulations, the four fastest teams in the VLN qualifying sessions as well as the 10 quickest in the practice session as well as the five best teams in the qualifying race secure a slot on the top-30 grid. But traditionally, not all the theoretically possible Top-30 Qualifying positions are taken. This year, 15 vehicles already secured a position for the battle for the 24h-Race pole position in the time-trial format.

Qualified teams Top-30 Qualifying prior to the 24h Race:

Qualified in the VLN 1 qualifying session
1#911Manthey RacingLaurens VanthoorPorsche 911 GT3 RSP9
2#22WochenspiegelJochen KrumbachFerrari 488 GT3SP9
3#102WalkenhorstChristian KrognesBMW M6 GT3SP9
4#47Mercedes AMG HTPDominik BaumannMercedes-AMG GT3SP9
Qualified in the VLN 2 qualifying session
5#912Manthey RacingPatrick PiletPorsche 911 GT3 RSP9
6#4Mercedes AMG HTPDirk MüllerMercedes-AMG GT3SP9
7#48Mercedes AMG HTPMaximilian GötzMercedes-AMG GT3SP9
8Not assigned
Qualified in the 24h Race qualifying session
9#31Frikadelli RacingNorbert SiedlerPorsche 911 GT3 RSP9
10#7Aston Martin RacingNicky ThiimAston Martin GT3SP9
11#5Mercedes AMG Black FalconYelmer BuurmanMercedes-AMG GT3SP9
12#99Rowe RacingMartin TomczykBMW M6 GT3SP9
13#705Scuderia GlickenhausAndreas SimonsenSCG 003CSP-X
14#44Falken MotorsportsSven MüllerPorsche 911 GT3 RSP9
15#8Audi Sport WRTRobin FrijnsAudi R8 LMSSP9
16#98Rowe RacingNicky CatsburgBMW M6 GT3SP9
17Not assigned
18Not assigned
Qualified in the 24h Race qualifying race
19Not assigned
20Not assigned
21Not assigned
22Not assigned
23Not assigned

Top-30 Qualifying: The regulations.
The time trials for the 24h Race pole are one of the highlights of the weekend. On Friday evening (11th May) from 19:00hrs (CEST), Race Director Walter Hornung sends the 30 fastest Nordschleife teams of the season out for two flying laps that are not only crucial for the positions at the front end of the 24h-Race grid but also in the fight for the Glickenhaus Trophy: the coveted challenge cup for the fastest Nordschleife driver of the season will be awarded to the best driver in the Top-30 Qualifying. Prior to the 24h-Race weekend, up to 23 positions for the time trials are assigned according to the following format:

  • Four positions each for the four fastest teams in the qualifying sessions for the VLN rounds one and two.
  • 10 positions for the fastest teams in the Top-30 qualifying of the 24h-Race qualifying race.
  • 5 positions for the five best-placed teams in the 24h qualifying race.
  • The teams must have registered for the assigning procedure prior to the respective event. Nobody will be moved up. This means that – for instance – the fifth placed teams in the VLN qualifying sessions will go away empty-handed.
  • All the Top-30 qualifying positions not secured prior to the 24h-Race weekend will be assigned according to the aggregated results of the first and second qualifying sessions.

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.

Winners’ press-conference quotes

That’s what the drivers of the top-placed teams in the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race at the Nürburgring had to say.

Connor De Phillippi (Audi Sport Team Land): “The tyres were of major significance, this year. We tested quite a number of different tyres, over the weekend, and found the definitely best solution for the race.”

Christopher Mies (Audi Sport Team Land): “Having been the leaders for such a long time it’s really disappointing to see that the car suddenly doesn’t produce stops to perform. Fortunately our guys didn’t give up and found the problem quickly. And in the last pit stop we were just lucky. At first we had a refuelling problem and we already had shod the car with slicks but at the last moment we opted for switching to wets. And that proved to be the crucial move for our win.”

Markus Winkelhock (Audi Sport Team Land): “I’m absolutely happy. We held the lead for 22 hours – nearly throughout the race. And then we dropped back to third due to a technical problem . If you contest the 24h Race you just want to win it. Finishing second or third also is nice but this race is very special and you can win it only once a year. And when the rain began to fall we other drivers already sat in the truck and couldn’t believe what was going on out there. To be honest I still am lost for words.

Kelvin van der Linde (Audi Sport Team Land): After the sensor problem I honestly stopped thinking. The only thing I did was pushing. We wanted to pass the BMW ahead of us at all costs. During the final stop we had a minor refuelling problem and spontaneously opted to switch to wets. A decision that proved to be just perfect, with hindsight.”

Markus Paltalla (Rowe Racing): “The Land Motorsport Team has been racing in a class of its own since Friday and was extremely strong, in the warm conditions. But they also were really good in the night. We made the maximum out of our performance and are happy with our achievements.”

Nick Catsburg (Rowe Racing): “It was a great weekend for me. At first the WTCC wins and now on the 24h-Race podium. Although I have to admit that we didn’t really expect to secure such a good result, on Saturday.”

Alexander Sims (Rowe Racing): “Spa and the Nürburgring are the greatest GT3 races in the world. To have made it to the podium in both races is just fantastic. We didn’t expect to make it to the Nürburgring podium but we firmly believed that we could do it. An excellent result.”

Richard Westbrook (Rowe-Racing): “We had a very good and strict schedule for this race but in the closing stages we unfortunately had implementing problems. We tried to push to the max but the heat made a bigger impact on our tyres than we would have guessed. I think we delivered in great style. These guys next to me are my team and everybody gave their very best.”

Nico Müller (Audi Sport Team WRT): “The team performance was great. Everybody did a perfect job. Apart from the final decision. The race ran perfectly for us. The result really hurts.”

Marcel Fässler (Audi Sport Team WRT): “A really successful weekend, the 24h Race is just unique. More than 30 GT3 vehicles on the grid. This figure alone is something special. On Wednesday we drove around the entire Nordschleife on mountain bikes and already could feel the outstanding atmosphere. And I think that’s what’s making the Nürburgring so special. The race itself is hardcore motor racing. You have to assess the risk when and where you should overtake. If you don’t, your race can come to an early and sudden end. And it’s incredibly thrilling. And at the end of the day – I have to admit it – the right squad as won. Although it hurts us at a team.”

Robin Frijns (Audi Sport Team WRT): „It hurts to have been so close and not have made it, in the end. It goes without saying that we would have loved to cross the finish line as race winners. We also would have deserved the win as we tried really hard. Unfortunately we made the wrong decision in the wet and that cost us dearly.”

René Rast (Audi Sport Team WRT): “Throughout the race we were close behind the Land Audi. Due to yellow-phases the gap the hey a one-minute lead over us and although we tried hard to close the gap we couldn’t With 90 minutes to go we could take the lead due to a technical problem at Land. When we came in for the final stop, the track still was widely dry. This was the moment we made the wrong decision. We should have switched to intermediates. In the end, our result gives me mixed emotions.”

Action at close range: the Fan Arena experience

Roaring engines, burning rubber and the smell of action and excitement: that’s what the motor-racing enthusiasts will witness in the Nürburgring Fan Arena. The show programme in the historic paddock has got what it takes to thrill everybody – from the power-slide fan to the wood-chopping or motorbike enthusiast. From Thursday to Sunday, the programme features the most different shows – with national and international protagonist that will thrill the crowds with their skills. And this year, several never witness acts will even add to the fantastic atmosphere. 

One of the new acts in this year’s programme is Lithuania’s Arūnas Gibieza with his action-packed Red-Bull motorbike stunt show that takes the spectators’ breath away. “I am slightly excited but truly look forward to my first appearance at the Nürburgring,” Gibieza said a short time before his show in the historic paddock, “I never have been here, to date, but I heard a lot about the circuit. Now I finally am here and look forward to my first appearance at the Nürburgring.” Furthermore, Gibieza raves about the great atmosphere among the spectators on the stands and the really great support of his Red Bull Team that gives him encouragement and turns his stay in Germany into a particularly pleasant experience.

A very special stunt

Also unique is this year’s appearance of the Red-Bull Drift Brothers Joe and Elias Hountondji who are going to perform their first drift-run on the Nordschleife. “It is really, really unique that we will be drifting around the Nordschleife prior to each trace,” said  Joe Hountondji with a touch of pride in his voice. “That’s something never witnessed in the past.” Two weeks ago the brothers drove their first laps on the Nordschleife: at first two hours for learning the track and then a drifted lap. “Unfortunately we can’t complete a full lap drifting on one set of tyres – what means we hat to incorporate a tyre change,” the brothers revealed. Then, the lap with tyre change halfway around the Nordschleife also was practiced. The Hountondjis underline that it’s very important for them that nothing goes wrong and that the circuit isn’t damaged as they are well aware that the 24h-Race drivers are the main attraction of the event and can’t and won’t accept any delays of the race at the Nordschleife. “The biggest difference is that the run-off areas at the Nordschleife with the distance between track and crash barriers being extremely small,” the brothers explain. “Usually we perform our show at tracks with run-off areas with gravel traps. Here, a single mistake will result in a broken car and in a delayed race – what must be avoided by all means.”  The drift brothers explain that they love their sport, think that it has got lot of potential and that they hope to be able to bring the sport nearer to a bigger target group.

“Inter alia, we also will co-comment in the live stream and talk about what we have done and how the drifting sport works and that this represents a huge chance for us.” The brothers have been coming to the 24h Race for three years, now, and this year, they finally have got some tine for visiting some of the fans and enjoying the Nürburgring atmosphere as they aren’t in action all the time. “Pure madness what the fans have organised here. Some of them even have got pools in the woods,” the pairing said smiling.

But not only the new acts find their place in the Fan Arena as the well-known shows also once again can be admired in the historic paddock. Attractions such as the Falken Drift Taxis that represent real crowd pullers year by year as the spectators who love power slides and burning rubber even can apply for a ride in the passenger seats of the cars.  Rides that can represent a hard test for the passenger’s stomach. For 10 years, now, Dutchman Rohan van Riel has been a member of the team and once again contributes to the show with ardour, this year. “I’m really delighted to once again be a part of the show,” he said. “It’s just great that we are so successful with what we are doing. In these sunny conditions the spectators are in an even better mood and driving in these conditions consequently is even bigger fun.”

Wood-chopping sport for and with the fans

In addition, the extraordinary Stihl Timbersports wood-chopping shows will entertain the crowds several times a day in the paddock, with the athletes thrilling the visitors with their fascinating and exhausting sport. In their first demonstrations they show how a trunk is trenched manually or with different motor saws and pique the curiosity for the great show competition in the evening.

A competition the sportsmen love to integrate the spectators into. Here, the fans also may demonstrate their skills on a saw. To date, the squad has been absolutely happy with their appearances and also enjoys the nice weather – also the higher temperatures mean more sweating for the athletes. “Tonight we will have modified saws on the stage, with more than 70bhp and 140 decibels – what should delight every motor-sport enthusiast,” said team-member Leonard Schäfer who massively looks forward to the show and the atmosphere in the evening.

Westphal secures pole position for the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race

With a superfast second lap US-American Jeff Westphal sensationally secured the pole position for the 45th edition of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. Westphal crossed the line in 8:15.427 minute, thus setting the fastest lap time in the Top 30 Qualifying and consequently, the SCG003C #704 will be the pole sitter when the race twice around the clock will be started on Saturday at 15:30hes CEST (14:30hrs BST). Westphal will share row one with his compatriot Connor de Phillippi (8:16.102) who was just 0.675 seconds slower, with his Audi.

“I was really at the limit and had a lot of oversteer,” admitted Westphal. “This was a make-or-break lap. The first lap also was rather good but at some sports it could have been even better.” By setting the fastest lap Westphal also secured the Glickenhaus Trophy. The challenge cup was donated in 2016 by the American movie director James Glickenhaus who also created and established ‘Team Traum Motorsport’. So, the Team Principal had the pleasure to award the trophy to one of his own drivers. “The Nürburgring 24h Race is like Woodstock,” said Glickenhaus. “A Festival of motor racing. And I’m proud that our team becomes a part of this legend, with our pole position.”

The positions on the second row of the grid were secured by Robin Frijns in the WRT-Audi #9 and the Wochenspiegel-Ferrari #22 driver Jochen Krummbach. In fifth and sixth positions, DTM drivers Nico Müller (#10) and Mike Rockenfeller (#5) completed the great manufacturer result for Audi.

Last year’s winner Maro Engel who didn’t drive the Black Falcon #1 but #3, finished seventh in the Top 30 Qualifying, thus being the best Mercedes-AMG driver. Sven Müller was the fastest Porsche driver and finished eight, while Augusto Farfus took the fastest BMW to 10th place. The best Bentley, driven by Christian Mamerow, qualified 13th.

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