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.