At the first qualifying session for the long-distance classic in the Eifel region of Germany, the best Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Manthey Racing squad with the starting number 12 finished eighth with a time of 8.25.131 minutes. Six teams tackle the Nürburgring 24-hour race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R, an event which is expected to attract more than 200,000 spectators.
Prior to the 24-hour marathon in the “Green Hell”, the first two VLN races and the qualifying race on the Nürburgring offered competitors the possibility to reach the Top 30 Qualifying. This session will be held on Friday, 26 May, from 19.50 hours to determine the top grid spots for the Eifel marathon. Five Porsche teams have already qualified for this and hence used the first qualifying session to primarily find the right tyre combinations and to work on a suitable vehicle setup. The focus at the second qualifying on Friday morning will also be on finding the best setup for the race.
The second qualifying session is held on Friday, 26 May, from 9:30 to 11:30 hrs. The Top 30 Qualifying follows on Friday evening from 19:50 to 20:30 hrs.
Comments on the 1st qualifying
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT cars:
“We treated this evening’s qualifying as if it was just another practice session. We already have five cars qualified for the Top 30, so our focus now is to find the right tyre combination and to work out the right setup. It was important to let all the pilots drive once again in the dark, which is certainly a challenge on the Nordschleife. But for this year we’ve again optimised our lights. We’ll see the real results in the Top 30 Qualifying.”
Richard Lietz, 911 GT3 R (911), Manthey Racing:
“Like many of the other teams who are already confirmed for the Top 30 shootout, we used the qualifying to find the best possible race setup.”
Drivers 911 GT3 R #44, Falken Motorsports
Jörg Bergmeister: “We’re already in the Top 30 Qualifying and therefore we’re concentrating on finding a good balance for the race. The racetrack is considerably warmer than we’ve experienced here before during the preparation phase, hence the car responds a little differently. The atmosphere amongst the spectators seems to be great. You notice from the cockpit that some people have already lit campfires.”
Dirk Werner: “I found the first qualifying session very interesting because I’ve only contested the qualifying race on the Nordschleife this year. I first have to find my rhythm, also because I’ve not driven the Porsche 911 GT3 R a lot. But it was great fun. To drive on the Nordschleife in beautiful weather at night is always a great experience and a challenge. The car feels great and I’m very much looking forward to contesting the race with our team.”
Michael Christensen, 911 GT3 R (31), Frikadelli Racing Team
“That was a good qualifying. We tried out a couple of things, first and foremost the tyres for the cooler evening temperatures. We managed to put in a couple of decent laps and we want to learn as much as possible in the lead-up to the race.”
Mathieu Jaminet 911 GT3 R (12), Manthey Racing
“We tried out a new set of tyres over two laps and I clocked a fast time in the second lap despite the heavy traffic out on the track. The car ran well. We managed to work on the setup and we’re feeling confident for tomorrow.”
Sven Müller 911 GT3 R (59), Manthey Racing
“Driving here at the Nürburgring 24-hour race is something very special. You notice subconsciously that there’s a lot more happening around the racetrack compared to other circuits. We’re already in the Top 30 Qualifying and so we were able to work on the final setup for the car. It was important for me to turn a couple of laps in the dark, because I haven’t done that before on the Nürburgring