1000km Champions Keep Up Nurburgring Record in First Qualifying


The fiirst of the two qualifying sessions for the race ran into the darkness (Credit: Kevin Mc Glone/Red Square Images)

The HTP Motorsport team of Harold Primat, Maximilian Gotz, Kenneth Heyer and Roland Rehfeld completed a dominant Saturday on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, leading the first of two qualifying sessions for the ADA Nurburgring Six Hours – the official qualifying race for June’s ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours.

The quartet – from the same team who won the 1000km Blancpain Endurance Series race last year – previously set the best time in the lone free practice session for the race.

Their best lap of the two hour, 40 minute session was ten seconds faster than their free practice best, lowering the weekend’s benchmark time to 8:20.835 during the session which ran into the darkness terminating a chill, but mercifully dry in the Eifel Mountains. They were nearly five seconds faster than the #502 Audi Race Experience team in which record breaking sky diver Felix Baumgartner joins Pierre Kaffer, Frank Biela, Marco Werner.

Another Audi R8 LMS ultra was third fastest in the form of the #10 Prosperia-Abt Racing machine. The Black Falcon Mercedes SLS was fourth fastest despite a gearbox problem limiting the #1 car to just a single lap during the session.

Just as in the free practice session Schulze Motorsport’s Nissan NISMO GT-R GT3 completed the top five ahead of the second Abt Racing R8, Haribo Racing Team’s Porsche and the pair of BMW Team Sports Team Schubert Z4 GT3.

GetSpeed Performance’s #61 team of Adam Osieka, Steve Jans and Dieter Schornstein repeated the free practice feat of lead the SP7 class, which they did with the tenth best time in the opening qualifying session (8:40.924), despite mechanical problems ending their session early.

Rotek Racing’s Audi TT RS – the lone SP4T class entry in the race – was 16th fastest under the stewardship of the driver line-up of Rob Huff, Kevin Gleason and Richard Meins. They split the all Porsche SP7 class with a best time of 8:53.338. The team’s other representative in the race – an SP8 class Audi RS4 featuring BTCC drivers Robb Holland and Rob Austin was 32nd fastest, comprehensively beaten to class honours by the Hyundai Motor Deutschland run Genesis Coupe with a best time of 9:17.760.

60 minutes of qualifying remains for the team on Sunday morning, the session setting the grid for the start of the six hours, but also helps establish the teams which will compete for the pole position at the 24 Hours itself with ten of the 30 places in the shootout finale to June’s qualifying sessions to be decided this weekend.