Briton Christodoulou Leads Top Times in Nurburgring 24 Hours Qualifying


2015 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours (Credit: Tom Loomes Photography)

The second qualifying session for the 2015 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours was almost a repeat of the first, with improving track conditions leaving teams to set their fastest times at the very end of the session.

Where as the Thursday evening session began in the rain the morning session on Friday started with a damp track and a mist lingering amongst the trees of the Eifel mountains that stand watch over the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Thus the opening laps did little to impact on the times set at the end of the night session with the 8:29 target time out of reach for the first half of the two hour session, the #35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN leading the session with a lap of more than nine minutes.

However, over the remaining hour the mist lifted, the track dried and with daylight revealing the 25km track to the drivers the charge was on to set the quickest laps of the weekend so far.

As the track came to the drivers the times tumbled downwards with BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche helping to eclipse the Thursday night times, the #26 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS Z4 the first beneath Rene Rast’s benchmark before the Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche moved the bar still higher – or lower – with a lap of 8:27.817.

Such was the rapid rate of improvement that the Frikadelli team’s time would only end the session 11th fastest, 7.7 seconds slower than the time that Adam Christodoulou set in the #2 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.

The Briton’s time in the car he shares with Yelmer Buurman, Andreas Simonsen and 2013 race winner Bernd Schneider was more than two seconds faster than anyone else could manage, the #26 second fastest with the #84 Bentley third fastest, but only once the fastest lap of the #7 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 had been discounted from the results, the loss of the time punishment for speeding through one of the newly speed limited sections of the circuit.

Thus the #29 Audi Sport Team WRT team made sure four different marques finished the session in the top five ahead of the #22 Mercedes from ROWE Racing.

With the times from the second session trumping those set in the darkness the session also finalised the make-up (though not the line-up) for the top-30 shootout that will decide pole position.

Both of the top two teams in the session were among those who started the N24 week still needing to secure their shootout place, as did – among others – the #1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS of the defending champions.

The task of those trying to qualifying their way in at the final opportunity was made slightly easier by the withdrawal of the #40 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003c after the car was heavily damaged in the darkness of Thursday night. Their exit left a 13th slot up for grabs from qualifying, a space taken by the Schulze Motorsport Nissan that set an 8:34.707, for the 21st fastest time in qualifying.

Among other teams hot lapping their way into the shootout were the #10 Wochenspeigel Team Manthey Porsche from the SP-PRO class, the Bentley Team HTP #11 and both Team WRT Audis.

Despite their penalty the #7 Aston squad will also take part in the shootout, where one driver from each team is given two laps to set the front 15 rows of the starting grid for the race.