Porsche's efforts to defend its Nurburgring 24 Hours got off to a good start as first qualifying for the event ended with three examples of the Stuttgart based manufacturer's handywork in the top six.
Somewhat ironically in the wet the marque's charge was led by the 911 GT3 R Hybrid with two 60kw electric motors supplementing the 480hp engine. Jorg Bergmeister responsible for the lap of 9:26:421 that placed the car second fastest in the shortened session. Bergmeister – one of the four Porsche works drivers driving the car – took the right decision on tyres at the right time, going out just before conditions worsened.
“Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time,” he admitted. “And I went out at exactly the right moment with slicks, before the heavy rain started again and fog made visibility more difficult. As far as I'm concerned the result can stay just like this. Let's see what the second qualifying session brings.”
Nine second, but only place behind on the 25km track, is another Porsche, the no.12 911 GT3 of Mamerow Racing. Chris Mamerow – a former junior works driver – set the time, gambling on slick tyres on a greasy track, a decision applauded by current works driver Wolf Henzler who congratulated his teammate on a “super lap under adverse conditions”.
The final Porsche in the top half dozen was the no.1 car of Nurburgring 24 phenomenon Manthey Racing. Marc Lieb, one for three Porsche works drivers in the quartet of drivers, set the best time (9:38.502) in the car.