Young Driver AMR led the way in the first day's running at the German round of the FIA GT1 World Championship, topping both the Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying sessions at the Nurburgring.
The first session for the event – the sixth round of the series – was run in heavy rain, presenting a different challenge to the teams as a dry line only began to emerge in the closing stages of the 80-minute session.
Christoffer Nygaard and Stefan Mucke led the way in the no.8 car with a fastest lap of 2:13.554. “The conditions were difficult,” explained Mucke. “Sometimes it was very wet so we had to stop completely because there was just too much water on the track. Generally the car is pretty good so I am happy with that. This is my home race, my home track and we were the fastest.”
The Aston duo's time was more than one-and-a-half seconds faster than second fastest – the Marc Basseng/Thomas Jager All-inkl.com Lamborghini. Thomas Mutsch and Richard Westbrook were third fastest for Matech Competition ahead of championship leaders Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini for Vitaphone Racing as the six different brands in the series each had a representative in the top half dozen.
Pre-qualifying saw faster times, the track continuing to dry and times tumble. Despite being the first under the two minute barrier Bartels and Bertolini ended the session fifth fastest as the other Young Driver car, driven by Darren Turner and Tomas Enge led the session, their lap of 1:59.220 three-tenths faster than the Marc VDS Ford GT shared by Maxime Martin and Bas Leinders, who have made a habit of running well in wet conditions this year, though they only ran two laps in the earlier session.
“This session wasn’t too bad but to be honest the whole day was all about the weather,” said Enge. “How to cope in the wet and dry conditions; more wet than dry unfortunately but we managed to get two good dry laps in before it rained again. For tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend it looks like the weather will not change much. I think the weather will be playing a big part of the result for everybody but we, like everybody else, will try to make the best out of the weekend.”