HTP Trio Lead N24 Qualifying Race Free Practice

HTP's Mercedes flew in the first Norschleife session of the weekend (Credit: Kevin Mc Glone/Red Square Images)

Maximilian Gotz dismissed his and the rest of the HTP Motorsport’s leading of the free practice session for the ADAC Nurburging 24 Hours Qualification Race.

Gotz is joined in the team’s Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 by Harold Primat and Kenneth Heyer, the #15 entry lapping the Nordschleife in 8:30.249, more than two seconds faster than anyone else in the 90 minutes session that started off the action for the new ‘little brother’ event to June’s 24 hour challenge.

Following the withdrawal of ROWE Racing from the event defending 24 hour winners Black Falcon have the only other SLS in the field and the team of Abdul Al Faisal, Stephan Rosler, Christian Menzel and Jeroen Bleekemolen were third fastest, the two gullwinged machines sandwiching the better of the two Prosperia-Abt Hankook tyre shod Audi R8 in the race, the #9 of Peter Terting, Marco Seefried and Jamie Melo.

The second of the team’s cars and the Schulze Motorsport entered Nissan NISMO GT-R GT3 completed the top five overall, with the fastest twelve times all came from team contesting the SP9-GT3 category.

The team to break the string of GT3 machinery were GetSpeed Performance, leading the all Porsche SP7 class on a best lap of 8:53.857. They were faster than the Haribo Racing Team SP9 Porsche, the team the lone remaining 911 RSR in the premier class after the withdrawal for the Team Falken Tire entry from thee weekend following an earlier accident.

Rotek Racing’s pair of Audis were 17th and 31st fastest – TT RS ahead of the RS4, the former, driven by Rob Huff, Kevin Gleason and Richard Meins setting a best lap of 9:00.281 while the latter, dubbed Stuart by driver Rob Austin, had a best lap of 10:01.768.

The best of the Cup 2 class set aside for the new BMW M235i was the #303 entry and a best time of 9:45.634.

The qualifying race weekend continues with the first of two qualifying session later today (Saturday) offering teams and drivers the chance to drive into the night – another part of the weekend that prepares the field for the 24 Hours.