Harold Primat will make his Nurburgring 24 Hours debut at this weekend’s race as he takes a place in the HTP Motorsport run Mercedes alongside Roland Rehfeld, Kenneth Heyer and Maximilian Gotz.
The quartet raced in April’s Qualifying Race for the 24 Hours, Gotz’s pole position securing them an entry for the race and a pass through to the top-30 qualifying session that provides the finale to Friday’s running at the Nordschleife.
A veteran of eight 24 Hours of Le Mans starts among his endurance racing career this weekend’s race will be the Swiss driver’s first attempt to take on the 170-corners of the Nurburgring Nordschleife for the 24 hour event.
“It’s a completely new experience for me, although I’m certain it’ll be an enjoyable one,” said Primat. “Of course, building good knowledge of the circuit takes time, but all you can do is keep learning and gain more experience with every lap. I know the HTP crew very well and we’ve all been working closely to maximise our potential to ensure each of us feels happy with the set-up.”
The new challenge will include Primat’s first stints of driving on the Nordschleife and though he has tested once around the track in wet conditions the ever changeable Eifel Mountain weather will provide a further challenge to all of the teams taking part in this weekend’s event.
“We’re very confident with where we stand before the Nurburgring. Our base set-up is strong and Maximilian’s pole position for the Qualifying Race only reinforced that. I certainly think a podium was possible if we hadn’t retired. The car takes a very hard hit every time it jumps over the multiple rises, so we need to be slightly conservative in our approach to ensure we avoid such problems again.”
Their promising run through the six-hour qualifying race was thwarted by a loose bonnet catch on the front of their Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, the problem going some way to make physical the concerns Primat expressed.
Mercedes come into the race as defending champions after Black Falcon gave the manufacturer their first ever win at the N24. GT3 SLS took three of the top four places in the overall finishing order, with their pace apparently continuing into 2014 with Gotz’s qualifying race pole position.
www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk are on site to cover the full Nurburgring 24 Hours weekend with reports from each of the sessions as well as regular updates throughout the race.