Following a tumultuous Top 30 Qualifying, the three fastest drivers attended the pole press conference to answer the questions of the media representatives. Please read below what pole-sitter Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG), second-placed Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG, third position) had to say.
Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG), pole position: “Two free Nordschleife laps combined with a light car and a fresh set of tyres – that just fantastic. A thank you to the team, the car was perfect. I couldn’t have wished for more. The key factor for our success was the tyre preparation, our plan worked perfectly. On my first lap the tarmac wasn’t dry and I jack-knifed badly. But the second lap was extremely good. A 24h race is very long but the pole is the best position to start from, nevertheless. It always is an advantage to stand at the front end of the grid. It means that you possibly will have free vision and a free track for quite a while. But as I see it, there are far more cars than the ones here on the podium that could and want to become a factor in the battle for the win.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW), second position on the grid: “We have made it to the front row on the grid for the second consecutive time. Last year it was the pole, this year we didn’t quite make it. But being second on the grid also is a really fine result. The Top 30 Qualifying always is great and this time it also was extremely challenging as the dry line was very narrow and so, making a mistake was extremely easy. Our new M6 ran really well and the grid position represents another extra boost for our confidence. And although the conditions arguably will become extremely difficult if the weather forecasters are right, consistency will be the key factor if you want to win the 24h Race. The car must be easy to drive and feature a high basic speed. And I think that’s exactly what we have got with our M6. Of course, there always are some question marks if you are racing an all new car but in 2010 we contested the race with our M3 GT2 that also was new, then. And we won the car’s first 24h race right away. It would be great if we could repeat this feat with the M6, this year.”
Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG), third position on the grid: “First of all a big thank you to Haribo-Racing. They gave us two great cars that allowed us to set virtually identical lap times. We will try to race both cars as long as possible. On my out lap I familiarised myself and tried to imprint the still wet spots on my memory. It was quickly clear that my second lap would be clearly faster as the track dried more and more. And the fact that both our cars, #8 and #88, qualified for the second row on the grid is just great. I didn’t take the car to its absolute limit in these conditions as we have seen that losing it was easy. That’s why I am particularly happy with third position. At the scene of the Porsche accident, every driver had to be extremely focused. The decision to only show the yellow flag was absolutely correct. This session was solely contested by the Top 30 drivers and they know how to deal with such a situation.”