In the first qualifying session for the 44th ADAC Zurich 24h Race, the winners of the legendary event’s 2015 edition – Laurens Vanthoor, Christopher Mies and Nico Müller plus the team’s new signing, old hand Pierre Kaffer – secured the provisional pole. In early sessions of the session, in dry conditions, the quartet crossed the line with the Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT in 8:21.951 minutes, thus setting the fastest lap time, with a 1.215-second lead over their fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers racing for Twin Busch Motorsport. The gaps on the following positions were really close, with the interval between second and ninth position amounted to less than a second.
The first qualifying session for the Eifel classic was started in dry conditions bit from the second hour, the race action was hampered by partly heavy rain. A situation that offered the teams the opportunity to prepare for the changeable conditions in the forthcoming 24h race. After all, changeable conditions have been forecasted for the race itself that will be started on Saturday at 15:30hrs. Due to the rain, improving the lap times in the second half of the session proved to be possible.
1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
21:31hrs Sets the new fastest lap: 8.21,951 Min. Despite a slight drizzle!
21:50hrs Drives slowly in the Döttinger Höhe area.
2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
20:59hrs Loses it and ploughs through the meadow at the Adenauer Forst.
21:52hrs Visits the Adenauer Forst meadow a second time .
3 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Huisman / Siedler (Porsche 991 GT3 R)
20:34hrs New fastest lap: 8.29,163 minutes.
20:53hrs Patrick Huisman: “The first lap still was slightly wet and slippery but I could keep the tyres on working temperature and, consequently, the right pressure. On the second lap I could really go for it but I had a lot of traffic.”
21:04hrs Sabine Schmitz smiling on her qualifying time: “I drove extra slowly to not butcher my style of driving for the WTCC races.”
21:25hrs Stands in the pits – the brakes are changed. .
21:58hrs Technical failure in the Yokohama-S.
22:01hrs According to Klaus Abbelen the race is too heavy. His Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R was pushed into the garage. Should the weather improve, the Frikadelli-Porsche could go out again for the final obligatory lap.
22:32hrs The Porsche is standing jacked up in the garage. Klaus Abbelen: “it’s to wet out there. We had a minor failure, that’s why I pitted. Should the rain decrease we will go out again.”
5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
23:20hrs Nicki Meyr-Melnhof: “We tried something in the early sessions. Then came the rain and we weren’t able to improve our lap time. But the car works fine and we were able to develop a good wet-weather setup.”
6 – Haase / Rast / Winkelhock / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
21:28hrs 8.23,318 minutes: new third on the time sheets, just slightly behind the fastest time of the Twin-Busch-Audi (8.23,166 minutes).
21:39hrs Team Principal Ernst Moser: “We currently aren’t taking the car to the very limit as we don’t want to take unnecessary risks, in these conditions. We word on the setup, adjust the lights for the dark – and our drivers are supposed to complete their obligatory laps.”
23:09hrs Rene Rast: “It’s difficult on the wet track. The conditions change lap by lap, and you never know how heavy the aquaplaning will be you will have to cope with in a moment. But the Audi handles well and we don’t take any risks. The fourth place we secured in the dry is a good position.”
8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
22:27hrs Maximilian Götz: “We each complete at least one lap in the wet and the darkness to familiarise ourselves with these conditions.”
11 – Ohlsson / Bollrath / Oeverhaus / Hackländer (Audi R8 LMS)
21:37hrs The fastest lap time is disallowed due to pit-lane speeding.
12 – Klohs / Dieter Schmidtmann / Richter / Renauer (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
20:52hrs Schmidtmann replaces Renauer. “The first two laps were extremely wet but the third was good. At the Döttinger Höhe the track is dry. I hope we will be fast enough to make it to the Top 30 Qualifying.”
14 – Al Faisal / Gerwin / Dontje / Huff (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:13hrs Accident at the GP circuit – continues.
18 – Farfus / Krohn / Müller / Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3)
20:30hrs BMW’s DTM driver Augusto Farfus drives the first qualifying stint.
20:57hrs Driver swap: Marco Wittmann for Farfus.
21:18hrs Driver swap: Jörg Müller for Wittmann.
21:22hrs Wittmann after his two-lap stint: “Now I have completed my obligatory laps. On the first lap I was hampered by a lot of traffic but on the second it was better.”
21:57hrs Jesse Krohn prepares for replacing Müller at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3.
22:09hrS Jörg Müller: “The conditions are as difficult as you expect them to be at the Nordschleife. There are wet sections and sections with light fog right above the track surface as the tarmac is rather warm and the rain vaporizes.”
21 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Stursberg (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
20:54hrs Is shown the so-called fried-egg flag and consequently has to pit.
21:01hr Olaf Manthey: “The position diodes apparently were mounted too low. This will be checked.”
22 – Graf / Westbrook / Catsburg / Palttala (BMW M6 GT3)
20:36hrs Klaus Graf: “It still is rather slippery and in the sections up to the Flugplatz area you have to be particularly careful. In the falling dawn detecting the wet spots is particularly difficult.”
23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
22:27hrs Alexander Sims: “The conditions change from section to section. Currently it’s rather difficult out there.”
23:01hrs With 10:11.064 minutes the currently fastest car on the track.
23:26hrs Driver swap: Dirk Werner replaces Philipp Eng.
23:27hrs Philipp Eng: “It’s extremely wet out there but it was big fun.”
33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
22:57hr Driver swap: Saurenmann for Ziegler. Andreas Ziegler: “The vision is extremely poor but currently there aren’t many cars on the track.”
37 – Jöns / Kane / Holzer / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
21:05hrs Driver swap: Christer Jöns for Steven Kane.
42 – Cate / Dr. Kamelger / Turner / Guelden (Aston Martin Vantage GT8)
23:13hrs Pole for the Aston Martin in the SP8 category..
44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 991 GT3R)
21:45hrs Peter Dumbreck: “We still try to find out how we can get faster. In these lighting conditions the slow drivers drive even slower. A fact that hampered me again and again while I tried to set a fast lap time.”
56 – Shoffner / Hill / Klaasen / Huisman (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
20:57hrs The team works on repairing the right rear.
88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:34hrs Steal’s the Frikadelli Porsche’s pole with a 1: 8.28,259-minute lap.
20:47hrs Maximilian Götz: “The Mercedes handles well. At the beginning you had to be careful as the GP circuit still was wet. But I didn’t take any risks. We still want to qualify for the Top 30 Qualifying. We virtually have completed our setup work and only need some final touches.”
9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:51hrs Now fastest with an 8.23.553-minute lap.
100 – Edwards / Klingmann / Luhr / Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3)
21:23hrs Martin Tomczyk: “I now have completed my two obligatory laps and we used these laps to check the car. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow in Q2.”
21:58hrs Lucas Luhr gets behind the wheel.
22:05hrs John Edwards: “My first laps this weekend – in the dark and the wet. This was rather exciting.”
101 – Henkola / Yamauchi / Sandritter / Richardson (BMW M6 GT3)
20:51hrs Braking mistake in the Dunlop Kehre – goes off into the gravel but continues without help.
20:57hrs Drives slowly In the Adenauer-Forst area.
21:11hrs Technical failure at the GP circuit.
122 – Beckmann / Strycek / Hass / Schulten (Opel Manta)
22:03hr In category SP3, featuring 10 competitors, the iconic car currently is the fastest with a 10:13.603-minute lap.
701 – Lauck / Mailleux / Bleekemolen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)
21:29hrs Has to pit after having been shown the so-called fried-egg flag.
21:40hrs The race control called the car in as its GPS eye didn’t work.
21:42hrs James Glickenhaus: “We hope for a lot of rain in the race as this would increase our chances due to the high amount of downforce we produce.”
911 – Tandy / Estre / Bamber / Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
20:17hrs Patrick Pilet, 2015 IMSA Champion, will drive the first stint for the team.
20:23hrs Patrick Pilet: “Going out in these conditions is big fun for me. I love it when it gets slightly slippery. But setting a top time will be impossible in threes conditions
20:54hrs Driver swap and ride-height check. Le Mans winner Earl Bamber for Pilet.
20:57hrs Pilet: “I didn’t take any risks and tried to familiarise myself with the circuit. The conditions are extremely difficult.”
21:14hrs Nick Tandy for Bamber.
21:27hrsd Earl Bamber: “I came right from testing in the USA to the Eifel and used my laps to adapt to the circuit. I just drove on the lower part of the GP circuit for the first time with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. . I still have to find my racing line, there.”
21:48hrs Nick Tandy: The conditions out there are changing all the time. Detecting the dry and the wet spots is really difficult. Driving on a completely wet circuit would be easier. But as we possibly will have to cope with the same situation in the race it was good that we had the chance of accustoming to them.”
912 – Lietz / Bergmeister / Christensen / Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
20:18hrs Jörg Bergmeister gets ready for the first stint.
20:29hrs Jörg Bergmeister has gone out. First of all he will run in the brakes.
20:51hrs Put stop with brakes change. Jörg Bergmeister continues.
21:22hrs Jörg Bergmeister informs via radio on oil on the track in the Adenauer Forst area.
21:37hrs Driver swap: Richard Lietz for Jörg Bergmeister
21:46hrs Jörg Bergmeister: “I completed my two obligatory laps and apart from that I focused on running in the brakes. We already are qualified for the Top 30 Qualifying and therefore there’s no need for taking any risks.”