The guesswork about the balance of power for the 49th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race continues: The first two qualifying sessions on Thursday at the Nürburgring took place in changing weather conditions, only towards the end of the post-practice session did the racing line dry out, allowing a few more time improvements. The fastest time of the day went to Italian Mirko Bortolotti in the #63 Hankook Lamborghini, who was the only driver to break the 8:20 mark on Thursday (8:18.575). In total, the first seven places were held by five different manufacturers. Less than six seconds separated the top 20 cars.
"It's good to know we can be competitive. But we still have a lot of work to do. But it's nice to start race weekends with a result like this," said Bortolotti. In the first qualifying session in the afternoon, when the 25.378-kilometer combination of GP circuit and the legendary Nordschleife had been even wetter, Nico Bastian in the #6 HRT Mercedes AMG GT3 had set the first best time of the day with a lap time of 8m 30.764s. Behind him, a Porsche, an Audi and a BMW, and thus four manufacturers, had finished in the top four places.
The weather conditions ensured that no absolute top times were possible. Based on the results of the season so far, the two Frikadelli Porsches are among the cars that will presumably be beatable. "We would be satisfied with the hat-trick after the two preparation races," said team boss Klaus Abbelen after the two wins so far in 2021, but then added: "But seriously: You don't know now whether you are the favorite. That will only become clear after top qualifying, when everyone has revealed their cards. We already have, and that's why we were ahead. When the others do the same, we'll see where we really stand."
Said top qualifying is scheduled for Friday evening. After the 3rd qualifying session from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (CET), the last four tickets for Top Qualifying 2 will first be awarded in the individual time trials of Top Qualifying 1 starting at 6:30 p.m., for which 16 places have already been allocated based on the season's performances to date. In Top Qualifying 2, the pole position for the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race will be determined directly afterwards. The race itself traditionally starts at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. All track sessions will also be broadcast in livestream on YouTube. Remaining tickets are still available at www.nuerburgring.de. Up to 10,000 negatively tested, vaccinated and recovered spectators will be allowed to attend the race weekend in selected grandstands at the Grand Prix circuit.
In the FIA Touring Car World Cup (WTCR), the second highlight of the weekend, Luca Engstler was the only German driver to cause a stir on Thursday. The Hyundai driver finished third and second in the two free practice sessions in the afternoon - and was then also in action in a TCR Hyundai in night qualifying for the ADAC TOTAL 24h race.