Mercedes-AMG secured the complete front row of the grid at the 51st ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring. Raffaele Marciello put the #4 car from Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein on pole position with a best time of 8:09.058 minutes. In the end, the Italian had a 0.422-second lead over brand colleague Maro Engel in the #3 sister car from Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed in Top Qualifying 2. Engel thus narrowly missed out on his fourth Glickenhaus Trophy after 2016, 2019 and 2020, while the challenge cup for the fastest driver in the "Green Hell" goes to "Lello" for the first time.
Pole-sitter Marciello remains calm as usual
"To be honest, the qualifying result is fine, but it doesn't mean that much. I was on pole four times at Spa-Francorchamps and only managed to win once. You just have to convert the starting position first," said Marciello in his usual relaxed manner. "Of course, it's always good to start from the front. But our focus is now clearly on the race. We have a good starting position and will see what we can do with it." Engel was a little disappointed with the missed opportunity to claim his fourth pole position. "The Nordschleife with an open track and new tyres is always something special. The car was super. This time only second place, that's a bit of a shame. I would have liked to be at the front. But congratulations to Lello and his team."
Second row on the grid for two Italian "new cars"
The second row of the grid for Saturday's race is occupied by two "new cars" from Italy. Third place was secured by Kelvin van der Linde in the new Abt Lamborghini #27, who was the only one of the top drivers to improve to 8:10.498 on the second flying lap. Fourth place went to Nick Catsburg in the Frikadelli-Ferrari #30 in 8:10.518 minutes. Fastest Audi driver was Frank Stippler in the #5 from Scherer Sport PHX in fifth place, directly ahead of Nico Menzel in the #44 Falken Porsche as the best car from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Best BMW driver was Augusto Farfus in the #99 Rowe-BMW in eleventh place.
Feller, Sims, Keilwitz, Schiller and Drudi secure progress
Before the final showdown, five drivers had still secured their teams' last available places in the hunt for the Glickenhaus Trophy and the best grid positions in Top Qualifying 1. Ricardo Feller in the #16 Scherer-PHX-Audi with the fastest time of the weekend so far of 8:10.046 minutes, Alexander Sims in the sister car with the #5, Daniel Keilwitz in the #20 Wochenspiegel-Ferrari and Mattia Drudi in last year's winning Audi #1 also from Scherer Sport PHX prevailed. In doing so, they each gave a teammate the experience of two free laps through the "Green Hell". "The lap was already extremely good. The track is awesome. The area in the Hatzenbach was mega slippery. But the car felt good. I'm super happy and looking forward to the race," said DTM driver Feller.
Top Qualifying 1 interrupted for 29 minutes after heavy accident
Top Qualifying 1 had to be interrupted with a red flag even before a driver had finished his first fast lap. Christian Krognes had crashed his #102 Walkenhorst-BMW into the tyre piles of the track barrier on a dirty spot in the Hatzenbach area. The Norwegian remained unhurt. After a break of 29 minutes, the first round of the top qualifying was completely restarted, but shortened to one fast lap instead of two.
Autograph session and gridwalk for the fans on Friday evening
After the battle for pole position, the evening before the 51st 24h Nürburgring continued to be exciting for the fans: the gridwalk through the pit lane with a large autograph session by all the teams was very well attended, and in the Müllenbachschleife the Falken Drift Show traditionally brought the spectators to their feet in the packed stands. Many other attractions on and off the track make the visit on Saturday and Sunday attractive as well: Tickets are available around the Ring and the Nordschleife at the open box offices.
Full programme on site, extensive live reports
After the positions for the start of the 24h Nürburgring have been taken, the "big race", as many drivers call it, can finally get underway on Saturday at 16:00. But before the 134 participants start their spectacular fight through day and night, the spectators at the Nürburgring can expect a full programme. There will be exciting motorsport on the track with the ADAC 24h-Classic starting at 9:10 am and the Touring Car Legends starting at 2 pm. The Ravenol Ferris Wheel in the paddock and many other offers and promotions from partners also make the visit more than worthwhile. Those who want to follow the action at the Ring from home are in the right place with free-TV partner NITRO, which will start a 26-hour non-stop live broadcast from 14:45.