Nick Yelloly set a best time of 10:01.619 on Friday evening at the rainy Nürburgring to give the defending champions pole position for the 49th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race. Yelloly, driving last year's winner's #1 Rowe BMW, remained absolutely cool as a Briton in the pouring rain and thus also secured the coveted Glickenhaus Trophy for the fastest driver at the Ring, which will be handed over to him 45 minutes before the start on Saturday.
"It was anything but easy, but rather completely crazy. There was aquaplaning everywhere. But the team did an incredible job. This is my first pole position here and I'm really proud of that. We are now starting exactly where we left off last year," said the BMW driver after showing the best nerves in the spectacular individual time trials of Top Qualifying 2 on Friday evening on the 25.378 kilometers of the combination of Grand Prix circuit and the legendary Nordschleife that were wet after a cloudburst.
On his second lap, Yelloly, who had been part of the Rowe winning trio last September, had caught Axcil Jefferies in the #19 Konrad Lamborghini, who had been leading until then, by 2.308 seconds. Jefferies had only one attempt at individual time trials due to a tire change. "It was tough with only one lap. We had decided to change tires after the outlap. And this decision by Franz Konrad and the team proved to be spot on. It's mega to have brought the car back in one piece and then to still be on the front row," he said nonetheless, expressing his satisfaction. Third place went to Manuel Metzger in the #4 HRT-Mercedes-AMG, which had already been on grid position one last year. Best Audi was the #8 Phoenix-Audi with Nicky Thiim at the wheel in eighth, best Porsche the #3 Rutronik-Porsche with Julien Andlauer in ninth.
Vanthoor qualifies for top qualifying 2 with fastest time
Just seconds before a big cloudburst, Top Qualifying 1 had come to an end, in which the last four places for Top Qualifying 2 were awarded. In the race against the competitors and the downpour, Dries Vanthoor in the #15 Phoenix Audi with the best time of the weekend so far of 8:12;319 minutes, Maro Engel in the #6 HRT Mercedes-AMG, Augusto Farfus for the #77 BMW Junior Team and Marco Mapelli in the Hankook Lamborghini prevailed. This quartet called it a day after that because, in accordance with the regulations for Top Qualifying 2, the drivers had to be changed. Engel thus missed the chance of a pole hat trick after having finished first on the grid in 2019 and 2020. He had already secured the Glickenhaus Trophy in 2016, which was awarded for the first time at the time. Glickenhaus driver Jeff Westphal followed in 2017, and Laurens Vanthoor in 2018.
24-hour race with fans on site and broad media presence
The 49th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race traditionally starts at 3:30 p.m. (CET) on Saturday. The race can be followed live here. Last remaining tickets for Saturday and tickets for Sunday are available at www.nuerburgring.de. Up to 10,000 negative-tested, vaccinated and recovered spectators are allowed to attend the race each day in selected grandstands at the Grand Prix circuit.
FIA WTCR: Engstler on second row of grid on debut
In the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCR), the second highlight of the weekend, Luca Engstler was the only German driver on the second row of the grid on Friday in his Hyundai Elantra N TCR, finishing fourth in qualifying. As last year, pole position went to Honda driver Nestor Girolami from the German All-Inkl.com team. Completing the front row of the grid was Jean-Karl Vernay (France) from the German Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team ahead of Girolami's compatriot and teammate Esteban Guerrieri.
Happy winners after turbulent race in the 24h Classic
The 24h Classic race in the afternoon was already affected by weather capers and had to be interrupted at times due to heavy rain. In the end, the #578 911 RSR with Ingo Pütz and Christoph Breuer at the wheel was able to celebrate overall victory. "The fact that we switched to rain tires at the re-start directly after the formation lap was the perfect decision. In the end it was almost too dry for rain tires, but it was just enough," said Christoph Breuer. Only 3.7 seconds behind, the Opel Kadett #504 of Chris Esser and Nico Verdonck crossed the finish line in second place. Third overall was the #508 BMW 635 CSi of Jürgen and Peter Schumann and Olaf Manthey.