A total of 31 GT3 cars are among the 85 entries listed to take part in the upcoming Nürburgring 24 qualifying race, which is returning this weekend after one year away.
The six-hour dress rehearsal for the Nürburgring 24 on June 5-6 includes 30 vehicles in the top SP9 category from Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and defending winner BMW which announced its seven driver lineups on Tuesday.
Porsche is arriving into the N24 qualifying race off the back of two NLS victories for Manthey Racing and Frikadelli Racing Team respectively.
Manthey is running Matteo Cairoli and Lars Kern in its Porsche 911 GT3 R, while two-car entrant Frikadelli is bringing its full eight-man squad that was named back in March.
Fellow Porsche entrants Falken Motorsports and KCMG are also running four drivers in each of their cars.
A total of three Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos are taking part, all of which are being run by 2019 Nürburgring 24 winner Phoenix Racing.
One Phoenix entry is an Audi Sport car for Mike Rockenfeller, Markus Winkelhock and Dennis Marschall, although Marschall is due to take part in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Magny-Cours this weekend.
The rest of Phoenix’s lineup includes 2019-20 FIA World Endurance GT champion Nicki Thiim, last year’s DTM Trophy champion Tim Heinemann and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race winner Dylan Pereira.
Additionally, Phoenix is running the Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. Octane 126 and Racing One are also representing the Italian manufacturer.
FFF Racing Team once again has Franck Perera replacing Andrea Caldarelli in its Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo after the Frenchman subbed in for the most recent NLS round, while Tim Zimmermann has joined Konrad Motorsport’s Lamborghini crew.
The BMW contingent includes two M6 GT3s from defending N24 winner ROWE Racing and three from the last winner of the qualifying race in 2019, Walkenhorst Motorsport.
Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos are on the entry list, including three with extended factory support.
Adam Christodoulou and Manuel Metzger are named as a duo in the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT car, with their usual co-drivers Maro Engel and Luca Stolz absent due to their clashing commitments at Magny-Cours with Toksport WRT.
GetSpeed Performance is fielding the other two factory-backed AMGs with lineups that are also affected by the GTWC Europe overlap.
Raffaele Marciello and Jules Gounon are both driving for AKKA-ASP at Magny-Cours, meaning GetSpeed is working with reduced three-man crews at the Nürburgring.
One of the eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos is running in the SP-X class and will use the ‘Space Drive’ steer-by-wire system developed by German company Schaeffler Paravan.
Dominik Farnbacher, Tim Scheerbarth and Aston Martin stalwart Darren Turner will pilot the W&S Motorsport-prepared Space Drive Racing Mercedes-AMG.
Space Drive was used in a GT4 car at the N24 last year, while the technology is also set to feature in the 2021 DTM series in cars driven by Timo Glock and Gary Paffett.
The other SP-X entry into the N24 qualifying race is the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004C, which made its first start of the year in last weekend’s NLS round.
Glickenhaus posted images yesterday of the aftermath of a crash during testing, but the American team plans to have its 004C repaired in time for the Nürburgring event.
The rest of the grid involves the usual variety of GT4s, entry-level sports cars and touring car machinery.
Hyundai Motorsport is running an Elantra N and an i30 in the TCR category competing against a pair of Cupra Leons.
Five cars are entered into the single-make Cup 5 bracket for BMW M2 CS Racings and Cup 3 for GT4 Porsches. Almost 20 GT4 cars are set to appear across various classes.
The Nürburgring 24 qualifying race is due to get underway at 12 p.m. CEST (6 a.m. EST) on Sunday, May 9.
The ADAC Nordrhein-organized event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is going ahead behind closed doors this time around.