Dorr Motorsport’s McLaren has set the pace in opening qualifying for the Nürburgring 24 following a dry-turned-wet opening round of qualifying Thursday at the Nordschleife.
The No. 69 McLaren MP4-12C of Rudi Adams jumped to the top of the time sheets early in the four-hour and 15-minute session, laying down an impressive 8:18.513 lap time in only his second flying lap.
The VLN veteran driver’s quick time crucially came prior to rain and fog, which descended upon the 15-mile circuit approximately one hour into the session.
While a number of cars continued circulating, mainly for each of their drivers to get their required minimum of two nighttime driving laps in, no significant improvements were made.
The run for the McLaren, which Adams will share with Sebastian Asch, Arno Klassen and factory driver Alvaro Parente, puts it in good shape to secure one of the ten remaining positions for Friday’s Top-30 Qualifying, which will set the final grid.
Twenty of the positions for the shootout have already been secured by teams having either contesting April’s Nürburgring 24 Qualifying Race or a previous VLN round this year.
The No. 4 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra provisionally sits second in qualifying, thanks to a 8:21.454 lap time set by the Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow, Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock-driven entry.
Audi’s No. 502 Race Experience entry of Marco Werner, Frank Biela, Pierre Kaffer and Red Bull Statos space jumper Felix Baumgartner sits third overall and in the SP9 class for GT3 machinery.
The top five is completed by the No. 20 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 and the No. 44 Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R.
Remarkably, six different manufacturers were represented in the top-seven, including the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 from Nissan GT Academy Team RJN (6th) and HTP Motorsport’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (7th).
The opening qualifying session saw its share of drama, including accidents for the No. 195 Mazda Motorsports Team Jota Mazda MX-5 and the No. 24 Schulze Motorsport Nissan GT-R.
The No. 7 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3, meanwhile, lost time with power steering issues but returned to action later in the session, along with the V3-class Mazda.
Defending race winners Black Falcon repaired its No. 1 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 following brake failure for Andreas Simonsen in practice, which damaged the gull-winged enrty. It however, has yet to set a representative time, due to the weather conditions.
An additional two hours of qualifying is scheduled for Friday morning, prior to the Top-30 Qualifying shootout in the afternoon.