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VLN/Nürburgring 24

Engel Grabs Nürburgring 24 Pole as Mercedes Scores 1-2

Black Falcon leads Mann Filter as Mercedes GT3s qualify first and second in N24 shootout…

Photo: Gruppe C

Maro Engel put Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon on pole for this weekend’s Nürburgring 24 as Mercedes cars qualified first and second in Friday evening’s shootout.

Engel produced three purple sectors on his second of two laps around the 16.1-mile circuit to put the No. 2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on top with a final time of 8:10.910.

This was enough to displace defending pole sitter Laurens Vanthoor, who stood as the benchmark for much of the session after setting the No. 911 Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R on top with an 8:11.567 on his first attempt.

Vanthoor was unable to improve on this number the second time around, leaving a clear target for Engel, who stood third after the first set of runs with his 8:12.203 banker lap.

The 2016 N24 winner’s second flyer pushed the Black Falcon Merc, which Engel shares with Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger and Dirk Mueller, ahead of both the Porsche and Maxi Goetz in the No. 48 Mann Filter Mercedes.

Goetz also improved on lap two, shaving his early 8:12.100 down to an 8:11.047 time to ensure a Mercedes front-row lockout.

The German driver is listed to co-drive the yellow Mann Filter car with Raffale Marciello, Lance David Arnold and Christian Hohenadel.

The Porsche which Vanthoor shares with Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Earl Bamber will start third, ahead of the No. 4 Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS GT3 Evo qualified by Frederic Vervisch.

Mathieu Jaminet, who was the second driver out of 28 to head out, completed the top five in the No. 31 Frikadelli Racing Porsche after not improving on his first time, while Vervisch – who was preliminarily fifth – found an extra two seconds.

In sixth was the No. 6 Black Falcon Mercedes of Yelmer Buurman, while the 2018-winning Manthey Porsche placed seventh with Frederic Makowiecki at the wheel.

Luca Stolz qualified eighth after recovering from a spin just a few corners into his opening flyer.

The No. 3 Black Falcon Mercedes driver recovered without losing his track position to Jaminet before posting the eighth-best time of the session on his second tour.

Improvements for Buurman, Makowiecki and Stolz all pushed Jan Seyffarth, who was fifth after the opening wave of times, down to ninth with the No. 16 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes.

The top 28 SP9 and SP-X class qualifiers from this weekend’s preliminary sessions and the VLN races held earlier in the year took part in Friday’s shootout.

Black Falcon scored pole in SP8T, the class reserved for more powerful GT4 cars, with its No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4, while pole in SP10, for other GT4s, went to Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport’s No. 71 BMW M4 GT4.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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