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Nürburgring Endurance

KCMG Hits Trouble in Morning Warmup; Ragginger Quickest

Earl Bamber hits the barrier in morning warmup as Ragginger leads …

Photo: Porsche

Martin Ragginger set the fastest time in morning warmup for the Nürburgring 24, while KCMG ran into trouble with Earl Bamber coming to a halt on track.

Ragginger set a best lap of 8:40.358 to lead the hour-long session in the No. 44 Falken Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R

The Porsche led the No. 26 Octane126 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Jonathan Hirschi with the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Kevin Estre third.

While Estre’s Porsche made it into the top three,  KCMG encountered trouble with Earl Bamber suffering an impact with the barrier near Brünnchen.

Bamber told Sportscar365 that he slid off the track after driving over a damp patch on track.

After the impact the front of the No. 18 Porsche then began smoking, with Bamber subsequently parking the car in the grass at Schwalbenschwanz with a front-left puncture.

The No. 25 Huber Motorsport Porsche of Lars Kern was fourth, leading Marco Seefried, Kevin Estre and Adam Christodolou.

Vincent Kolb was seventh in the No. 5 Scherer Sport by Team Phoenix Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, ahead of the N0. 116 SP-X class True Racing KTM X-Box GT2. 

Nico Mueller was ninth in the No. 22 Audi, with the No. 6 Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo completing the top ten.

The blue and yellow Mercedes also had a moment, finding the gravel on the Grand Prix-loop with Gabriele Piana behind the wheel, although it escaped unscatched.

Manthey Porsche to Start from 35th

Defending N24 winner Manthey Racing will take today’s race start from 35th position, after being elevated much further up the grid due to a shake-up in the starting groups.

Manthey had initially been planning to begin the race from the pit lane somewhere outside the top 60, and the provisional starting grid published around 8 a.m. this morning showed the No. 1 Porsche 911 GT3 R in 63rd position, far behind its fellow SP9 competitors.

However, an updated final starting grid was issued shortly before the warmup, showing Manthey on row 18 of group one. This keeps it at the back of its group, but behind only SP9 and SP-X class cars, rather than those plus a host of machinery from other categories.

It is understood that the starting groups were adjusted as the organizers sought to even out the number of cars in each batch, with three groups required for a total field of 129 cars and a maximum of 70 cars per group.

The CUP 2 Porsche entries from Frikadelli Racing Team and KKramer Racing will share the front row of the second starting group.

SP3T competitors will lead off the third starting group, with the No. 114 Subaru WRX STI and the No. 10 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR run by a team led by professional soccer player Max Kruse.

The 50th edition of the Nürburgring 24 kicks off at 4:00 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).


Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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