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Ludwig Takes Surprise Nürburgring 24 Pole in Ferrari

Luca Ludwig fires Octane126 to unexpected Ferrari pole for Nürburgring 24…

Photo: GruppeC Photography

Luca Ludwig claimed an unexpected Nürburgring 24 pole for the Octane126 Ferrari squad, beating ROWE Racing BMW driver Augusto Farfus to lead the Top Qualifying shootout.

Ludwig set the No. 26 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 on the front of the grid for tomorrow’s race start with a time of 8:09.469 on his first of two attempts around the 25 km circuit.

Nobody managed to improve on that effort during the second set of laps, ensuring the Swiss Octane126 team came away with the Glickenhaus Trophy on Friday evening.

Ludwig is sharing the Ferrari, which is a new chassis after an accident at the N24 Qualifiers, with Bjorn Grossmann, Simon Trummer and Jonathan Hirschi.

Farfus mustered an 8:10.640 on his opening attempt in the No. 99 ROWE Racing BMW M4 GT3, but the Brazilian didn’t improve at the second time of asking.

He ended up 1.171 seconds shy of Ludwig’s pole effort, while Jordan Pepper took third on the grid aboard the Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

Pepper improved on his second lap, posting a time of 8:10.788 to leapfrog Christopher Haase in the No. 22 Audi Sport Team Car Collection entry.

Kuba Giermaziak backed up Haase’s effort in the privateer No. 16 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II by qualifying fifth, ahead of Dan Harper of the BMW Junior Team.

The fourth row of the grid is set to be shared by the No. 101 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW driven by Christian Krognes and the No. 12 Bilstein-liveried Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo run by Haupt Racing Team and driven by Luca Stolz.

The best Porsche 911 GT3 R was the Huber Motorsport example, in which Nico Menzel attained ninth with an 8:11.928.

Menzel managed to put the Pro-Am Huber car ahead of Julien Andlauer, who was 14th for Toksport WRT, and Thomas Preining in 16th for Dinamic Motorsport.

The Manthey Racing Porsche that won last year’s N24 did not take part in Top Qualifying 2 after being sent to the back of the first starting group due to a penalty incurred during practice.

Four cars advanced to Top Qualifying 2 after setting the quickest times during the Top Qualifying 1 session that took place immediately beforehand.

They were the No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW, which set the Top Q1 pace in the hands of Nicky Catsburg, as well as the Porsches from Toksport and Dinamic, and the No. 4 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG.

GetSpeed had the best of those cars from that session courtesy of an 8:12.467 from Jules Gounon that set the German squad in 12th.

Some of the notable entries to fall short of Top Qualifying 2 were the Schubert Motorsport BMW (21st), Audi Sport Team Phoenix (22nd), the Porsches from Falken Motorsports and KCMG, and the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 which qualified 26th.

RESULTS: Top Qualifying 1 / Top Qualifying 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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