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VLN/Nürburgring 24

Nürburgring 24 Weekend Notebook

James Newbold’s weekend notebook from the Nürburgring…

Photo: BMW Motorsport

Photo: BMW Motorsport

***Maro Engel became the inaugural winner of the Glickenhaus Trophy after taking pole in the Top-30 Qualifying session. The trophy was donated by Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus owner James Glickenhaus, who has two of his own cars entered in the SPX class for unhomologated machinery. Andreas Simonsen qualified the No. 702 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG003C in 23rd, while the sister No. 701 car featuring Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified 34th.

***The third Glickenhaus No. 703 entry shared by Manuel Lauck, Chris Harris and Jethro Bovingdon will not take the start after Lauck sustained chassis damage in an accident at Flugplatz in Qualifying 2. It is the second time in as many years that a Glickenhaus has failed to make the start due to accident damage, after Ken Dobson crashed during night qualifying in 2015.

***The accident for the Glickenhaus brought out a Code 60 which meant Wolf Henzler’s Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R was unable to complete his best flying lap. As a result, Falken missed out on the Top-30 session and the all-important blue light in the windscreen, which helps slower cars to identify closing GT3 machinery. “I have to say we were a bit unlucky,” Henzler said.

***The only other car in the race to run on Falken Tires is the Subaru WRX STI entered in the SP 3T class. Former Japanese F3 champion Carlo Van Dam is one of the drivers.

***Mercedes DTM driver Daniel Juncadella was present at the Nürburgring for the ADAC-24h Classic race in a 1991 ex-DTM Mercedes 190, although mechanical gremlins in qualifying precluded his involvement in the rain-affected race. The Spaniard confirmed to Sportscar365 that he had tested the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and expects to drive it at the 24 Hours of Spa.

***Five former winners of the GT Academy scheme are set to compete in the race. In addition to 2008 winner Lucas Ordóñez, who will drive the No. 35 RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, 2013 and 2014 winners Marc Gassner and Florian Strauss will share the No. 24 Zakspeed Nissan with WTCC racer Tom Coronel and Hendrik Still. In the SP 8T category, Jordan Tresson and Mark Shulzhitsky are entered in the no. 48 Schulz Motorsport Nissan.

***NISMO also unveiled the new 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO in a press conference attended by Global Motorsport director Mike Carcamo.

***Coronel is one of four drivers to attempt the WTCC and Nurburgring 24 on the same weekend. ROWE Racing’s Nick Catsburg, Frikadelli Racing’s Sabine Schmitz, and Black Falcon driver Rob Huff also participated in the two three-lap races held on the Sunday morning.

***Several drivers are also entered in two cars in the race. Engel will drive both the No. 9 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the sister No. 4 car, which will start from 17th on the grid. René Rast, Frank Stippler, Maximillian Buhk, Renger van der Zande, Christian Hohenadel, Stefan Mucke, Uwe Alzen, Jan Seyffarth, Maximillian Götz, Lance David Arnold and Darren Turner will do likewise as they attempt to emulate Laurens Vanthoor’s successful dual effort last year.

***Jonny Adam is set for a busy weekend as he seeks to take a third consecutive victory in the British GT championship at Oulton Park alongside his commitments with the factory Aston Martin squad at the 24. Adam will arrive at the Nürburgring direct on Saturday night and go straight into the night and early morning stints, before returning to Manchester on Sunday evening for the two races on Monday.

***Konrad Motorsport has a spare Lamborghini Huracan GT3 chassis present at the circuit to be used for spares, complete with full Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup decals from Silverstone. Team boss Franz Konrad explained to Sportscar365 that he saw no benefit in running the spare car during practice due to the extra costs and manpower involved, but reasoned that having it on site in the event of a failure on an unusual part of their race car would prove beneficial.

***Dominik Farnbacher was a late addition to the team alongside owner Konrad, Christopher Zoechling and Luca Stolz. Neither Farnbacher Racing nor Emil Frey Racing’s Lexus RC F GT3s are present in the 24.

***The younger brothers of Laurens Vanthoor and Christopher Mies have teamed up in the No. 305 BMW M235i entered by Bonk Motorsport. 17-year-old Dries Vanthoor is making his debut at the 24, and will be joined by experienced VLN racer Alexander Mies.

***2001 Dakar Rally winner Jutta Kleinschmidt is another of the interesting names entered in the lower classes. The 53-year-old will drive the No. 178 Pro handicap e. V. Volkswagen Scirocco Cup R. in the 2VT class.

James Newbold (@James_Newbold) is a UK-based freelance motorsport journalist. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, James is also the editor of Autosport Performance.

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