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VLN/Nürburgring 24

Nürburgring Pre-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s pre-race notebook ahead of the 47th Nürburgring 24…

Photo: Gruppe C

***A Balance of Performance adjustment was communicated shortly before the start of today’s race. It includes weight, fuel tank and restrictor changes to several cars in the GT3 pack.

***Tweaks were also made to the GT4 formula, with the Ginetta G55 recieving an extra 5 liters of fuel capacity. Meanwhile, the three Aston Martin Vantage GT4s, which are making their N24 debut, have been declared at 1470 kg after their minimum weight was not disclosed on the original BoP sheet.

***Manthey Racing led the way in a fairly uneventful Warmup session this morning, held for an hour beginning at 9:10 a.m. Its No. 1 Porsche 911 GT3 R, shared by Richard Lietz, Fred Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, was quickest with an 8:18.965.

***The sister No. 911 Manthey Porsche placed second, 1.181 seconds slower, while Black Falcon’s No. 3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 was third quickest.

***Pole-sitter Maro Engel expects a closer race than in recent years, with multiple brands likely to battle for the lead. “I have all the big manufacturers on my list to watch and I’m pretty sure they’ll be giving us a hard time in the race,” he told Sportscar365.

“Things are a lot closer than they have been in recent years so we might actually see four manufacturers battling it out as opposed to, usually, it’s two.”

***Marcel Fassler has successfully made his return to racing this weekend after a heavy crash took him and the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans a week ago. The German will take the start in the No. 14 Audi Sport Team Car Collection car from 29th after the team failed to make it into Top-Qualifying.

***Car Collection’s problems came from a sensor issue which forced the team to bring its No. 14 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo back into the pits early in Qualifying 2. This prevented any of the drivers from posting times quick enough to secure a place in Top-Qualifying. The car was successfully repaired overnight and took to the track in the Warmup, placing fifth.

***Wochenspiegel Team Monschau’s No. 11 Ferrari 488 GT3 was another car that failed to make it into the shootout session. Damage caused by a puncture was too big for the team to repair in time, but the car is now ready for the race.

***Unlike last year, dry conditions are predicted for the whole N24. Thick clouds are expected this afternoon, whilst staying dry, and some fog is expected early Sunday morning but with “fast dissipation”, according to event partner Meteo Group.

***Engel thinks the favorable conditions will produce a “fast” and “bloody hard” race if air and track temperature stays warm during the day. “We can expect a fast race, I think, in these conditions,” he said.

“It will also be very different because in the daytime, the forecast is up to 25ºC (77ºF) and in the nighttime it’s below 10ºC (50ºF). It’s quite a big spread in temperature and the track temperature will be probably 30ºC difference.”

***Augusto Farfus explained why he pitted the No. 42 Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 after completing just one of his two allocated Top Qualifying laps:

“Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding with the team over the radio. As a result, I only did one flying lap, but we could not have matched the times at the top anyway,” said the Brazilian, who posted the 16th-best time.

***The highest-placed BMW, the No. 101 Walkenhorst Motorsport car, will start from 13th on the grid. Christian Krognes’ 8:15.165 qualifying effort was 4.255 seconds off the pole time set by Engel.

***Krognes felt the pace of the other manufacturers came as “somewhat of a surprise”. He said: “After our victory in the qualification race, we expected to be closer to the front of the field.”

***Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’ SP-X class SCG 003C will start its final N24 race with the factory team from 19th on the grid based on Felipe Fernandez-Laser’s shootout time of 8:16.992.

***English-language live streaming of the race is available on YouTube, with commentary from Radio Show Ltd. The green flag is set to wave at 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. eastern).

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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