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Nürburgring Endurance

Nürburgring Weekend Notebook

John Dagys’ weekend notebook from Nürburgring 24…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The No. 40 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG003C has been withdrawn from this weekend’s Nürburgring 24, following a heavy accident by Ken Dobson in qualifying last night. The American was uninjured in the high-speed shunt, which destroyed the car. Dobson was due to share the wheel with Jeff Westphal, Thomas Mutsch and Franck Mailleux.

***Glickenhaus’ second SCG003C (pictured above), featuring Marino Franchitti on the driving strength, will start inside the top-30 overall in the car’s 24-hour race debut.

***A number of cars received penalties in qualifying for exceeding the speed limits in the newly enforced slow zones, including the No. 35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R. A 200 km/h speed limit is in place for all cars at Flugplatz, a 250 km/h limit between Flugplatz and Schwedenkreuz as well as a maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) on the Döttinger Höhe straight.

***While some cars are equipped with speed limiters, similar to those used on pit lane, others have to manually control the speed at the slow zone sections. Race organizers are strictly controlling the speed limits, leaving no margin for error or wiggle room with the limits.

***Nissan has a reduced single-car factory effort this weekend, following the fatal accident in the opening VLN round, which led to the speed limits and other changes to GT3 cars. The No. 35 entry is running an all-black livery in tribute to the spectator that was killed in the accident.

***There is a lone Porsche 911 GT America in the field, the No. 68 Frikadelli Racing Team that features Porsche Junior driver Connor De Philippi on the driving strength. The American makes his N24 debut while pulling double-duty between Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland this weekend.

***The GT America, competing in the SP7 class, has been retrofitted with ABS and traction control, driver aids not currently allowed in the TUDOR Championship GTD class. The chassis, which has no race history in the U.S., is one of several cars sold to teams in Europe, according to Porsche Motorsport North America President Jens Walther.

***Walther added that the GT America’s eligibility on the Nordschelife provides a key market for the cars, which will be phased out of IMSA at years’ end. “We can see them here, and if they do well, we might see a couple people from Europe be interested in buying the cars from our U.S. teams or maybe even the U.S. teams keeping them and running over here,” he told Sportscar365.

***Alex Job and Bernard Muehlner were among Porsche’s IMSA entrnts on hand today at the track for a briefing on the new 911 GT3 R, which was officially launched.

***A new license procedure, requiring drivers to have competed in three races on the Nordschelife in the last two years, caught out a number of top pilots, including former overall race winners Lucas Luhr and Marc Lieb. Luhr went through a one-day training course to be certified, while Lieb elected not to take part in the race.

***The race sees a reduced entry of 156 cars, down from recent years, which could be partially attributed to the new drivers’ license regulations. The event had featured a cap of 180 cars since 2013, although only 156 were entered.

***There are nine different tire manufacturers represented this year: Bridgestone, Dunlop, Falken, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo and Yokohama. Nexen Tire adorns the No. 133 BMW Mini JCW, but actually runs on Michelin tires.

***The FIA World Touring Car Championship is supporting the N24 this weekend for the first time, with a pair of three-lap races set for Saturday. Five drivers are pulling double-duty between the WTCC event and N24: Tom Chilton, Tom Coronel, Rob Huff, Jaap van Lagen and Sabine Schmitz, who makes her WTCC debut.

***Following a number of pit lane penalties during last month’s Qualifying Race, the pit lane speed limit has been increased from 30 to 60 km/h (37 mph). Formula One-style sectors are being used for the first time to enforce the speed limit on pit lane.

***Follow the Nürburgring 24 with live video and audio commentary, beginning Saturday at 4 p.m. local (10 a.m. ET). Click Here for live video and Click Here for Radio Le Mans commentary.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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