BMW in the rain ahead of Mercedes and Grello-Porsche

The first qualifying for the 2024 Nürburgring 24-hour race ends in the rain. RMG-BMW achieves the first best time. Five different brands in the top 5 of the ranking.

Robert Seiwert

Robert Seiwert

Head of Motorsport

Robert was already writing for sports media before his time at MSM. He has been reporting on DTM, Daytona, Le Mans and other events directly from the racetrack since 2011.MORE

24h Nürburgring, #72 RMG-BMW, ​​Harper, Hesse, Weerts
Best time for the RMG-BMW in the 1st qualifying for the 24h race Nürburgring, photo: Gruppe C Photography

The start of the The 2024 Nürburgring 24-hour race started dry and ended extremely wet. In the first qualifying session on Thursday afternoon, it started to rain more heavily around 30 minutes before the end of the 105-minute session. For good reason, most of the 25 GT3 cars in the starting field of 130 participants had gone out early in order to secure a place in Q2 of the top qualifying session on Friday evening with a fast lap.

The best performer in this endeavor was the #72 BMW M4 GT3 of local hero RMG (Harper/Hesse/Weerts). BMW works driver Max Hesse topped the timesheet with a best time of 8:21.487 minutes. The BMW, which will be replaced by a recently presented Evo model in 2025, was somewhat surprisingly followed by the #11 Schnitzelalm-Mercedes (Marchewicz/Härtling/Heyer). The Mercedes-AMG GT3, registered in the Pro-Am classification, was 0.4 seconds behind the lead.

24h Nürburgring: Five brands in the top 5 in qualifying

There was a lot of activity at the top of the rankings in adverse weather conditions: Behind the BMW and the Mercedes, the #911 Manthey-Porsche (L. Vanthoor/Preining/Estre/Güven) from the record-winning team from Meuspath was in third place. The Grello was followed by last year’s winner, the #1 Frikadelli-Ferrari with a new driver line-up (Laser/Keilwitz/Ludwig/Varrone), in fourth place. The #27 Abt-Lamborghini (K. van der Linde/Mapelli/Pepper) completed the top five.

The wet track claimed its first victims, especially in the Metzgesfeld area due to a trickle on the track. This was where the #7 Konrad Lamborghini (Soufi/Kratz/Paul/Caresani) was hit, among others, which sustained damage to the rear axle due to an impact. Colin Caresani joined Franz Konrad’s team as a last-minute signing: “I received a call yesterday evening at 10 o’clock asking if I could drive Lamborghini on the Nordschleife. I was here at the hotel at 2 a.m.

Konrad-Lambo and Falken-Porsche crash

Shortly before the Konrad Lambo, the #33 Falken Porsche (Andlauer/Bachler/Müller/Picariello) with Alessio Picariello had already crashed into the guard rails on the Nordschleife. The Belgian was able to bring the previously very successful 911 back to the pit lane under his own power and later continued driving. There was also a moment of shock in the garage of the #706 Glickenhaus (Mutsch/Mailleux/Arnold/Ledogar), when the experienced Bitburger Thomas Mutsch was briefly ‘on the hook’. He had been able to prevent the impact when the prototype spun.

In the meantime, another fan favorite, the small Dacia Logan, reported a technical problem at the entrance to the pit lane. On a wet track, the #34 Walkenhorst-Aston-Martin (Krognes/Giermaziak/Pittard/Thiim), one of the contenders for victory, slipped off the track on the GP track in the final phase and landed roughly in the tire stack.

The race continues on Thursday evening with the second qualifying session from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The weather forecast continues to predict rain showers until late in the evening.

© Motorsport Magazine


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