Nurburgring: Series qualifying race report

Aston Martin wins eventful Qualifying Race Darren Turner and Tomas Enge extended their dominance in the sixth round of the championship by taking victory in an eventful Championship Race at Nurburgring. In a frantic start the Sumo Power Nissan...

Aston Martin wins eventful Qualifying Race

Darren Turner and Tomas Enge extended their dominance in the sixth round of the championship by taking victory in an eventful Championship Race at Nurburgring.

In a frantic start the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23 of Peter Dumbreck had a coming together with the Marc VDS Ford GT No.40 of Bas Leinders. The Nissan GT-R was eliminated, the No.40 sustained heavy damage and limped to the pits while several other cars were caught up in the chaos.

When the dust settled and the field sorted itself out it was the Turner/Enge Aston Martin which made hay while the sun shone in what has been a very wet event to date.

The rain eventually arrived with 25 minutes of the one-hour race remaining. It triggered a scramble to the pit lane for wet tyres and a shake-up of the running order.

Andrea Bertolini, having just taken over from Michael Bartels in the Vitaphone Maserati No.1 opted to stay out on slick tyres even though the track in parts was very wet.

Turner, on wets, chased down the Maserati with 10 minutes remaining to claim the lead. He was followed through by Marc Hennerici in the Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13 for second place.

Third was the Reiter Lamborghini No.24 of Peter Kox and Christopher Haase from the sister car of Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele.

The Maserati eventually slipped down the order to finish 10 as the gamble failed to pay off.

Nurburgring Qualifying Race: What the drivers say...

Sunshine, downpour, tyre changes and gambles. The Qualifying Race was an exciting hour of racing. Here's what the drivers say ...

Thomas Enge, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"This was an interesting race. The beginning was great I saw a gap on the inside and managed to get away in first place.

"We had a very strong car by the end of the race, when I was driving I kept it fairly calm and tried to not to do anything stupid. Nearing the end of my drive I tried to make a gap to make it easier for Darren. This was a good race, we got some points which were very happy about and let's see what can happen tomorrow."

Darren Turner, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"I have to say Tomas [Enge] made a great call with the pit stop. I was coming round the last chicane and I got the call to pit so there must have been some rain on other parts of the track.

"We were the last car to pit and after we came out the tyres were cold and I saw the Corvette closing in on me. I was then told to pit again to fit the wet tyres which was a relief.

"From then on it was one of the those nervy races where you just watching the pit wall, watching your mirrors and just trying to keep the car on the track."

Alex Margaritis, Phoenix Racing Carsport Corvette No.13

"The start was good for me, we were coming out of the last chicane and I saw a gap on the inside so I went for it, it was a little bit tricky but I made it and I'm thankful nothing happened there.

"Going into the first corner was hard, I was trying to keep up the speed of the cars around me but I had to let them go. I tried to slot into third or fourth position while Michael Bartels was pushing. After that the race was easy for me, I changed over with Marc [Hennerici] and he managed to get us into second."

Marc Hennerici, Phoenix Racing/Carsport Corvette, No.13

"After I got in the car I pretty much had to come straight back to the pits because of the rain. I got the call that there was dark clouds when I was behind the Aston Martin and we got the wet tyres on.

"With the wet tyres on I was going well, taking care like everybody else but I managed to catch Bartels reasonably easily and take the place.

"Second place was great for me so I didn't push too hard to catch the Aston Martin, tomorrow should be good for us the car is pretty good in the rain but also in dry conditions so I'm really happy."

Christopher Haase, Reiter Lamborghini, No.24

"My start was really good but on the first corner we had a small collision, I'm not sure who with but maybe there was a driver who went in a little bit too hard. After that collision I managed to carry on but I noticed that there was something broken on my right wheel but luckily this wasn't too much of an issue.

"After the first lap our car was pretty fast and pretty stable. The driver change was good and efficient, the team got round the car very quickly. After me Peter was very good and got into third."

Peter Cox, Reiter Lamborghini, No.24

Like most others I came in after the driver change which wasn't a hard choice to make. I personally wanted to come in a lap earlier with the Corvette, I thought that would have worked better but in the end it was OK, no loss."

"For us the front tyres took a little bit of time to warm up so the Corvette seemed to be moving away from me. After that I had a little problem with the rear tyres but I managed to keep third place.

"The Lamborghini also finished fourth so it shows how strong the car is. Its getting better and better so we'll see how it goes tomorrow. It should be OK."

-source: gt1world

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Tomas Enge , Darren Turner , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Bartels , Peter Kox , Andrea Bertolini , Marc Hennerici , Bas Leinders , Peter Cox , Thomas Enge , Christopher Haase , Frank Kechele
Teams Nissan Motorsports , Marc VDS Racing , Phoenix Racing