Last year's winner the quickest in the practice session Impressive into the ADAC Zurich 24h Race weekend at the Nurburgring: this Thursday, the already impressive crowd around the legendary 'Green Hell' witnessed the first clash of the 24-hour...
Last year's winner the quickest in the practice session
Impressive into the ADAC Zurich 24h Race weekend at the Nurburgring: this Thursday, the already impressive crowd around the legendary 'Green Hell' witnessed the first clash of the 24-hour race competitors. In the practice session that began at rather moderate pace, last year's winners secured the top position on the time sheets.
On the way to doing so, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Marcel Tiemann (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) defeated their sister car, a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S raced by Emmanuel Collard, Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz and Dirk Werner. Third position was clinched by the best of the four works Audis, the Abt Audi R8 LMS of Christian Abt, Jean-Francois Hemroulle, Pierre Kaffer and Lucas Luhr. On Thursday evening, the action will be continued with the first serious race action: from 19:30 to 23:30hrs CEST (18:30 to 22:30 hrs BST) the teams will begin the battle for the grid positions in the first qualifying session. The second, crucial qualifying session will be held on Friday from 14:00 to 16:00hrs CEST and both qualifying sessions will be covered live by German sports channel DSF. More information on the ADAC Zurich 24h Race and a comprehensive live stream are available in the World Wide Web at www.24h-rennen.de.
By being the two quickest cars in the practice session, the Manthey Porsches underlined their position as potential favourites in the 37th edition of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. "I hope that we will again be chased up to the very end of the race," last year's winner Marcel Tiemann said grinning." Nonetheless, the true significance of the best time in the practice session still has to be found out. "There are first tendencies, " adds Tiemann, "But only with the first to hours of the race contested we will know more about the true balance of power." Currently the Audi R8 LMS entered by the two works teams Abt and Phoenix may be expected to be the toughest Manthey rivals. "The R8 has got what it takes to secure the overall win and I'm delighted with having the chance of contributing to this project as driver," Timo Scheider beamed. "We certainly are in a promising position and on a similar performance level as the Manthey Porsches." Meanwhile, other teams also used the practice session to underline the ambitions when it comes to securing the top positions in the legendary endurance event. The 'Wochenspiegel' Porsche, for instance, driven by Georg Weiss, Peter-Paul Pietsch, Michael Jacobs and Martin Ragginger, finished fourth and Hermann Tilke, Dirk Adorf, Marc Henerici and Thomas Mutsch took their Ford GT to sixth. But there is another factor that arguably will be more vital in the 24-hour race than being able to set the fastest lap time. "In this event, patience is of major importance," explained former World Rally Champion who will race a VW Scirocco GT24 for Volkswagen Motorsport. "Having contested the Dakar Rally I know this kind of situations. It just isn't a sprint race." The Spaniard has caught the Nordschleife fever indeed and added: "The race is both fantastic and extremely demanding. The Nordschleife rather resembles a special stage than a racetrack. I'm looking forward to once again being a part of this race and hope to secure a good result."
Excitement and entertainment at the 'Adenauer Racing Day'
The "Adenauer Racing Day" represented another traditional highlight of the event's first day. 16,000 motor racing enthusiasts travelled to the small Eiffel town and were inspired by a great programme featuring both local VIPs and motor-racing elements. The police instructors of the driver-training facility Wuschheim, for instance, impressed the crowds with their extraordinary driving skills. And around the RPR1 stage, the fans had the chance of getting very close to numerous motor racers competing in the 24h race or the support races, such as the Audi works drivers that were available for interviews and an autographing session. Furthermore, the entire ATS Formula 3 Cup driver field attended the event -- including several F3 single-seaters.