News and quotes 17:00 to 19:00hrs At 17:12hrs, all the eleven leading cars were in the pits or on their out lap: a hint to the fact that the top teams have established a balance of performance. Following the pit stops, two Manthey entered cars...
News and quotes 17:00 to 19:00hrs
At 17:12hrs, all the eleven leading cars were in the pits or on their out lap: a hint to the fact that the top teams have established a balance of performance. Following the pit stops, two Manthey entered cars took the lead: last year's winners with their Porsche 911 RSR (# 1) and the Wochenspiegel-Porsche (# 5). Nonetheless, none of the two cars succeeded in defending its lead for a long time. With two hours of the race contested, the Wochenspiegel squad lost its lead due to a technical failure in the Hatzenbach section. A short time later, it was passed by the Phoenix Audi #99 raced by Basseng, Fassler, Rockenfeller and Stippler: on lap 16, an Audi R8 LMS took the race lead for the first time. A few minutes past 18:30hrs, the crowds on the grandstands witnessed the next pit-stop period: this time, eight of the eleven leaders were at the pits or on their out lap. And at the beginning of the third hour, the front-runners had established an order -- for the time being. The two Manthey Porsches (#1, second and #2, third) in an Audi sandwich, with the Phoenix-Racing R8 LMS (99) holding the lead and the Abt Sportsline car (#97) following in fourth.
# 1 (Bernhard / Lieb / Dumas / Tiemann) Porsche 911 GT3-RSR
17:15hrs: Marc Lieb: "I was three to four seconds faster but just didn't find a way to pass Dirk Adorf. And the massive traffic didn't make things easier. You have to be really careful out there. I pushed and pushed and pushed and succeeded in forcing Dirk into a minor mistake. But we aren't contesting a three-hour race and therefore I opted to for taking it somewhat easier."
# 2 (Collard / Henzler / Lietz / Werner) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S
17:05hrs: Emmanuel Collard: "The first laps went fine for us but we are slightly slower than the Audis. It's far too early to make any predictions."
18:20hrs: Dirk Werner: "I expected the Audis to be further up. They seem to eventually have some problems. We aren't able to match the pace of the two leading teams."
# 5 (Weiss / Pietsch / Jacobs / Ragginger) Porsche 911 GT3
18:00hrs: Due to a blown engine, Martin Ragginger has to park the Wochenspiegel-Porsche in the Breidscheid section. The car is towed back to the pits and following a data analysis, the team begins to change the engine.
18:10hrs: Michael Jacobs: "I was ready to go and even had put my helmet on when we were informed that our car had stopped."
# 10 (Viebahn / Forbes / Huisman / Hartung) BMW E46 M3 GTS
18:54hrs: The 'Eifelblitz' is running again -- and does so in great style. During its second stint, the Scheid-BMW works its way up to 17th position.
Marko Hartung: "Everything is running well. No problems whatsoever."
# 21 (Riebensahm / Kohlhaas / Gerhard / ) Dodge Viper GT3
17:29hrs: In the Castrol-S, the Viper collides with the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
#35 raced by Tschornia / Kovac / Asch / Klasen. The Porsche spins, both cars continue.
# 40 (Tilke / Adorf / Hennerici / Mutsch) Ford GT
18:00hrs: Mark Hennerici replaces Thomas Mutsch at the wheel.
18:05hrs: Thomas Mutsch: "Well well. Unfortunately our car was slightly touched by a Porsche, on lap six. Therefore, we had to pit earlier than scheduled. But now everything is running as planned."
# 97 (Abt / Hemroulle / Kaffer / Luhr) Audi R8 LMS
18:40hrs: Christian Abt pits and Pierre Kaffer enters the cockpit.
Christian Abt: "I'm really happy with the car but far less with some of the competitors. Partially it's pure chaos, out there. Most of the drivers are careful and cooperate but there are others you nearly don't dare to overtake. They need all their concentration to keep their car under control and therefore need the full width of the track."
# 98 (Stuck / Biela / Pirro / Fassler) Audi R8 LMS
17:10hrs: Stuck pits and Biela enters the car for the next stint. Hans-Joachim Stuck regarding the penalty for ignoring yellow flags: "I approached the Schwedenkreuz behind Lucas Luhr -- at 250kph. He braked all of a sudden and I just had to pass him under yellow. . I had no choice -- where should I have gone? Afterwards, I let Lucas pass me again but that wasn't realised by the marshals, of course."
18:45hrs: Frank Biela: "I'm pleased. There is a lot of traffic out there on the track but this won't change. In the Tiergarten section I had to drive at pedestrian speed due to yellow flags but the situation was the same for everybody else."
# 99 (Basseng / Fassler / Rockenfeller / Stippler) Audi R8 LMS
18:45hrs: Mike Rockenfeller: "My laps were okay, apart from the yellow-flag situation in the Tiergarten. The car is running fine but there still is a damned long time to go."
# 100 (Scheider / Werner / Ekstrom / Luhr) Audi R8 LMS
18:50hrs: Hans-Jurgen Abt: "Solving the electronics problem cost us a lot of time. Making up for the lost ground will be difficult. Therefore, we won't have the chance to rejoin the battle for the race win. Now, Timo Scheider can race without any pressure as we haven't got anything to lose, anymore."
# 116 (Cheng / van Dam / Heger / Mailleux) VW Scirocco
17:00hrs: Altfrid Heger passes the Scirocco to Cong Fu Cheng.
Heger: "The car is running well. I didn't push on the first two laps as I wanted to go easy on the tyres. Therefore, I had good grip up to the end of my stint and could match the pace."
# 120 (Beckmann / Strycek / Hass / Schall) Opel Manta
17:00hrs: Volker Strycek is replaced by Peter Hass
Strycek beams: "My stint was great and the Opel Manta is running perfectly. I hope we can continue like that."