Audi prevails in first qualifying sessions at the Nordschleife
Defending Nurburgring 24-Hour champions Audi Sport Team WRT set the pace in the early qualifying sessions for the 2016 endurance classic at the infamous Nordschleife.
Pierre Kaffer, Christopher Mies, Nico Muller and Laurens Vanthoor in the #1 Audi R8 LMS lapped the 25km track in 8m21.951 just before the Nurburgring was hit by consistent rain showers which made it impossible for the competition to improve their times.
In the end Kaffer, Mies, Muller and Vanthoor stayed 1.2 seconds clear of their fellow Audi drivers Dennis Busch, Marc Busch, Christian Mamerow and Rene Rast in the #16 Twin Busch Motorsport Audi R8 LMS.
The #75 Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG of Sebastian Asch, Kenneth Heyer, Daniel Keilwitz and Luca Ludwig scored third place, a further 0.1s adrift.
Only 0.021 seconds behind them Augusto Farfus, Jesse Krohn, Jorg Muller and Marco Wittmann brought the #18 Schubert Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 home in fifth place.
“It’s nice to be in front,” said Kaffer. “But due to the rain the result doesn’t show the true potential of the cars. I’m pretty sure our competition will pick up some speed.”
Especially so, since the Nurburgring proved to be even more difficult in the wet.
“The conditions changed all the time,” said Porsche driver Nick Tandy. “It was hard to see the wet patches and where they were at night.”
Track action at the Nurburgring resumes on Friday with the second qualifying and the top 30 qualifying sessions.
AMG-Team HTP Motorsport ready for the 'Green Hell'
All Mercedes-AMG GT3 made it into Top 30 qualifying for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring