Nurburgring 24h: Van der Linde tops first qualifying for Audi

Reigning Nurburgring 24 Hours champion outfit Audi Sport Team Land set the fastest time during Thursday night's first qualifying for the 46th running of the German endurance classic.

Nurburgring 24h: Van der Linde tops first qualifying for Audi

Kelvin van der Linde set the fastest time of the session on his first flying lap in the #1 Audi R8 LMS, posting a 8m18.914s on one of the few clear laps during the session - enough to beat Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #11 AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 by 0.379s.

Much of the three-hour session was affected by slow zones due to several incidents on the 25km track.

Jordan Tresson was one of the major casualties during the night qualifying session, as the Frenchman, driving the #101 Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3, crashed in the run down from Fuchrohre to Adenauer Forst and caused a lengthy slow zone.

Tresson was released from the medical centre after the shunt but BMW Motorsport reported that the car was “heavily damaged” during the shunt.

With only half an hour left, the track was clear for some time, and Mike Rockenfeller took advantage to post the third-fastest time of the session in the #24 BWT Audi, 0.488s slower than Mies.

Jorg Bergmeister had set a fast lap in the first part of the session in the #17 Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R and was demoted to fourth in the last few minutes of the session.

Pierre Kaffer posted the fifth-fastest time in the #15 Car Collection Motorsport Audi, while the #6 Black Falcon Mercedes was the final car to get within a second of Mies's benchmark.

The best of the BMW runners was ROWE Racing's #99 car in 12th place, which was over five seconds adrift of provisional pole with Alexander Sims at the wheel.

Qualifying continues on Friday with a second two-hour session under daylight, before a top-30 shootout is held later in the evening.

First qualifying results (top 10):

1 1 SP9 germany René Rast 
germany Christopher Mies 
south_africa Kelvin van der Linde 
south_africa Sheldon Van Der Linde 
Audi R8 LMS 8'18.914  
2 11 SP9 italy Raffaele Marciello 
netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 
austria Clemens Schmid 
germany Patrick Assenheimer 
Mercedes-AMG GT3 8'19.293 0.379
3 24 SP9 germany Markus Winkelhock 
germany Mike Rockenfeller 
germany Christopher Haase 
switzerland Nico Müller 
Audi R8 LMS 8'19.402 0.488
4 17 SP9 germany Andre Lotterer 
denmark Michael Christensen 
germany Jörg Bergmeister 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
Porsche GT3 R 8'19.404 0.490
5 15 SP9 switzerland Simon Trummer 
germany Pierre Kaffer 
belgium Adrien de Leener 
Audi R8 LMS GT3 8'19.466 0.552
6 6 SP9 saudi_arabia Abdulaziz Al Faisal 
germany Hubert Haupt 
italy Gabriele Piana 
sweden Erik Johansson 
Mercedes-AMG GT3 8'19.658 0.744
7 3 SP9 germany Frank Stippler 
germany Christopher Haase 
switzerland Nico Müller 
belgium Frederic Vervisch 
Audi R8 LMS GT3 8'20.739 1.825
8 12 SP9 germany Otto Klohs 
germany Lars Kern 
norway  Dennis Olsen 
switzerland Philipp Frommenwiler 
Porsche 911 GT3 R 8'20.991 2.077
9 25 SP9 switzerland Marcel Fassler 
germany Stefan Mücke 
germany Pierre Kaffer 
germany Christer Jöns 
Audi R8 LMS 8'21.520 2.606
10 912 SP9 united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
austria Richard Lietz 
france Patrick Pilet 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 GT3 R 8'22.248 3.334
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