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Nurburgring 24h: Yelloly hands ROWE rain-soaked pole

Nick Yelloly has gifted the ROWE Racing BMW team pole for the Nurburgring 24 Hours in qualifying session affected by a large thunderstorm.

#1 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3: Nick Catsburg, John Edwards, Philipp Eng, Nick Yelloly

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

The weather was the deciding factor in the 20-car Top Qualifying 2 shootout at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife, with the region being subjected to heavy rainfall.

Race control decided to start the second section about half an hour later than planned, but the track conditions were still treacherous.

Yelloly, who shares last year's winning #1 BMW M6 GT3 with Nicky Catsburg, John Edwards and Philipp Eng, set a time of 10m01.619s, preventing a sensational pole from the #19 Konrad Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

The Pro-Am class Konrad squad was one of those teams that gambled in the Top Qualifying 2 by bringing in their car for a pit stop after one lap. On fresh rubber Axcil Jefferies managed a time of 10m03.927s on a soaked track.

Third place went to Manuel Metzger, who was the very last driver to set a time in the #4 HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3. He demoted Jesse Krohn in the #20 Schubert BMW and Nico Bastian in the sister #6 HRT Mercedes.

Completing the top 10 were Raffaele Marciello in the #7 GetSpeed Mercedes, who settled for just one flying lap, Moritz Kranz in the #9 GetSpeed Mercedes, Nicki Thiim in the #11 Phoenix Audi R8 LMS, Julien Andlauer in the #3 Rutronik Porsche 911 GT3 R and Max Hesse in the #77 RMG BMW.

Kranz was also among the drivers who dispensed with one of their two flying laps in favour of a pit stop.

Audi in front in dry Q1 session

Top Qualifying 1, in which four spots for the 20-car pole shootout were up for grabs, started in completely dry conditions. However, there were already signs of what was to come in the form of apocalyptic-looking clouds.

Daniel Keilwitz in the #22 WTM Ferrari set the first benchmark time with a 8m17.091s, but this was immediately beaten by Augusto Farfus in the #77 BMW with a 8m14.872s, the pair split by Dries Vanthoor in the #15 Phoenix Audi.

Farfus' guest appearance at the top was also short-lived, as Maro Engel in the #6 HRT Mercedes put in a best time of 8m13.664s. After the first round of flying laps, Engel, Farfus, Vanthoor and Marco Mapelli (#63 FFF Racing Lamborghini) held the four tickets for Top Qualifying 2.

As many as 11 drivers refrained from their second flyer in view of the impending thunderstorm, including Engel and Mapelli. Vanthoor, however, snatched the top position from Engel with a time of 8m12.319s.

A few moments later it started pouring down on the GP track, causing Charles Espenlaub in the #16 CP Mercedes to spin due to aquaplaning.

Vanthoor, Engel, Farfus and Mapelli held on to their Top Qualifying 2 spots. Christopher Haase was fifth in the #2 Car Collection Audi, ahead of Keilwitz, Patric Niederhauser in the #24 Lionspeed Audi, Christian Krognes in the #101 Walkenhorst BMW, Connor de Phillippi in the #98 ROWE BMW, and Josh Burdon in the #18 KCMG Porsche.

On Saturday, a one-hour warm-up is scheduled at 11.30am, before the 49th running of the race starts at 3.30pm local time.

Top Qualifying 2 results (Top 10):

Pos. No. Drivers Team/Car Time Gap
1 1

Netherlands Nicky Catsburg

United States John Edwards

Austria Phillipp Eng

United Kingdom Nick Yelloly

ROWE Racing


2 19

Zimbabwe Axcil Jefferies

Germany Michele di Martino

Germany Tim Zimmermann

Switzerland Alex Fontana

Konrad Motorsports

Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo

10'03.927 +2.308
3 4

United Kingdom Adam Christodoulou

Germany Maro Engel

Germany Manuel Metzger

Germany Luca Stolz

Mercedes-AMG Team HRT

Mercedes-AMG GT3

10'05.992 +4.373
4 20

Finland Jesse Krohn

Germany Jens Klingmann

United Kingdom Alexander Sims

Netherlands Stef Dusseldorp

Schubert Motorsport


10'06.738 +5.119
5 6

Germany Patrick Assenheimer

Germany Nico Bastian

Germany Maro Engel

Germany Hubert Haupt

Mercedes-AMG Team HRT

Mercedes-AMG GT3

10'10.800 +9.181
6 7

Germany Maximilian Gotz

Spain Daniel Juncadella

Italy Raffaele Marciello

Germany Fabian Schiller

Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed

Mercedes-AMG GT3

10'10.835 +9.216
7 9

United Kingdom Janine Schoffner

Germany Moritz Kranz

Finland Markus Palttala

Belgium Maxime Soulet


Mercedes-AMG GT3

10'11.786 +10.167
8 11

Italy Michele Beretta

Germany Frank Stippler

Germany Kim Luis Schramm

Denmark Nicki Thiim

Phoenix Racing

Audi R8 LMS

10'14.271 +12.652
9 3

France Romain Dumas

France Julien Andlauer

Germany Tobias Muller

Belgium Laurens Vanthoor

Rutronik Racing

Porsche 911 GT3 R

10'14.558 +12.939
10 77

United Kingdom Daniel Harper

Germany Max Hesse

United States Neil Verhagen

Brazil Augusto Farfus

BMW Junior Team


10'14.727 +13.108


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