The #43 Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 of Augusto Farfus, Alex Lynn, Antonio Felix da Costa and Timo Scheider ran fastest in the opening Qualifying session ahead of the 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours. The car’s best time was an 8:22.307 during the three and a half hours of evening running at the Nürburgring by Augusto Farfus on his final flying lap.
The Brazilian driver’s session-topping time was just a tenth faster than his Portuguese teammate Felix da Costa’s best which originally put the #43 M6 atop the screens towards the end of the session.
“As a matter of fact, we are satisfied with this position, because we do not have a place in the Top 30 qualifying yet,” Scheider explained, “so we have to go for it a bit more.”
Second on the leaderboard, after looking like it would finish the night running top was the #38 Bentley Team Abt Continental GT3 of Christopher Jöns, Christian Mamerow, Jordan Pepper and Christoper Brück, which managed an 8:23.255 courtesy of Mamerow, who was just a second off the leading BMW.
The sister Schnitzer BMW of Marco Wittmann, Tom Blomqvist, Martin Tomczyk and Farfus finished up third in the running with a 8:23.672.
18 of the front-runners had already qualified for the Top-30 session tomorrow prior to the start of Qualifying 1 however, making much of the action just about track time for many of the faster cars.
Behind the #43 BMW – which has yet to qualify – the second fastest car on the screens attempting to make it into the shootout was the #29 Land Audi R8 of Connor De Phillippi, Chris Mies, Markus Winkelhock and Kelvin van der Linde in fourth overall, with the #22 Wochenspiegel Ferrari fifth overall and next on the list of prospective Top 30 runners. The Ferrari 488 in question finished with a time of 8:24.737, while the Land Audi reeled off a 8:24.601.
The 13 slots still up for grabs will all be earned tomorrow though. The track conditions during Qualifying 1 proved slow, leaving many drivers feeling that the faster times will be set tomorrow morning during Qualifying 2.
“The track conditions aren’t perfect,” Christophe Brück (#38 Abt Bentley) said. “There’s a lot of dirt on the surface so we’re slower than in the Qualifying Race. But it’ll probably be quicker tomorrow as it cleans up.”
It was a more competitive session for the Mercedes teams after a quiet outing in Free Practice. The quickest AMG GT3 – the defending champion #1 Black Falcon entry – concluded the evening in sixth overall on the timing screens just 2.7 seconds off the fastest time. The #12 Manthey 911 GT3 R of Otto Klohs, Robert Renauer, Mathieu Jaminet and Matteo Cairoli was the fastest Porsche on track, and slotted in eighth.
The best of the non-SP9 runners was the #704 Truam Motorsport Glickenhaus SGC003C this time around. The SPX-entered car ended up 22nd overall, mixing in with the GT3 cars, 7.3 seconds slower than the leading Schnitzer BMW.
Qualifying 2 tomorrow morning at the ‘Ring is set to begin at 9:30am local time in Germany, ahead of the Top-30 Qualifying at 19:50.