As well as being an big part of the ‘show’ for fans trackside, the Nürburgring Top 30 Qualifying session is also important for the teams competing at the top end of the Nürburgring 24 Hours field. Many drivers suggest that a top grid position can be integral for team tactics during the race.
In years past, the cars who made it into the Top 30 session, were able to run in the race with a highly sought after ‘Blue Flashing Light’, which – especially during the night hours – helped drivers in the slower cars know clearly that the car approaching is one of the fastest in the field. This year though, there’s a change, as every car in the field will have a position indication in the top left corner of its windscreen, if you qualify in the Top 30, your position light will flash blue, if you don’t it will be white and not flash.
As usual, you can book a place prior to the event, which for a lot of teams, can take the pressure off the qualifying sessions during the pre-race track time during race week, which decide the grid from 31st downward.
Many teams booked their starting positions for the Top-30 Qualifying during the opening rounds of the VLN championship. Spots were available from the N24 Qualification Race, though everyone who would have taken those places, had already qualified prior to the race.
The four fastest teams in the VLN qualifying sessions are automatically assigned their spot before the Nurburgring 24 weekend begins.
This means that the #911 Manthey Porsche, #22 Wochenspiegel Ferrari, #102 Walkenhorst BMW and #47 Mercedes AMG all took their place in the Top-30 due to their performance in the first VLN race.
The #912 Manthey Racing, #4 and #48 Mercedes AMG entries took their spot in the second VLN qualifying session.
10 more spots were on offer in a qualification race held in April. From this, the #7 Aston Martin Racing, #5 Black Falcon AMG, #99 Rowe Racing BMW, #705 Gickenhaus SCG003c, #44 Falcon Motorsport Porsche, #8 WRT Audi and #98 Rowe Racing BMW all made it through, though in the Qualifying session ahead of the race, and not the race itself.
As is often the case, not all of the positions are filled which means there are more slots on offer during the race weekend. This weekend there are 15 further slots available and will be filled by the fastest teams across the two qualifying sessions.
The Top-30 Session will take place over 40 minutes after the second qualifying session has been completed (after Qualifying 2, the remaining spots will then be filled).
The shootout will then get underway at 7pm local time today. As it stands though, here’s a full list of those who have qualified so far, and how they got their place:
Qualified in the VLN 1 qualifying session
1. #911 Manthey Racing, Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche 911 GT3 R, SP9
2. #22 Wochenspiegel, Jochen Krumbach, Ferrari 488 GT3, SP9
3. #102 Walkenhorst, Christian Krognes, BMW M6 GT3, SP9
4. #47 Mercedes AMG HTP, Dominik Baumann, Mercedes-AMG GT3, SP9
Qualified in the VLN 2 qualifying session
5. #912 Manthey Racing, Patrick Pilet, Porsche 911 GT3 R, SP9
6. #4 Mercedes AMG HTP, Dirk Müller, Mercedes-AMG GT3, SP9
7. #48 Mercedes AMG HTP, Maximilian Götz, Mercedes-AMG GT3, SP9
Qualified in the 24h Qualification Race qualifying session
8. #31 Frikadelli Racing, Norbert Siedler, Porsche 911 GT3 R, SP9
9. #7 Aston Martin Racing, Nicki Thiim, Aston Martin GT3, SP9
10. #5 Mercedes AMG Black Falcon, Yelmer Buurman, Mercedes-AMG GT3, SP9
11. #99 Rowe Racing, Martin Tomczyk, BMW M6 GT3, SP9
12. #705 Scuderia Glickenhaus, Andreas Simonsen, SCG 003C, SP-X
13. #44 Falken Motorsports, Sven Müller, Porsche 911 GT3 R, SP9
14. #8 Audi Sport WRT, Robin Frijns, Audi R8 LMS, SP9
15. #98 Rowe Racing, Nicky Catsburg, BMW M6 GT3, SP9