After a day of preparation and media/ PR photoshoots that saw many of the customer racing operations conduct ‘gathering of the clans’, track action got underway on Thursday ahead of the 2021 Nürburgring 24 Hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Qualifying Practice 1 would see the conditions around the ‘Ring looking tricky, the track drying through the 90 minute session with the fastest times coming as the surface finally found grip enough for slick rubber, the final laps of the session the fastest and traffic as always making the order a bit of a lottery.
Haupt Racing’s #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in the hands of Nico Bastian would come out on top with a best lap in 8:23.596, good enough to fend off Dennis Olsen in the #31 Frikadelli Porsche by under two-tenths of a second. Christopher Haase was third fastest in the #2 Audi Sport Team Car Collection R8 LMS, a second off Bastian with GT3 Evo Christian Krognes making it the big four German brands across the top four in the #101 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
Best of the non-German brands was the Konrad Lamborghini in seventh fastest spot overall.
The 3 hour Q2 into the evening would though see the other Lamborghini hare to the top of the order, Mirko Bortolotti putting in a lap in 8:18.575 in the Hankook FFF Racing Huracan GT3 Evo to finish the session well clear of an on-form Klaus Bachler in the #33 Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R (8:20.237). Matteo Cairoli rounded out the top three in the #911 Manthey ‘Grello’ 911 GT3R