The session started with a still damp track, but somebody forgot to tell the drivers as the leading cars were straight into the 08:20s – Christopher Hasse (Phoenix) & Kelvin Van der Linde (Land) setting the early pace.
#100 BMW Z4 (running to last generation GT3 regs) was flying on the first lap, fighting hard for space with the #1 Land Audi.
The alternative fuelled #13 Viper (different car to previous years) was running around the middle of the pack all evening.
#306 Porsche Cayman Cup car made it past the first chicane but no further as the driver climbed out ready for an early night as the first slow zone was called for.
The Stuck sons driving the #202 KTM would end up fastest in class and 44th overall
Bad news for the #253 BMW Cup car as James Clay clashed with a Lamborghini, got airborne at Schwalbenschwanz and into the gravel for slow zone number two.
The #42 Lexus was easing itself into the session after a gearbox failure at the start of earlier practice.
#109 Mustang, running in the alternative fuel class, just broke into the top 100 with a 10:02
Subaru’s factory run WRX, going great all evening despite the dry weather, 9:07 & inside the top 50.
The Glickenhaus took the entire night as a test session – never going faster than a 9:00 but still looking like a rocket ship
One hour into the session and night was falling, of course for the lead cars the important aim for these sessions is to make sure they qualify for the top 30 shoot-out. However, for the slower classes qualifying is qualifying… class leaders so far
TCR #831 Hyundai of Nicola Larini
SP8 #41 Phoeniex Audi R8 GT4
Cup 3 #302 Porsche Cayman of Michael Rebhan
AT #320 Porsche 911 with the legend that is Smudo driving
SP6 #65 Proom Racing Porshe Cayman Clubsport
Cup 5 #256 Tristan Viidas’s BMW M235i
SP3 #115 TMG Toyota GT86
And the leading production category car with two hours remaining was the #136 Zimmermann sponsored Porsche Cayman S.
A major incident occurred just before Adenauer-Forst with the Walkenhorst BMW M6 of Jordan Tresson on fire briefly and driver taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks – Jordan looking in much better health than the car.
Next to fall was the Team Thailand Toyota Corolla #122 coming to a halt on the front straight – lights flashing, but driver unable to get moving; their team car #123 would likewise have a troubled session setting no better than a 10:40 lap time
#92 Opel Astra was off at the final turn – Mike Schmit able to avoid the scenery and continue.
It was a difficult session for all the KTM X-Bows, but especially for #201, the all lady crewed car, as it was dragged off the track at half distance.
Henrik Bollerslev’s Porsche Cayman would be 6th in the V5 class – a 10:29 his best
#007 Aston Martin was pinged for exceeding noise limits, the team having to rework the silencer.
The Renault RS01 was really pushing to try and get through to the top 30 shoot-out 08:32.2 the fastest for Kuno Wittmer, but suspicion is that faster times will come tomorrow.
Manthey of course already have both of their Grellow cars booked into the top 30, but a gearbox issue tonight was not what they were hoping for.
Bernd Schneider was driving with a trio of journalists in the #190 AMG GT4 – effectively an SP10 car, but run in SP8T… miles ahead of both fields with a 9:02
Two thirds through the session and no major changes at the top – #1 Land Audi leading from Jeroen Bleekemolen’s Mercedes & Team 75 / Bernhard Porsche.
SP7 was being lead handily by Arno Klasen in the #57 Porsche
The SP-PRO Lexus of Takamitsu Matsui held a top 25 position (but several cars already pre-qualified behind it, so unlikely to make the top 30 for tomorrow evening)
A newly created class was put in for the Dorr Motorsport Lamborghinis (SP-Y) – Nico Verdonck well ahead of his team car.
Production class leaders so far were:
V6 #136 Porsche Cayman leading from #138 Porsche 991
V5 #146 Porsche Cayman of Kohei Fukuda
V4 #155 Kevin Totz’s BMW 325i
V2T #165 FAMILIA racing Renault Megane RS
The last hour saw mechanical problem for the #55 Porsche with Charles Espenlaub pulling off at Hohenrain, but more importantly, the barrier repairs complete & all slow zones removed – this would be the chance for those in need of a quick lap.
#39 Aston Martin GT8, just outside the top 50, managed a 9:19 best
The traditionally fuelled #77 Ford Mustang ended the night in 92nd overall & 6th in SP8
The family Kroll in BMW #78 would finish 4th in SP6 – the car looking capable of much better tomorrow
Ulrich Berg spun in the #59 SP7 Porsche and had to wait for a suitable gap in the traffic to re-join; very sensible driving from Ulrich.
A troubled session for the #43 Novel Lexus running in SP8 – unable to break the 10 minute barrier
Then a slow zone at Pflanzgarten as #137, one of the Mathol Porsche Cayman cars, was off to one side seemingly dead.
Jamie Chadwick in the #40 Aston Martin Vantage would be unable to get into the top 50, but plenty of time to improve tomorrow
Everyone’s favourite – the Manta Foxtail again ended inside the top 100… this car will not die!
The session would end with a huge tyre blow-out at Klostertal for the #305 Cayman & the #64 Black Falcon Porsche of Saud Al Faisal hitting the Armco at Aremberg.
Niels Borum’s BMW 335i never really got started in this session, hoping for better tomorrow
The final results at the head of the field are expected to be beaten tomorrow in the second qualifying session, but fastest was Kelvin Van der Linde in the #1 Land Audi with an 8:19.9