Nurburgring 24hr Top 30 Qualifying Shoot-Out

For those unfamiliar, the format of this session is the 30 cars who secured a spot in this session will take to the track one by one (in 20 second intervals) to first do an out lap then two flying laps. Fastest time sets the grid

A random draw took place earlier and it was Sven Müller in the Falken Porsche followed by Matt Campbell driving the Frikadelli Porsche & the #47 Mann-Filter Mercedes leading the field away in perfect conditions.
For what was supposed to be a warm up lap, clearly Sven Müller wasn’t hanging around – strategy obviously to just go out and nail the time rather than try anything clever.

Campbell locked a wheel on the Porsche slightly into turn one, but recovered without losing time
Bruno Juncadella was really pushing but managed to control the under/over steer while Norbert Siedler was nursing the #31 Porsche on the first flying lap through the GP loop.
The #911 Manthey took first blood, Vanthoor fastest in sector 1, but interestingly followed by a parade of Porsches.

#007 was mega in sector 2 (Nicki Thiim in the vintage Vantage), but closely followed by #912 who also followed this up with a quick sector 3 – but fastest there was Maro Engel in the #4 Mercedes.

24h Nürburgring 2018 – Foto: Gruppe C Photography; #007 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Aston Martin Racing: Maxime Martin, Marco Sorenson, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner

The Walkenhorst BMW Z4 was just not up to pace, 20 seconds away from the rest of the pack.
Thiim got a good draft through the final corner from the BWT sponsored Pink Audi.

For most cars, the first run would be the best and at the end of lap 1, Sven Müller would lead from Norbert Siedler – both below 08:10.
3rd would be the #007 Aston Martin, followed by the Manthey Porsches #912 (Makowiecki) & #911 (Vanthoor) – all less than a tenth outside of the 8:10 mark

Several cars decided that one lap was all they wanted, #007 continued to push but was unable to improve; having to settle for 5th (but running a previous generation GT3 car, that is not exactly bad).
Nervous looks throughout the garages – especially Rowe racing as we saw onboard of John Edwards who seemed to forget how to blink on his way to 14th with an 8:12.5

Bruno Juncadella in the Mercedes #47 was setting personal bests in every sector on the second run, but wound up 7th; although the team should be happy compared to a disappointing session for the Land Audi – Chris Mies only good for 15th

24h Nürburgring 2018 – Foto: Gruppe C Photography; #001 Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport Team Land: Christopher Mies, Kelvin van der Linde, Sheldon van der Linde, Rene Rast

Krumbach in the Ferrari was grabbing all the aero advantage across the Döttinger Höhe following the #16 ended the day just outside the top 10 – #10 not especially fast across the whole lap, but speed traps suggest headaches may ensue for the competitors on the straights.

Finally, somewhere out in the Badlands of Germany, the #911 was seen bouncing across the grass but amazingly, this slowed Vanthoor down not one jot – securing pole position with an 8:09.105

So, provisionally, the top 5 should line up as follows
#911 Manthey Porsche Laurens Vanthoor 8:09.105
#44 Falken Porsche Sven Müller 8:09.522
#31 Frikadelli Porsche Norbert Siedler 8:09.824
#4 Black Falcon Mercedes Maro Engel 8:09.916
#007 Aston Martin Vantage Nicki Thiim 8:10.020

The Renault RS01 would beat the Glickenhaus for SP-X honours & the top 29 cars would be within 10 seconds of each other.

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