AlManar Racing keeps Mercedes-AMG on top in Pre-Qualifying
Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar hit the front in Pre-Qualifying at the Nürburgring thanks to a 1m54.173s from Fabian Schiller. The #777 was more than three tenths clear of its nearest challenger at the conclusion of the 90-minute session.
As was the case in this morning's Free Practice, Leonardo Pulcini was second overall and led the Gold Cup. The #19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini has shown good pace thus far on what looks to be a promising weekend for the Italian marque.
Indeed, the same brand led the Silver Cup order, with the #85 Grasser Racing entry placing fifth overall in the hands of Glen Van Berlo. Barwell Motorsport made it three class leaders for Lamborghini by topping Pro-Am. Dennis Lind set the best time in the #78 car, which he will share with Rob Collard this weekend. The Bronze Cup was topped by a Porsche with CLRT leading the way in 13th overall. Factory driver Fred Makowiecki posted a 1m55.197s aboard the #44 machine.
Akkodis ASP tops Nürburgring Free Practice
Akkodis ASP paced Saturday morning's Free Practice at the Nürburgring. The 90-minute session began on a damp circuit, though a few bursts of sunshine saw the times tumble as grip levels increased.
Driving the title-chasing #88 Mercedes-AMG, Timur Boguslavskiy posted a 1m55.163s during the latter stages to pip Leonardo Pulcini (#19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini) to top spot. The Italian had occupied P1 for some time and remained the best of the Gold Cup contingent at the chequered flag.
Ezequiel Perez Companc was the best of the Silver Cup entrants for Madpanda Motorsport. The #90 Mercedes-AMG was ninth overall, a little over half a second shy of Boguslavskiy's benchmark. The Iron Dames Lamborghini led the way in the Bronze Cup thanks to Michelle Gatting, the Danish driver posting the 11th best time overall. The class leaders were completed by the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, which was 21st overall with Dennis Lind at the wheel.
Cars will be back on-track at 12:25 CEST for a 90-minute Pre-Qualifying session. Like all of this weekend's action, it will be streamed live on the GT World YouTube.
Mitchell moves into Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series title race at the Nürburgring
Sandy Mitchell proved the class of the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series field at the Nürburgring, scoring a vital victory that has catapulted the K-Pax Racing Lamborghini team into the title picture with just one more race to go this season.
Mitchell was masterful from pole, guiding his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to a comfortable victory, leading every lap and even bagging the fastest lap of the race to boot. While Mitchell’s score was perfect, second place for Rutronik Racing’s Laurin Heinrich has put the team within touching distance of this year’s championship, barring disaster at the finale in Barcelona.
With both the Silver and Gold classes tied heading into round four, whoever came out on top of the title contenders was guaranteed to assume the championship lead. Boutsen VDS made the most of the opportunity with Cesar Gazeau winning, while Calan Williams produced a stirring recovery drive to second to put Team WRT’s BMW top in Gold, even if he had to give best to Charlie Fagg’s Optimum McLaren in this race.
Team Parker Porsche leads Bronze Test
Team Parker Racing topped Friday afternoon's Bronze Test at the Nürburgring, with Kiern Jewiss posting a 1m55.251s at the wheel of the #62 Porsche.
Jewiss took advantage of the rule that allows Silver-graded drivers who have not previously raced at a circuit to enter the session. The youngster was 0.724s faster than Rob Collard (#78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini), who was closely followed Jef Machiels (#52 AF Corse Ferrari) and Hubert Haupt (#79 HRT Mercedes-AMG).
Calan Williams was fifth in the #30 Team WRT BMW, the Australian competing in the session for the same reason as Jewiss. With the #188 Garage 59 McLaren and the #38 ST Racing with Rinaldi Ferrari occupying the next two places, seven different brands were represented in the top-seven places.
The session saw only one stoppage, which came at the very end of proceedings when the #38 Ferrari came to a halt on the run between turns 4 and 5. The next scheduled activity will see the full field hit the track for Free Practice, which kicks off at 08:30 CEST on Saturday and is streamed live on YouTube.
ROWE stays on top in second test session
ROWE Racing remained at the top of the times in Friday's second pre-event test session. The #998 BMW led the way once again thanks to a 1m54.748s from Dan Harper. This was 12 seconds better than teammate Max Hesse achieved in the first session, the track having dried considerably since the morning run.
Christopher Haase put the #11 Comtoyou Racing Audi second overall, followed by the #98 ROWE Racing BMW (Marco Wittmann) and the #40 Tresor Orange1 Audi (Ricardo Feller). The gap between the top-four was just 0.182s, while less than half a second covered the top-10.
The #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini was fifth overall and the best of the Pro-Am runners thanks to Dennis Lind. The #81 Theeba Motorsport Mercedes-AMG paced the Bronze Cup with Ralf Aron at the wheel. Tresor Attempto Racing led the Silver Cup with its #99 Audi, Pietro Delli Guanti placing 16th overall. Finally, Marius Zug (#157 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG) was the best of the Gold Cup runners in P18.
The next scheduled track activity is this evening's Bronze Test, which is set to get underway at 16:50 CEST. The full field returns tomorrow at 08:30 for Free Practice, which also signals the start of live streaming from the Nürburgring.
ROWE Racing on top in opening Nürburgring test
Max Hesse ensured that ROWE Racing topped the first of Friday's pre-event test session at the Nürburgring, setting a 2m06.047s in the #998 BMW. The #88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG was second courtesy of Raffaele Marciello, followed by the #40 Tresor Orange1 Audi driven by Dennis Marschall.
Thomas Neubauer put the #35 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW fourth overall and led the Bronze Cup order. The #5 Optimum Motorsport McLaren of Charlie Fagg was next and paced the Gold Cup.
The #888 CSA Racing Audi was seventh overall and topped Pro-Am. This car was previously listed as a Bronze Cup entrant but will now compete with two drivers – Arthur Rougier and Erwan Creed – in Pro-Am.
The best of the Silver Cup runners was the championship-leading #12 Comtoyou Racing Audi of Finlay Hutchison in 16th overall. A total of 51 cars set times during the one-hour session, which was interrupted by a brief red flag at mid distance. A second session is scheduled for 13:20 CEST.
Driver changes announced at Team WRT and Grasser Racing
There have been further tweaks to the entry list for this weekend's Nürburgring event.
The #31 Team WRT BMW has two new drivers for the trip to Germany as Intelligent Money British GT Championship race winner Darren Leung and BMW factory driver Jens Klingmann join the continuing Lewis Proctor.
The #31 previously featured Tim Whale, who is recovering from back surgery; his regular co-driver, Adam Carroll, has also elected to stand down from this weekend's event. The car will continue to compete in the Bronze Cup class.
Grasser Racing has adjusted the line-up of its #58 Lamborghini, with Gerhard Tweraser taking the place of Ricky Capo alongside Sam Neary and Fabrizio Crestani in the Silver Cup contender.
Tweraser has a long history with Grasser Racing: the Austrian made his series debut with the team as far back as 2013 and was most recently part of the #58 line-up at this year's CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, joining as the fourth driver with Capo/Neary/Crestani.
Comtoyou Racing names full Nürburgring line-up
Audi squad Comtoyou Racing has confirmed its full driver line-up for this weekend's Endurance Cup contest at the Nürburgring.
With regular Gold Cup driver Max Hofer competing in Fanatec GT Australia, the team has elected to shift Gilles Magnus from the Pro car to bolster its assault on the class championship. He will form a an all-Belgian trio in the #21 Audi with Maxime Soulet and Nicolas Baert, who enjoy a 22-point lead at the top of the Gold standings.
The vacancy in the #11 car will be filled by rising star Kobe Pauwels, who joins Audi Sport drivers Fred Vervisch and Christopher Haase. The 18-year-old has been a revelation in TCR Europe this term, securing four victories for Comtoyou Racing.
"With Fred Vervisch and Christopher Haase as teammates, I couldn't dream of better instructors to help me progress faster," said Pauwels. "In my eyes, GT racing has always been the next step in my career and I wanted to do it with Comtoyou Racing. The chance has just arrived a little earlier than expected!”
Team principal Jean-Michel Baert added: “We are convinced by Kobe's talent and we saw an opportunity to introduce him to GT3, without putting any pressure on him. For us, it is also a way of demonstrating the ladder of progression we can offer as a team, while also preparing ourselves for the future."
The #12 Audi of Dejonghe/Hezemans/Hutchison is unchanged for this weekend's trip to Germany.
Friday 28 July
08:30 - 09:30: Paid Test Session 1
13:20 - 14:20: Paid Test Session 2
16:50 - 17:50: Bronze Test
Saturday 29 July
08:30 – 10:00: Free Practice
12:25 - 13:55: Pre-Qualifying
Time TBC: Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series Race LIVE
Sunday 30 July
08:45 - 09:45: Qualifying LIVE
14:45 - 17:45: 3-Hour Race LIVE
For the full event timetable, please click here