Christian Krognes has been racing the Nordschleife since 2010, winning his way into the GT3 class where since 2016 he’s raced the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. The 2018 Nürburgring 24 Hours marks the Norwegian’s first full-pro attack in the twice-around-the-clock, teaming up with former ‘N24’ winner Augusto Farfus, Spa 24 Hours champ Markus Palttala and rising star Fabian Schiller in the Shell-branded, BMW-endorsed M6 GT3. Get the inside scoop from Krognes as he takes you with him into the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring in his daily blogs.
Friday is usually when tensions start to rise in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, and you could just feel that there’s a little more edge to the attitude in the pits and generally people are very focused on the big race coming up. As has it been in our garage, and the mechanics and engineers have all worked non-stop to make sure the car is on point for the weekend! First of all we completed the 2nd qualifying session and our testing program consisting of some detailed setup work, and at the same time Augusto was given some laps to adapt to the low-fuel scenario for the top 30 session.
After that we had a debrief with all the drivers to settle the final setup for the race, and while the top 30 qualifying is an important session this weekend, the emphasis was put to making sure that we have a strong car for Saturday and Sunday. What we have to take into account regarding this is that the car handles a little differently with high fuel loads, and the focus is to maximize the performance in that operating window. Luckily all the drivers on the team have pretty equal wishes as to how the balance in the car should be, and that made the decision-making quite easy this time around.
Just as the sun started to creep towards the end of the Eifel mountains, the top 30 qualifying started with Augusto in our beautiful M6. This is the session of the year, and that one and only time you can attack 100-percent without being disturbed by traffic, which is absolutely amazing around the Nordschleife. Augusto did really well, and although we ended up 18th on the grid he squeezed out every little bit of what the car could offer – which was very visible on the inboard view as we had a look after the session. The pace of the field in general was incredibly high this year, perhaps because you’re allowed to change tires before the race. This wasn’t allowed in previous years, and we saw several cars pitting after only one lap. It might just indicate that they were on a very soft compound, so it will be interesting to see how we all rank up again in race conditions.
I feel like we have a strong package overall, and as I write this I am looking so much forward to get into the car for my first stints. The goal is to be up there towards the end of the race and fight for the top 3 positions, but for that we need to deliver a perfect performance and as for everyone on this track – we need our fair share of pure luck. Let’s see, I can’t wait for it all to start!
Do you want to win this Nürburgring 24 Hours cap signed by Christian Krognes? Tag a friend who would like to win this cap as well in our ‘N24’ Facebook posts and we’ll pick the winner on Sunday night.