A stunning premier for Haupt Racing Team in its very first official motorsports session: with a laptime of 7:59.191, Maro Engel raced the #6 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 to pole position for the first race of the VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series season.
Under a cloudy and slightly drizzling sky, Michele Beretta was the first to set a competitive time. The Italian set the #15 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3’s best time at 8:02.708 to stay at the top of the charts until the last minutes of the session when Luca Ludwig in the #36 Octane126 Ferrari 488 GT3 took his moment to shine with a laptime of 8:02.328.
The final stages of qualifying saw more changes in best times. Ludwig was toppled by #2 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 pilot Raffaele Marciello whose 8:00.498 stood as the chequered flag was waved.
Deep in extra time, however, Maro Engel improved his time and did it with a banger of 7:59.191 making the Mercedes-AMG works driver the first of only two to dive under the 8-minute mark earning the Haupt Racing Team its first pole position in its weeks-old life.
Beretta seemed unable to improve on his early flyer but as Engel dived under the 8-minute mark, so did the Audi pilot as he followed over the line with a 7:59.728 – not good enough for pole, but enough to earn the Phoenix Racing team a front-row start.
Third on the grid is the #8 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 courtesy of a late quick lap by Matthieu Vaxivière. The Frenchman lines up on the second row alongside the #2 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG of Marciello.
The third starting row is BMW territory with the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Mikkel Jensen starting fifth in front of Nick Catsburg in the #99 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3.
The 51. Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy starts Saturday at 12:00 CET. Watch the LIVE STREAM on GT REPORT.