All the latest notes from the Nürburgring as we wait for the start of the 24-hour race.
➤ Some last-minute changes on the entry list took place. Most notable, Rutronik Racing replaced Tristan Viidas with Laurens Vanthoor. The Belgian, winner of the race in 2015 with Audi, was initially without a ride this weekend.
➤ Meanwhile, Klaus Koch and Johannes Stengel were added to the line-up of the #12 Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3. They join Jean-Louis Hertenstein and Fidel Leib.
➤ For the first time since 2013 when he raced with Marc VDS Racing, Yelmer Buurman competes in the N24 with another crew than Black Falcon or Haupt Racing Team. The Dutchman joins 10Q Racing as the team embarks on its second Nürburgring 24 Hours where he shares the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Thomas Jäger, Kenneth Heyer and Dominik Baumann.
➤ You can find the complete GT3 entry list, as well as the full Nürburgring 24 Hours entry list, HERE.
➤ Final practice took place Saturday around noon with the warm-up. Most teams elected to do only a systems check or not even go out on track at all. The #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo was the fastest with a time of 8:16.267 set by Luca Stolz during the one-hour session.
➤ Ahead of the start of the ADAC 24h Classic on Friday, Johannes Scheid rode a lap of honour for the recently deceased Sabine Schmitz. The Nordschleife veteran and long-time driver and team-owner brought out his BMW M3 E36 ‘Eifelblitz’ with which he and Sabine won the 24-hours in 1996 and 1997.
➤ Balance of Performance changes have been an ongoing process. Porsche’s continuing performance has given the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart several ‘performance penalties’ while adding more power and removing weight from cars such as the BMW M6 GT3. Mercedes-AMG, another of the frontrunners in the VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) and Qualifying Race this year, have also had its Evo model dialled back in. Over the past weeks, Ferrari, who are not officially represented with a works team, has also gotten involved in the discussions after its teams — Octana126, WTM Racing and Racing one — complained about a lack of performance. The Italians have been given a small horsepower boost to help them be competitive, but according to Motorsport-Total.com, the teams are not happy about the small amount and process by which the number was determined. Audi, too, have received a boost in power output, but at the same time receive additional weight.
➤ Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus now runs its SPX-entered SCG004c to a spec closely resembling its SP9/GT3 competitors. Lacking official homologation, the SCG004c is forced to race in the SPX class, until recently with a narrowed rear wing. The narrow rear wing — no more than 80-percent of the car’s width — led to a notable loss of performance, and after a redesign of the front of the car to combat understeer, also to an imbalance. As the SCG004c is intended to be GT3 homologated sometime in the future, the car has been granted a waiver to allow a full-width rear wing which should resolve the imbalance and bring the car closer to full GT3 spec.
➤ Spectators are welcomed back at the Nürburgring with assigned seats on the grandstands. Despite this restriction, hordes of fans have also found their way to the public areas around the Nordschleife.
➤ The ADAC announced date changes for the 2022 and 2023 24-hour races. Both years see the race held on Ascension weekend, meaning 26-29 May 2022 and 18-21 May 2023. The change was made to accommodate teams and drivers who might have a scheduling conflict otherwise.
➤ Weather, as so often at the Nürburgring, will be pivotal this weekend. Rain, showers and complete downpours have already left their mark in the opening days and are expected to do some throughout Saturday. Racecast Weather writes: “Periods of rain this afternoon with thunderstorms possible; light showers continue on Saturday; conditions improve on Sunday.”
➤ Manthey Racing has recently been rebranded. The Porsche and Raeder brothers-owned team is now officially named ‘Manthey’, dropping the ‘Racing’ part, and been given a new logo.
➤ The team’s rebranding comes on its 25th birthday. Established in 1996 by Olaf Manthey, the team has always stayed loyal to Porsche. Throughout the years, Manthey has seen countless success, not solely at the Nürburgring. In fact, international success came already early on: From 1997 through 2000, Patrick Huisman brought home four Porsche Supercup titles in a row and was part of the crew that took a one-two LMGT class victory at Le Mans in 1999 alongside Uwe Alzen and Luca Riccitelli leading Dirk Müller, Bob Wollek and Bernd Mayländer to victory.
➤ Last year’s winning BMW M6 GT3 — chassis number 1511 — returns to action this weekend. Due to the model being withdrawn at the end of the season, BMW Motorsport is no longer producing the M6 which made it impossible for Rowe Racing to acquire a replacement for its victorious machine. With a new starting number, number 1, Rowe Racing embarks at its attempt at claiming the first back-to-back Nürburgring 24 Hours win in twelve years. Also back from 2020’s successful combination are Nick Catsburg and Nick Yelloly, who piloted the 2016-built car to victory in the daunting weather conditions. They are joined by Philipp Eng — who would’ve been a winner had he not switched to the #98 BMW mid-race — and John Edwards.
➤ With the M6 being replaced next year by the new BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Motorsport took the opportunity to present its new challenger on Wednesday. The M4 is the first GT3 built to the FIA’s 2022 Group GT3 regulations, offering a peek into the secretive technical regulations. Stuart Bowling will have his analysis of the BMW M4 GT3 ready soon, so stay tuned for a closer look at the car and what it tells us about the new rules.
➤ For the first time ever a GT3 has been fitted with a steer-by-wire system. Having trailed its Space Drive system in 2020 aboard the #58 W&S Motorsport Team Space Drive Racing Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 MR, Schaeffler Paravan Technologie is now stepping up to GT3. The non-homologated steering system however means the old-spec Mercedes-AMG GT3 is entered in the SP-X class. Phillip Ellis, Darren Turner and Dominik Farnbacher have been brought it as drivers, with Tim Scheerbarth also returning having raced the Team Space Drive Porsche last year. Click HERE to read more about the Space Drive system and Nürburgring 24 Hours project.
➤ If you want to experience the 24-hour race through the eyes of top-level race car drivers, then you can follow Lars Kern (#911 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R), Adam Christodoulou (#4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo), Ben Tuck (#101 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3), Marek Böckmann (#34 SchnitzelAlm Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4) and Thomas Kiefer’s (#320 Bioconcept Car Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup) driver reports throughout the weekend and race. You can find their latest reports HERE.
➤ The 49th running of the ADAC 24h Race starts Saturday at 15:30 CEST. You don’t have to miss a second with our livestream on GT.REPORT/live.
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