After 41 entertaining laps of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, Maro Engel, Thomas Jäger, Dirk Müller and Jan Seyffarth (all GER) with their Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 3 were classified fifth in this year’s ADAC Qualifikationsrennen 24h-Rennen. The quartet of the Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON had started the race from fifth position and put in a solid performance throughout the six-hour race distance. The second-best car from Affalterbach was the BLACK FALCON Customer Racing entry with starting number 4 that finished in 14th place with the driver pairing of Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) and Hubert Haupt (GER). The third Mercedes-AMG GT3, the HARIBO Racing Team Mercedes-AMG (#8) with Uwe Alzen, Lance David Arnold, Maximilian Götz (all GER) and Renger van der Zande (NED) finished 17th in the dress rehearsal at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
On a dry track in the Green Hell, the Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 47 secured pole position after the two qualifying sessions on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. After a turbulent start, the cars with the three-pointed star established themselves among the front-runners. The pole-sitter with starting driver Christian Hohenadel (GER) had bad luck on lap three, having to retire from the race following a collision.
In the second half of the race, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON emerged as one of the contenders for a top 5 result. Starting driver Maro Engel having made his way up from fifth on the grid into the top 3, team-mate Thomas Jäger took over with a double stint. Dirk Müller and final driver Jan Seyffarth also drove the Mercedes-AMG GT3 through the six-hour race with over 100 competitors without any problems. Eventually, they crossed the finish line after 41 laps and were able to acquire valuable experience for the upcoming endurance racing classic at the end of May.
Thus, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport reached the goal that had been set, namely to get as many of the participating performance cars to already secure their Top 30 qualifying slots for the 24-hour race. The HARIBO Racing Team Mercedes-AMG had already secured its slot based on its achievements in the first two VLN season rounds, Mercedes-AMG Teams HTP Motorsport and BLACK FALCON did so by means of their successful results in qualifying for the qualification race.
Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #3: “I am really happy that we managed to secure our place for the Top 30 qualifying for the 24-hour race during qualifying this weekend, that was our goal. In the race, I took the start, it was a close and tough fight, but it was huge fun. My first stint went really well and I made it through the opening stage without contact. I am already massively looking forward to the 24-hour race in four weeks’ time. But one thing is clear: when you want to win the race at the end of May, everything has to fit perfectly and of course, you need to have the necessary bit of luck on your side.”
Thomas Jäger, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #3: “Of course, we were really happy with pole position for HTP Motorsport and we wanted to carry that speed over into the race and use it. Concerning the average lap times, we weren’t quite able to keep up. As a result, we didn’t make it all the way to the front, but we will analyse it and carry out the according bit of fine-tuning. Of course, we hope that we can still improve in the build-up to the 24-hour race.”
Maximilian Götz, HARIBO Racing Team Mercedes-AMG #8: “Today, the verdict of our race has to be ‘we racked up relevant testing mileage’. Unfortunately, we had a technical problem that made us lose a lot of time. However, we headed back out on track to continue testing. The team is highly motivated and we were able to get some good lap times in at the end. We are confident for the 24-hour race in four weeks’ time.”