A turbulent final test for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife

For Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, the final test prior to the 24-hour race was an affair with ups and downs. In the sixth running of the 24h qualification race, the Mercedes-AMG teams and drivers racked up valuable test mileage in changeable conditions at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Two cars finished in the top ten of the 6-hour race. Having started from pole position, the Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON car with starting number 6 was the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 across the finish line in fifth place. The #3 sister car finished in tenth place after 41 laps. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 added further class success with victory and third place in the classes SP8T and SP10. In the opening stages of practice, however, an accident involving starting numbers 2 and 16 caused upset. Drivers Manuel Metzger (GER) and Dominik Baumann (AUT) were taken to hospital as a precaution, but are already on the way to recovery.

  • Pole position for Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #6
  • Fifth and tenth place for Mercedes-AMG GT3 #6 and #3
  • Victory and podium finish for Mercedes-AMG GT4
  • Valuable test mileage in the most varied weather conditions
  • A turbulent final test with accidents on Saturday

Nürburgring – The right tyre choice proved to be decisive in the qualifying sessions and the start of the race: initially, the #6 entry with Yelmer Buurman had secured pole position in the field of 98 cars. In conditions that remained changeable, the team chose what seemed to be the safe option and put on rain tyres for the start of the race, as did the other Mercedes-AMG GT3s and many rivals. However, after a few kilometres out on the Nordschleife, this turned out to be the wrong choice. After the opening lap of the race, the teams returned to the pits for a tyre change. As a result, the opponents that had started with slicks had a clear advantage. The two BLACK FALCON cars were able to complete their test programme until the end of the race as planned and, after 41 laps, they finished in fifth and tenth place. The #17 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 also made it to the finish in 18th place without incidents, whereas the ‘yellow mamba’ with starting number 48 had to retire early due to a technical problem.

The three Mercedes-AMG GT4s completed a positive qualification race over the weekend and celebrated a victory and a podium finish in their respective classes. In SP8T, the #47 BLACK FALCON car came first and the sister car with starting number 46 finished fourth. The third BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT4 scored a podium finish in third place of the SP10 class.

For Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, however, the race weekend in the Eifel started with a heart-stopping moment. On Saturday morning, there was an accident that involved starting numbers 2 and 16. In the practice session, the #2 car with Manuel Metzger behind the wheel was the first GT3 car to arrive at Klostertal, was caught out by the unpredictable track conditions together with other cars and slid into the barriers. With starting number 16, Dominik Baumann arrived at the scene of the accident a few seconds later. In a duel with a rivalling car in front of him, his view was limited and that was the reason he was unable to react in time. Due to the track conditions, Baumann slid off the circuit and unfortunately hit the car with starting number 2 with the drivers’ side.

Thankfully, the comprehensive safety concept of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 prevented further injuries. Both drivers were taken to hospital for further examination as a precaution. Manuel Metzger was able to leave hospital with minor bruises on the same day. Dominik Baumann incurred a collar bone fracture and a concussion and stayed for observation overnight as a result. He, too, is already on his way to recovery.

Now, the focus of the teams is shifted towards the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen at the Nürburgring that will be taking place from 20-23 June this year. With pole position in the top 30 qualifying of the qualification race, the #6 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON car already secured its top qualifying slot for the 24h race.

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “The most important thing is that Manuel and Dominik are more or less okay after the accident. From this place once again a speedy recovery to both of them! Thankfully, the proven safety concept of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 has prevented anything worse. In the remainder of the weekend, it was important for us to rack up as much test mileage as possible in order for the teams and drivers to gather sufficient experience. Yelmer’s pole position is a nice extra that already secured the team its slot for top qualifying for the 24-hour race. Now, we have an additional test day at the Nordschleife to finalise our preparation.”

Thomas Jäger, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #3: “This weekend, we had everything: dry and changeable conditions as well as rain. Drivers were able to spend a lot of time in the car and the teams had some work to do in the pits with the various conditions as well. That was important as we hadn’t had much chance to drive so far, not what we had hoped. All in all, however, we were still lacking a bit in terms of performance, we have to analyse that in detail.”

Yelmer Buurman, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #6: “For us, the qualification race is always very important to be prepared for the 24h race in the best possible way. I had a really good qualifying lap, even though conditions were very difficult. With pole position, we have already secured our slot for top qualifying for the 24-hour race, which is really good. I think it was right and definitely safer to start the race with rain tyres, even though we lost positions because of it. After that, I had some nice position fights with Luca Stolz in the sister car. Patrick, Nico and Gabriele drove a strong race after that. We can be very happy with fifth place.”  

Fabian Schiller, GetSpeed Performance #17: “We had a good weekend, we finally got to drive in a decent way after we really couldn’t do so in VLN 1, 2 and 3. Especially for my teammates, it was also important to acquire a lot of experience with the car. We had a fast car throughout, I was able to take sixth place in top 30 qualifying. In the race, things were going pretty well for us, too, apart from the tyre choice at the start. All in all, I am happy with the weekend and I am now looking forward to the 24-hour race.”

Result ADAC qualification race  24h-Rennen, Nürburgring*:

Pos. Pos.

class

Nr.

class

Car Team Drivers
1.

 

1.

 

101

(Pro)

BMW M6 GT3 Walkenhorst Motorsport Phil Keen, Giovanni Venturini, Franck Perera
2. 2. 99

(Pro)

BMW M6 GT3 ROWE RACING John Edwards (USA), Jesse Krohn (FIN)
3. 3. 98
(Pro)
BMW M6 GT3 ROWE RACING Tom Blomqvist (GBR), Mikkel Jensen (DEN), Connor de Philippi (USA)
     
5. 5. 6

(Pro)

Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Nico Bastian (GER), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Gabriele Piana (ITA)
10. 9. 3

(Pro)

Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON Maximilian Buhk (GER), Hubert Haupt (GER), Thomas Jäger (GER), Luca Stolz (GER)
18. 17. 17

(Pro-Am)

Mercedes-AMG GT3 Rooster Rojo GetSpeed J2 Racing Janine Hill (GBR), Markus Palttala (FIN), Fabian Schiller (GER)
25. 1. 47

(SP8T)

Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Yannick Mettler (SUI), Maik Rosenberg (GER), Stephan Rösler (GER), Mike Stursberg (GER)
37.

 

3. 70

(SP10)

Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA Christoph Hoffmann (GER), Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Tobias Müller (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)
41. 4. 46

(SP8T)

Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI Dominik Clemm (GER), Nicolas Clemm (GER), Ulrich Clemm (GER)
DNF DNF 48

(Pro)

Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER Christian Hohenadel (GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA)
DNS DNS 2

(Pro)

Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON Maro Engel (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER), Dirk Müller (GER)
DNS DNS 16

(Pro)

Mercedes-AMG GT3 GetSpeed Performance Dominik Baumann (AUT), Jan Seyffarth (GER), Tristan Vautier (FRA)

* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organisers 

Press release Mercedes-AMG

About The Author

Related posts