|Pole position for Werner at 24-hour race at the Nürburgring
The Audi R8 LMS looks to be the car to beat in the 38th running of the
24-hour race at the Nürburgring: Four of the fascinating mid-engine sportscars start the race on Saturday
at 3:00 p.m. from the first four grid positions.
The two Audi customer teams ABT Sportsline and Phoenix Racing had the correct strategy in qualifying: After it had rained during first qualifying on Thursday and the Nordschleife was still very dirty and slippery at the start of Friday's second qualifying session, the two teams only went gunning for lap times shortly before the end of the final two-hour qualifying session. Lucas Luhr (ABT Sportsline/8m 27.967s) and Mike Rockenfeller (Phoenix Racing/8m 25.782s) initially used the now considerably superior conditions to set new fastest laps before they were beaten by Marco Werner (ABT Sportsline) with 8m 24.753s. Rockenfeller was still able to improve to 8m 25.568s on his last lap, but remained in second position. Pierre Kaffer (Phoenix Racing) completed the Audi quartet at the head of the field after posting a 8m 29.250s lap.
Marco Werner broke the existing lap record for the current Nürburgring circuit layout by almost two seconds
and, in the process, underlined the progress made during the further development of the Audi R8 LMS and how
good the Michelin tires work on the cars from ABT and Phoenix. "We are satisfied to be on pole position,
even though it isn't really a very important step for a 24-hour race,” explained the three-time Le Mans
winner. "It's always ‘nice to have’. It was important that we had a few laps in the dry to see just how the
car handles. We were unable to work in the set-up in the previous practice sessions, since the conditions
were always very difficult. At least it was dry today. I was really fighting in the car. My lap was good, I
only came across traffic on two or three occasions. That is the key to success for the last few seconds,
which is what it was about in the end and led to pole position. We could show that Audi and ABT have
produced a good package with the R8 LMS. Thanks also to Michelin, to whom we only switched to last week.
Everything worked well.”
The starting grid at the Nürburgring
1 Ekström/Jarvis/Scheider/Werner (Audi R8 LMS) 8m 24.753s
The 38th running of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is started in Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Sport1 broadcasts 20 hours live. During the formation lap one of the limited edition of 333 Audi R8 GT will lead the starter field.