Nürburg. BMW teams secured promising starting positions with the BMW M6 GT3 in Friday’s Top Qualifying on the eve of the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER). Nick Yelloly (GBR) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) qualified fifth and sixth for ROWE Racing and BMW Team Schnitzer, meaning they start the race from row three. With some stretches of the circuit wet and some dry, qualifying became something of a tyre lottery. Marco Wittmann (GER, ROWE Racing) and Christian Krognes (NOR, Walkenhorst Motorsport) finished eighth and ninth to claim their places in the top ten. Henry Walkenhorst (GER) was 16th in the AM car run by Walkenhorst Motorsport.
Augusto Farfus (#42 BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team Schnitzer, 6th place): “I gambled on the cut slick tyre, which could have worked but did not unfortunately. I had to come into the pits and switch back to wets, so it was very difficult for me to pull a lap with only one shot while the track was improving. People were faster on their second lap. Overall it’s okay.”
Marco Wittmann (#98 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing, 8th place): “My two qualifying laps were really good when you consider how tough the conditions were. Up to that point, we had only had a few wet laps. It is obviously the same for everyone, but was definitely a small advantage for those who had already qualified in Top Qualifying 1. However, eighth place is a good starting position for the race. Our second car is in fifth place, so we are really happy.”
Nick Yelloly (#99 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing, 5th place): “It was very tricky out there. I haven’t driven in those conditions very often. It was a really difficult lap in drying conditions on wets. Some parts of the track were really, really slippery and other parts were quite dry, so it was about judging it right. I had the out lap to have a look and sort of make sure that I get my reference a little bit. I had the feeling it would only be the first lap that would count as in the first qualifying session it was also only the first lap so I just went for it. I am pretty happy. It was actually my first shoot-out qualifying here, so I have relatively little experience. As such, I am satisfied with the result.”
Henry Walkenhorst (#100 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 16th place): “Qualifying was obviously a bit difficult. I went out on wet tyres – safety first – as I just wanted to enjoy this wonderful lap, even if there were unfortunately no fans. On the first lap, I had thought it was definitely not right for slicks or cut tyres however it was exactly the opposite on my second lap. It was all about the experience and, to a certain degree, that is what makes the ‘Green Hell’ so special. It is simply a dream to be out there by yourself on the most beautiful racetrack in the world.”
Christian Krognes (#101 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 9th place): “It was a big challenge. We knew that it would be very difficult with the weather. Some parts of the track were completely dry, but mostly it was actually very wet and I was a bit surprised to see how wet it was. We went on cut slicks and I honestly thought that it would be a bit dryer; that would definitely have played into our hands. I spent the out lap and the first lap just to find out where the dry lines were and from that point on I just tried to maximise it on the second lap. It wasn’t easy but it’s a lot of fun as well when you get through. The car is fine, all the BMWs are fine, so I am happy about that.”