Mercedes-AMG in the lead going into the night of the 24-hour race

26.
September 2020
Nürburgring

Nürburgring. Notwithstanding adverse track conditions, Mercedes-AMG has had a very good start into the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen. At the fully wet combination of the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife, two GT3s from Affalterbach in particular dominated proceedings in the opening stages: the #9 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed car and the #4 entry of the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT. Both Performance Cars, in which Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Maro Engel (GER) were the respective drivers to complete double stints at the start of the race, have been able to maintain the two top positions in the field of almost 100 cars so far. After the first trouble-free driver changes, an accident for the #4 car however meant the untimely end of the double lead for Mercedes-AMG. Next to the race-leading #9 car, four further Mercedes-AMG GT3s of HRT, GetSpeed Performance and 10Q Racing are also still among the extended group of the frontrunners in the endurance racing classic.

  • Mercedes-AMG after six hours with the lead and four further GT3s in promising positions

The 48th running of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring has started in extremely difficult conditions. Continuous rain was the reason that the entire field started the marathon race with rain tyres. Nevertheless, the start on the wet asphalt went without major incidents. Pole sitter and Glickenhaus Trophy winner Maro Engel temporarily lost two positions with the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT car, but was able to work his way back up into second place while still on the opening lap. Having started from P3, Raffaele Marciello had a better getaway with the #9 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed car. At the start, the Italian overtook his fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Engel and also was able to get past the briefly leading Ferrari still before heading out onto the Nordschleife.

After that, both Marciello and Engel completed faultless double stints. In the process, the #9, in which next to Marciello, Maximilian Buhk, Maximilian Götz and Fabian Schiller (all GER) are also taking turns, pulled clear from the rest of the field more and more. Only the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 that next to Engel also has Manuel Metzger, Luca Stolz (both GER) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR) as its drivers, was somewhat able to match the pace of the leader. However, after almost five hours of racing, the double lead for Mercedes-AMG suddenly came to an end due to an accident: Manuel Metzger came off the track at Galgenkopf in increasing rain and was unable to continue.

After darkness has fallen, four further Mercedes-AMG GT3s are also in the front part of the field. The #6 with Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT), Dirk Müller (GER) and double starter Maro Engel in particular made good progress: the GT3 of the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA returned to the pits with a tyre problem on the formation lap and subsequently had to start the race behind the first starting group of around 45 cars. Meanwhile, the quartet is back up near the first ten teams.

In the #22 car of the new 10Q Racing Team that had started from P4, Thomas Jäger (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Sebastian Asch and Kenneth Heyer (both GER) have worked their way back up towards the top ten, initially having lost positions. Having started from P20, the #2 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT car is also lying in wait: six hours into the race, Nico Bastian (GER), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Philip Ellis (SUI) are in 13th place. The #10 GetSpeed Performance car with Markus Palttala (FIN), Janine Shoffner (GBR), John Shoffner (USA) and Maxime Soulet (BEL) is currently in 25th position after a start from P10. The #8 sister car however is no longer in the race as GetSpeed Performance had to retire the car due to gearbox issues in the first hour already.

The only Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the field is also maintaining its strong race position: after the opening part, the #38 Black Falcon Team Textar car with drivers Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Reinhold Renger (GER), Mike Stursberg (GER) und Tristan Viidas (EST) is running in second place of the SP8T class.

Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed #9: “I had a good first double stint. Pulling away at the front is always nice, of course, but now we have to make it well into the night and through the night. Then we will see tomorrow where we are.”

Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4 and #6: “My start wasn’t totally ideal and I couldn’t find a way past the Ferrari straight away. After that, everything was fine, we were driving at a very similar pace up front and we were able to pull a gap. We decided t keep the tyres on for the second stint and reduced the tyre pressure as we were informed that the track was to going to dry out. Unfortunately, rain set in again directly on the out lap and it was difficult to drive the car fast at the track. Our accident with the #4 car was extremely sad, of course. Now, I will do everything to move further up with the #6.”

Nico Bastian, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #2: “From 20th place on the grid, it was clear that we would be getting some visibility problems and on top of that, we got slightly stuck in traffic. That is why we came in earlier for our first pit stop. The second stint then was really good and we had a good speed. We are slightly down, but the race is still long and we are pushing.”

Thomas Jäger, 10Q Racing Team #22: “Conditions at the start were very difficult and there were many duels straight away. Initially, the Ferrari was holding up the field, but once we got past, things were going pretty well. After my stint, we made some minor changes to the car to improve the driveability. We had a slow puncture when Dani (Juncadella) was driving and we had to change the tyre, but now we are on course again.”

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    Maro Engel, Pole Position, 24h Nürburgring 2020
  • MercedesAMGCustomerRacing_24hNBR_2020_TopQuali_02
     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #4, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #9, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #22, 10Q Racing Team
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #6, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #8, GetSpeed Performance
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #2, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #10, GetSpeed Performance
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    Maro Engel (left), Raffaele Marciello (right)
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    Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #4, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #22, 10Q Racing Team
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     Mercedes-AMG GT3, #4, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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    Team GetSpeed Performance
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #8, GetSpeed Performance
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #6, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA
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    Mercedes-AMG GT4, #38, Black Falcon Team Textar
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    Mercedes-AMG Race Base
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    Mercedes-AMG Race Base
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    Fan greetings at the 24-hour race
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    2020 24h Race Nürburgring
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    Maro Engel (left), Glickenhaus-Trophy
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    Starting grid, 24h Race
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    Start 24h Race
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #9, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #2, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #9, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #6, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #10, GetSpeed Performance
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3, #4, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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    #22, 10Q Racing Team & #8, GetSpeed Performance
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    Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
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