31st ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours – Friday Evening Report
Dramatic Weather

The weather has been fine for most of the week. Just in time for the running of the first race of the weekend, the sky opened. It took only a minute to bring the 500k race for historic touring cars and GTs to a screeching halt. At some places on the Grand Prix track, the cars were up to their wheel wells in water.The pit building was left without electricity for a while. With 80% of the distance covered, the officials had no choice but to red flag the race. Ironically, most parts of the Nordschleife were not affected. A short while later, the sky was clear again, as if it had never rained. Typical Eifel weather. The historic race was a whitewash in more ways than one, with nine Porsches in the top ten.

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Going into the second practice session for the 31st Nürburgring 24 Hours, and the news is that the Zakspeed Viper has had its time from the first session disallowed for ignoring a yellow flag. It had been up in fifth position, now found it selfback in 10th on the revised result sheet. Session 2 has been shortened by an hour. The officials are taking one representative of each manufacturer for a reconaissance lap, to check for standing water on the track.

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Not many teams were able to improve on their grid position, but one of these was indeed the Viper, which quickly moved back up to fourth overall. The Dumbreck / Bleekemolen / Menzel Opel Astra made a big jump up the order to third, while row one remains unchanged. Porsche will have center stage tomorrow at 3 p.m., with the Manthey Racing car of Luhr / Collard / Bernhard in second place (below), and the Alzen brothers' über-996 still on pole position.

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The Top Ten

1 2 PORSCHE 996 Turbo ALZEN Jürgen, KLASEN Arno, ALZEN Uwe, BARTELS Michael 11 9:00.266
2 12 PORSCHE 996 LUHR Lucas, COLLARD Emmanuel, BERNHARD Timo 12 9:02.905
3 6 OPEL Astra V8 Coupe DUMBRECK Peter, BLEEKEMOLEN Jeroen, MENZEL Christian, STRYCEK Volker 8 9:04.444
4 1 DODGE Viper ZAKOWSKI Peter, LAMY Pedro, LECHNER Robert 11 9:04.525
5 42 BMW M3 STUCK Hans-Joachim, SAID Boris, NIELSEN John, DUEZ Marc 18 9:08.771
6 5 OPEL Astra V8 Coupe REUTER Manuel, SCHEIDER Timo, TIEMANN Marcel, STRYCEK Volker 11 9:09.130
7 43 BMW M3 MÜLLER Jörg, MÜLLER Dirk, HÜRTGEN Claudia, DUEZ Marc 17 9:09.135
8 8 AUDI Abt Audi TT-R WENDLINGER Karl, ABT Christian, NISSEN Kris, WERNER Marco 10 9:10.507
9 7 AUDI Abt Audi TT-R ABT Christian, BIELA Frank, EKSTRÖM Mattias, WENDLINGER Karl 11 9:11.577
10 10 BMW SCHEID Johannes, KAINZ Oliver, MERTEN Mario 10 9:21.221

An interesting tale from Cor Euser, via Calum Lockie – in the third-on-the-grid-in-A5 BMW M3. Euser apparently passed 15 cars that had gone off on his first lap out this morning. 221 cars were entered for the 210 places on the grid: how many will start? Burning of the midnight oil? The track was damp but drying quickly at the start of the delayed (by one hour) evening session.

350,000 spectators expected tomorrow? And Michel Vaillant 14th on the grid?
Cy Bersdorf

(
Images from the excellent http://adac.24h-rennen.de/ )

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