On Saturday, the Audi drivers experienced a foretaste of the race on the 5.137-kilometer Grand Prix configuration of the tradition-steeped track. Other participants on the racing line and yellow flags prevented a better result of the Audi driver squads. Lucas di Grassi (BR) managed to set the best single time of an Audi driver (1m 37.413s). The Brazilian perceived the set-up of his race car as a step forward compared to the free practice. “But we’ve still got some work to do before the race,” said di Grassi. Together with his team-mate Oliver Jarvis he achieved an average time of 1m 37.476s.
The leaders of the standings, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F), with their time of 1m 37.783s, are sharing the second row with their team-mates. Fässler drove three laps in qualifying. “On the first lap, the front tires weren’t warm enough, on the second lap, I lost time in traffic and on the third lap, the tires were already past their best performance,” the Swiss said. André Lotterer subsequently took over car number ‘7.’ “Unfortunately, due to yellow flags, I wasn’t able to make optimum use of the tires in their best state but had to lift,” said the German.
“Today, our drivers did not have optimum conditions on track,” said Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport. “But we also have to accept that on a fast lap in qualifying we can’t quite keep pace with our fiercest rivals. However, we’re going to give everything to be in contention across the six-hour distance in our home round on Sunday – as in the first two races of the season in the United Kingdom and in Belgium.”
“Due to our simulations we realized that we’d hardly be able to battle for the best time in qualifying,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “That’s why we already started to exclusively prepare for the race in the free practice sessions. We’re expecting a very tough sporting competition which the crowd at the FIA WEC’s German premiere can look forward to.”
The starting signal for the Nürburgring 6 Hours will be given on Sunday at 13.00. Eurosport will start to air live coverage of the final stage of the race on TV at 18.00. RTL will broadcast a summary of round four of the season on September 5, beginning at 13.35.
1 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 1m 36.473s
2 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 1m 36.542s
3 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 37.476s
4 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 37.783s
5 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 38.689s
6 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) 1m 39.371s
7 Beche/Heidfeld/Prost (Rebellion) 1m 42.513s
8 Abt/Imperatori/Kraihamer (Rebellion) 1m 42.985s
9 Kaffer/Trummer (CLM-AER) 1m 44.886s
10 Bradley/Howson/Tandy (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 46.132s