Audi secures pole position at the Nürburgring 24-hour race

So far so good for Audi’s “super team” in the 2010 Nürburgring 24 hours – thanks to a new lap record they’re in pole position for tomorrow’s gruelling day and night blast through the German countryside.

Yesterday’s first qualifying session for the 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours was red-flagged after just three hours – with thick fog throughout the 25.378-kilometre circuit leaving race organisers with little choice but to take this safety measure. Friday qualifying was therefore tense as teams battled for grid position on what was still a very dirty and slippery Nordschleife.

Pole position for Audi

Marco Werner’s brand new Audi R8 LMS set a time late of 8:24:753 which was two seconds quicker than the old Nordschleife record and more importantly cemented pole for Werner and his team mates Mattias Ekstrom, Oliver Jarvis and reigning DTM champion Timo Scheider. Werner conceded pole didn’t mean much given the length of the race, but was still happy enough with the result.

We are satisfied to be on pole position, even though it isn’t really a very important step for a 24-hour race. 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.

Mattias Ekström (SE), Oliver Jarvis (GB), Timo Scheider (DE) and Marco Werner (DE) will be driving the lead Audi R8 LMS.

BMW set competitive times to secure 8th and 11th

Meanwhile Team BMW Motorsport finished eighth and 11th with their M3 GT2. Uwe Alzen (DE) clocked a time of 8:32.861 minutes in the no. 25 BMW, securing 8th with his team mates Jörg Müller (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR) and Pedro Lamy (PT).

Car number 26 recorded a fastest lap of 8:36.840 minutes to qualify in 11th. Dirk Adorf (DE) will alternate behind the wheel of the BMW M3 GT2 with Dirk Werner (DE), Jörg Müller (DE) and Andy Priaulx (GB).

Porsche unable to match a dominant Audi, but shows that Hybrid power rocks

Meanwhile over in the Porsche camp, Lance David Arnold (Germany) was fastest with the new 480 hp 911 GT3 R clinching the fifth grid position for Haribo Team Manthey. Chris Mamerow (Germany) turned the sixth quickest lap driving the Mamerow team’s 911 GT3 R.

Twenty-four-year-old Lance David Arnold shares the cockpit of the 911 decked out in the gold bear design with two-time winner of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, Richard Westbrook (Great Britain), former DTM driver Alex Margaritis (Germany) and Christian Menzel (Germany), the reigning champion of the Asian Carrera Cup.

In 9th place for tomorrow’s race will be the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid after an excellent showing in qualifying, only 10 seconds off Werner’s pace up front. The innovative 911 GT3 R Hybrid (Porsche Team Manthey) heads into the 38th edition of the 24 hour race in a strong position. “Our aim was to qualify in the top ten and we did this,” summarised works driver Richard Lietz (Austria). “Under dry conditions we weren’t able to do better due to the weight of our car. In the race we are relying totally on the efficiency of our 911 GT3 R Hybrid.”

Sharing driving duties with the Austrian are Porsche junior Marco Holzer (Germany), works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), and the 22-year-old former Porsche junior Martin Ragginger (Austria). The 480 hp six-cylinder engine is supplemented by two 60 kilowatt electric motors and serves as a rolling test lab under the toughest race conditions to provide Porsche with crucial results for the further development of hybrid technology.

A difficult qualifying session for Lexus

The Lexus LFAs didn’t fare so well in the second qualifying session ending up in 25th and 28th on the grid, although this represented P1 and P2 in the SP8 class. Car 51 hit the guardrail and sustained some light damage, however both cars are fine for the race tomorrow.

Also…

WRC star Jari-Matti Latavala’s Köln Motorsport Ford Focus RS finished a strong 8th in class, with the Finn probably needing to show more restraint with his driving style in tomorrow’s race than he is used to in his day job.

The starting grid at the Nürburgring

Final qualifying results for the N24 are as follows (top 10 cars out of 250 entrants);

1 Ekström/Jarvis/Scheider/Werner (Audi R8 LMS) 8m 24.753s
2 Basseng/Rockenfeller/Stippler/Stuck (Audi R8 LMS) 8m 25.568s
3 Abt/Collard/Luhr/Mies (Audi R8 LMS) 8m 27.967s
4 Biela/Fässler/Hennerici/Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS) 8m 29.250s
5 Arnold/Menzel/Westbrook/Margaritis (Porsche) 8m 29.521s
6 Mamerow/Henzler/Hardt (Porsche) 8m 29.779s
7 Lieb/Bernhard/Dumas/Tiemann (Porsche) 8m 30.323s
8 Müller/Farfus/Alzen/Lamy (BMW) 8m 32.861s
9 Bergmeister/Lietz/Holzer/Ragginger (Porsche) 8m 34.427s
10 Alzen/Schwager/Jäger/Bert (Porsche) 8m 34.906s

The 38th Nurburgring 24 hours will begin at 15:00 local time on Saturday 15th of May and shortly after the chequered flag falls, we’ll bring you the final results here on SkiddMark.

You can follow the race with live-timing available from the ADAC’s website, plus of course their streaming video channel and there will be many people twittering from the race including SkiddMark regular Kevin Mc Glone who you can follow at @GenevaAuto.