In scorching summery weather, the GT Open series visits the Nürburgring for races 3 and 4.
As in Portimão last month, in qualifying and free practice the lead Ferraris 458 GTs show untouchable pace. The top 3 places on the grid for race 1 line up as Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari, with Ginni Bruni (stepping in for Toni Villander) in the #4 AF Corse car taking pole by over seven-tenths of a second from the Aabar-sponsored Villorba Corse #2 car. The Kessel #11 car is a further four- tenths back in third.
The two quickest Porsches - those of Manthey (#8) and IMSA Performance (#16) line up 4th and 5th on the grid.
There is a minor regulation change for this race to alleviate the tyre concerns some teams had, meaning that tyre changes are now permitted during the driver change pit stop.
As the green flag drops, there's a commotion at the front with the #11 Kessel car picking up a puncture, and the #2 Villorba car falling almost right to the back. Patrick Pilet in the IMSA Porsche makes a lightning start, gets ahead of Manthey, and runs second.
The Villois Aston Martin (#12) also makes a good start, and runs close behind the Manthey car in 4th in the early stages. The top 4 break away from the rest of the pack, but Bruni in the #4 Ferrari streaks away, completely untouchable.
After the pit stops, with the Manthey and IMSA Porsches having "success penalties" for winning and coming second in Portimão, the order changes a little, with the Aston being promoted to second, behind the leading AF Corse car. In the closing stages,Tandy in the Manthey manage to close the gap to Narac in the IMSA car, but is unable to pass.
Leo finishes 47 seconds clear rest of the field in the #4 Ferrari, a clear demonstrate of the latent speed in the 458 GT. The next 3 (Villois Aston, IMSA Porsche, Manthey Porsche) are all within 7 seconds - thus the top 4 are all "Super GT", or GT2 spec.
Fifth place went to the GTS (GT3) winner, the #63 Mercedes SLS AMG of Seyfarth Racing, finishing a further 12 seconds down the field.
Results Race 1
- #4 AF Corse - Ferrari 458 GT
- #12 Vollois Racing - Aston Martin Vantage
- #16 Imsa Performance Matmut - Porsche GT3 RSR
- #8 Manthey Racing - Porsche GT3 RSR
- #63 Seyfarth Motorsport - Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (GTS winner)
- #10 Black Team - Ferrari 458 GT
- #59 RaceTeam Debouef - Porsche 911 GT3 R (GTS 2nd)
- #44 Kessel Racing - Ferrari 458 GT3 (GTS 3rd)
- #9 Lotus Giudici - Lotus Evora GT3
- #62 Lapidus Racing - McLaren MP4-12C GT3 (GTS 4th)