Sunday’s six-hour qualification race was full of tension and overtaking manoeuvres right through to the finish, with both the #5 and the #47 Mercedes-AMG GT3 playing starring roles. The #5 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON car, with drivers Yelmer Buurman (NED), Thomas Jäger and Jan Seyffarth (all GER), started from fifth place but wasted little time in joining the battle at the head of the field.
The trio moved into the lead for the first time after just ten laps. The excitement increased going into the dying laps, with Buurman retaking the lead when the first-placed car came into the pits. With a lead of just six seconds, the final driver was then involved in a two-car battle for the win. Buurman negotiated traffic better on the final lap and was able to fend off the attacks of his rival. After 41 laps of racing, he crossed the finish line first in the #5 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The #47 Mercedes-AMG GT3, run by Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER, also produced an impressive performance in a thrilling race in the Eifel region of Germany. Dominik Baumann (AUT), Christian Hohenadel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Edoardo Mortara (ITA) did not get the Top-30 Qualifying result they had hoped for, but fought back strongly from eleventh on the grid. The quartet launched their fightback on the opening lap, before Baumann demonstrated all his skill in the final stages of the race. The quartet gradually worked their way into fourth place, before the Austrian pulled off an impressive overtaking manoeuvre to secure third place with ten minutes remaining. Two laps from the end of the race, Baumann pulled level with his rival under braking at the end of the start-finish straight and proceeded to pull ahead in the next corner. He then hung on to third place to claim a second spot on the podium for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport.
The remaining two Mercedes-AMG GT3 also finished in the top ten to round off a successful race. The #4 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON, with Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Maro Engel (GER) and Manuel Metzger (GER) at the wheel, came home eighth. The third BLACK FALCON GT3, the #6 with drivers Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), Hubert Haupt (GER), Erik Johansson (SWE) and Gabriele Piana (ITA), ended the race in tenth place.
The Mercedes-AMG GT4 also enjoyed a successful conclusion to its test programme ahead of the 24-hour race: The #66 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA was fourth in the SP10 class, ahead of the #74 Team Mathol Racing e.V. in fifth.
The fifth staging of the prologue to the ADAC Zurich 24h Race offered the perfect opportunity for the teams to perform final adjustments to their cars. A free practice, two qualifying sessions, Top-30 Qualifying and the six-hour race itself allowed the teams to test extensively and successfully ahead of the highlight – the 24-hour race in May. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 cut a fine figure throughout the 24-kilometre Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The close team result of the four GT3 cars from Affalterbach underlines the outstanding work within the Mercedes-AMG teams. This year’s ADAC Zurich 24h Race takes place from 10 to 13 May.