It was a typical Nürburgring day on Friday for the free practices of the 2014 GT Open season-opener: foggy and cold weather delayed the start of the action for a couple of hours. Session 1 went on a wet track, while session 2 took place on a dry but still very cold surface.
On both instances, it was local hero Thomas Jäger at the wheel of the Lechner Racing Mercedes SLS posting the fastest time. In the morning, he beat Tomas Enge (Kox Lamborghini) and the SMP Racing Ferrari F458 of Daniel Zampieri, while in the afternoon, second and third were the Corvettes of Soulet-Catsburg (SRT) and Pastorelli-Ramos (V8 Racing).
In the dry and fastest session, the Villorba Ferrari was fourth ahead of the F458 of Gattuso (Ombra) and the debuting Eurotech Lamborghini of Valsecchi-Venturini.
The only incident of the day took place in session 2 when Stefano Costantini (Ombra Racing Ferrari) lost the car in first lap because of the cold tire, hitting heavily at turn 5. The car should be reparable for tomorrow, but Ombra Racing certainly preferred to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
24 cars are present in Germany, equaling the number of entries of last year’s season-opener. Only the AF Corse of Flohr-Castellacci couldn’t make it, after heavy damage in private testing at Mugello last week.
Among other notes of interest, Villorba Corse has decide to come to this round with their GT3 car, thinking it would be more adapted to the possible weather conditions.
Matt Griffin was eventually able to take his place alongside Duncan Cameron on the AF Ferrari, following the withdrawal of RAM at the WEC round in Spa.
Tomas Enge, José Manuel Aicart and Andrea Piccini will make their official return to the GT Open after shining in the early years. Aicart was a vice-champion in 2006 with the GTA Mosler, while Piccini claimed one GTS win in 2009.
German driver Suzanne Weidt, who shares a privateer Audi R8 LMS ultra with Dietmar Haggenmüller, will be the first lady in the GT Open since Christine Desbruères in 2008.