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This Saturday afternoon, the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen as the endurance racing season highlight for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing gets underway. The initial position for a repeated success after 2013 and 2016 is very good: next to pole position for the #4 HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3, four further GT3s from Affalterbach will be lining up on the first five rows of the grid. During the race, Alexander Bodo will be facing a challenging job. The chief strategist in the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing team will be coordinating all the tactical interests from the operations centre. Given the changeable weather conditions that are to be expected, the right timing of the driver changes, fuel stops and driver changes in particular will be playing a major role. In the Mercedes-AMG Race Base, Bodo will be supported, among others, by weather experts who are on duty day and night. For everyone involved, anticipation for the race start is huge, even though spectators on site are sadly missed. To greet the fans watching from home, Mercedes-AMG has placed several fan banners along the Nordschleife that are regularly captured by the cameras. Moreover, the Customer Racing website (customerracing.mercedes-amg.com) provides a live stream with exclusive additional features.

The race will start at 15:30 CET. The designated starting drivers are:

Grid position 1: #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT: Maro Engel (GER)
Grid position 3: #9 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed: Raffaele Marciello (ITA)
Grid position 4: #22 10Q Racing Team: Thomas Jäger (GER)
Grid position 7: #8 GetSpeed Performance: Matthieu Vaxiviere (FRA)
Grid position 10: #10 GetSpeed Performance: Markus Palttala (FIN)
Grid position 19: #6 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA: Patrick Assenheimer (GER)
Grid position 20: #2 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT: Nico Bastian (GER)

Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4: “Claiming pole position yesterday was fantastic. Now, finally, the race will get underway and it will be a long and demanding ride, especially with the weather forecast we have at the moment. But we are looking forward to it. We are well prepared and highly motivated. We have a strong car and an equally strong team behind us.”

Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed #9:“This will be a long and challenging race for everybody. Given the weather forecast, I expect that we will be seeing some dramatic situations in the field. Nevertheless, we are happy that it finally is about to start.”

Patrick Assenheimer, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA #6:“For me, it is an honour to be at the start here every year again. It is not only the tenth year for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, I am also in my tenth season in motorsport myself and have as many participations in the 24-hour classic at the Nürburgring on my tally.”

Nico Bastian, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #2: “Generally, I am always looking forward to competing in the 24-hour race. In the special conditions that we had with the accident in night qualifying, I am now twice as happy that we are able to start in the first place. This is somehow like a second chance for us. At the start, it will be all about making it through without any issues, not making any mistakes and then it will also certainly turn out into a kind of lottery.”

Alexander Bodo, head of strategy Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “The weather will be the dominating factor. Therefore, tactics will be making the difference, which means tyre choice, set-up and driver performance. Currently, we expect the probability of rain to decrease in the final hours of the race. Then, the challenge will be to interpret all the information in the right way and to draw the right conclusions at the appropriate time. Due to the event date late in the year, the longer running at night and the lower temperatures rank among the additional challenges.”

Source. Mercedes


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