Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing is aiming to end its first DTM season on a high note at the unique and demanding Norisring street circuit.
Daniel Juncadella showed encouraging pace in the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 during Free Practice on Friday, setting the sixth-fastest lap time across the pair of 45-minute sessions.
At 2.3 km, the Norisring is the shortest track on the DTM calendar but packs in several distinct features such as unforgiving walls, tight hairpins and a bumpy track surface that doesn’t see regular racing use.
Friday was about GruppeM Racing finding the right setup for the circuit and also getting a close look at all of the fine details that can make or break a Norisring lap.
The team arrived at the city of Nuremberg with street racing pedigree to its name, as the winner of the 2019 FIA GT World Cup at Macau with Mercedes-AMG.
It started the Norisring event with Juncadella dipping under the 50-second barrier to go ninth in the FP1 times. The Spanish driver then chipped off half a second in the next session to count himself as one of the front-runners on the opening day.
Juncadella’s best attempt of 49.466 was just 0.091 seconds off the outright fastest lap, exemplifying the tight margins that make motorsport at the Norisring such an exciting spectacle.
Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing’s first season in the DTM has been a thrilling adventure so far.
The team has demonstrated its front-running pace on several occasions, while its pit crew has made great strides to become one of the most consistent in the series.
The round at the Nürburgring saw Juncadella claim GruppeM Racing’s first-ever DTM podium, an achievement that the team would be delighted to replicate this weekend.
Saturday’s action consists of a 20-minute qualifying session starting at 10:00 a.m. followed by a 55-minute plus one lap race which begins at 1:33 p.m. (times CEST).
Daniel Juncadella, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing driver: “It’s great to be at the Norisring, which is one of the highlights of the year. It’s such a special and different track. I’m looking forward to this weekend. We had a few issues today with some setbacks, and didn’t get enough laps on board, but I feel confident with the car for tomorrow.”
Kenny Chen, GruppeM Racing team manager: “It has been a great learning season for GruppeM. We have achieved all the tasks that we set from the beginning of the season to understand and develop our DTM structure and be one of the top competitive teams in this championship. Coming to the DTM final here at the Norisring is very interesting, to experience the very bumpy track which is only 2.3 km and has walls on both sides. It’s a real challenge for the drivers but it will be an amazing show for the fans. I am also proud to announce this weekend, at this final race, that GruppeM is planning to come back to the DTM next season with two cars and we are ready to take on the full DTM challenge for both the teams’ and drivers’ championships.”
Source. Gruppe M/Photo. DTM