GruppeM Racing in Strong Position for Nürburgring Fight

  • GruppeM ready to bring the thunder to Nürburgring
  • Juncadella among the front-runners in Friday practice
  • Solid early pace bodes well for the weekend ahead

Nürburgring, Germany – A pair of strong Free Practice laps from Daniel Juncadella counted Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing as one the front-runners in the build-up to this weekend’s DTM event at the Nürburgring.

Juncadella posted the sixth-fastest lap time in FP1 and followed that up with the seventh-quickest effort in the second 45-minute session to put the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in a good place heading into rounds seven and eight of the 2021 season.

Having recovered from an operation on his right hand earlier this week, the Spanish driver arrived at the Nürburgring ready to hit the ground running.

Juncadella clocked his best FP1 time of 1m 27.755 on his fifth lap, which put Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing just 0.275 seconds off the top spot.

A couple of tenths were found in the second session, with Juncadella ending up on an ultimate time of 1m 27.573 that ensured a second consecutive top-ten placing.

Those competitive numbers demonstrated GruppeM Racing’s intentions for the weekend ahead, although Free Practice wasn’t only about where people finished in the timing charts.

The two sessions enabled the GruppeM Racing crew to practice the tyre change pit stops that form such a crucial part of every DTM round.

Additionally, the ‘green’ nature of the 3.629 km Nürburgring sprint circuit – caused by the track's recent temporary closure to racing when it became a relief centre for the region's flooding disaster - gave the engineers plenty of interesting data to analyse.

The season-high 23-car field welcomed dry running for both Free Practice sessions, although overcast skies suggested that the teams will also need to be wary of adverse conditions at one of the most unpredictable venues on the calendar.

Qualifying for round seven of the DTM season starts at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday while the race itself is scheduled to get underway that afternoon at 1:33 p.m. (both CEST).

Daniel Juncadella, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing driver:“We went through everything and we had a positive day. We had mostly dry conditions, but the track was very green because it was a long time since somebody has been driving at the Nürburgring. But it’s great to be back. I love this place. We have a much more competitive car for tomorrow and Sunday, so let’s see where we stand.”

Andy Smith, GruppeM Racing COO: “We are delighted to be back here in the Eifel mountains this weekend. After such destruction earlier on in the year, it is great to see the area slowly getting back up on its feet and for us all to be able to help contribute in a positive way to the local economy. Today was a productive day of testing for us. We tried out a few things and got in some more live pit stop practice. There were several new guest teams who were of course on new tyres, so we feel our times were quite strong considering the mileages of the tyres we had available. We are very much looking forward to the weekend. The weather looks quite changeable, especially with heavy rain forecast on Sunday. We have a very quick driver with Dani and we are glad that his hand seems to be well repaired from his operation after Zolder, so we hope for some good results the weekend.”