• Wealth of experience aboard #15 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Harold Primat is confident of a strong showing in this weekend’s Nurburgring 24 Hours (June 19-22) as he prepares to make his debut in the iconic German event with HTP Motorsport.
Despite having previous experience of the Nordschleife, the Swiss ace has never contested the arduous twice-around-the-clock thriller held on a 25-kilometre-long combination of the former and current grand prix circuits.
Pole position for April’s Qualifying Race secured the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3’s entry at the event, where Primat will race alongside team-mates Kenneth Heyer, Roland Rehfeld and Maximilian Gotz.
And although a loose bonnet latch prevented Primat and HTP Motorsport from showing their true potential on race day, that encouraging performance has given Primat plenty of confidence ahead of this year’s race.
“We’re very confident with where we stand before the Nurburgring,” explained Primat. “Our base set-up is strong and Maximilian’s [Gotz] pole position for the Qualifying Race only reinforced that. I certainly think a podium was possible if we hadn’t retired. The car takes a very hard hit every time it jumps over the multiple rises, so we need to be slightly conservative in our approach to ensure we avoid such problems again.”
Despite the SLS AMG GT3 and Primat’s experience over long-distance races, the Geneva-based driver is refusing to underestimate the task of tackling the 170 fearsome corners on a circuit nicknamed ‘The Green Hell’.
“It’s a completely new experience for me, although I’m certain it’ll be an enjoyable one,” beamed Primat. “Of course, building good knowledge of the circuit takes time, but all you can do is keep learning and gain more experience with every lap. I know the HTP crew very well and we’ve all been working closely to maximise our potential to ensure each of us feels happy with the set-up.”
Primat has never driven the Nordschleife at night and only once in wet conditions, but is nonetheless looking forward to the event and absorbing as much information from his three German team-mates as possible.
“All three of my co-drivers are extremely experienced and very professional, so hopefully I’ll learn a lot from them,” admitted Primat. “We’ve recently tested at Spa-Francorchamps and the Nordschleife, which enabled us to sample wet conditions, even though it’s not the best place to drive when it’s raining!
“Your personal preparation is also vital for training your body to perform for prolonged periods of time. It’ll be an exciting yet challenging weekend, but I’m sure adrenaline alone will see me through!”