Tremendous jubilation at Phoenix-Racing. The team from Meuspath at the Nürburgring celebrated its second one-two result in a row at the PAGID Racing 46th DMV Münsterlandpokal. In the penultimate race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, Jakub “Kuba” Giermaziak and Kelvin van der Linde crossed the line as winners after 4:00:20.906 hours and 27 laps of racing. Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb finished 28.797 seconds behind in the second Phoenix Audi. Marcel Marchewicz, Marek Böckmann and Kenneth Heyer in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Schnitzelalm Racing celebrated their first podium finish. In the battle for the championship, a preliminary decision has been made in favour of Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Sindre Setsaas. The quartet has an unassailable lead prior to the NLS season finale taking place in two weeks’ time.
Jakub “Kuba” Giermaziak is one of the most successful NLS drivers of the 2022 season. In the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II of the Scherer Sport Team Phoenix, the Pole clinched his third victory of the season on Saturday. Prestigious were the names of his team-mates: He achieved the first triumph together with René Rast at NLS4, the second with Kim Luis Schramm and Luca Engstler at NLS7, and finally the third with Kelvin van der Linde. “Winning never gets boring,” grinned Kuba at the finish. “Every single win feels fantastic. Kelvin set a very good pace in the first stint, so I could be relaxed when I took over and started my part.” After a four-month absence from the Nordschleife, 24h winner van der Linde made a successful return to the Green Hell. “The first laps were a bit ‘shaky’,” said the South African. “After that we had a perfect strategy and were able to drive without any pressure.”
The first part of the race was marked by a thrilling battle for the lead. At the start, Tim Heinemann in the Falken Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R were the first to take the lead. Alessio Picariello in the Dinamic Porsche, though, passed the newcomer before the end of the first lap. At the same time, “Grello”, the Manthey Racing 911, suffered an accident. Stippler then took the lead on lap three and in the phase of the first pit stops, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Landgraf Motorsport temporarily went into the lead. However, after 15 laps it was forced to retire with a technical failure. The Schnitzelalm Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, which later finished third, and the EMA Porsche entered by Manthey-Racing also collected leading kilometres. Olsen was involved in an accident shortly before the end while he was in a promising position and Dinamic Motorsport pitted for too short a time. In the end, they finished fifth behind the second Schnitzelalm-AMG of Carrie Schreiner and Peter Terting. Heinemann and his team-mate Ragginger took the chequered flag in third place, but the duo in the Falken-Porsche dropped back to seventh due to a yellow flag infringement.
Stippler and Kolb took second position for the fourth time this year. “I am very happy,” said Kolb. “Of course, I am a bit frustrated to only ever finish second. But you have to remember that I have a normal job from Monday to Friday. So it’s cool to be second at the end among all the top riders in the NLS.”
The final metres were a rollercoaster of emotions for final driver Heyer in the Schnitzelalm-AMG. On the Döttinger Höhe, Ragginger in the Falken Porsche still pulled ahead. “I just thought that was it for our first podium,” said Heyer. “When I was then not directed into the Parc Fermé but under the podium, I was initially perplexed. Now the joy is great.” Marchewicz added: “That was a perfect end of the season for our first GT3 year at the Nordschleife. We have been working towards this for three years, then we had a lot of bad luck. This success is especially important for the team which has once again done a perfect job.”
Adrenalin trio close to clinching the title
A preliminary decision was made in the championship at the PAGID Racing 46th DMV Münsterlandpokal. Zils, Sandberg and Setsaas took their seventh class win in a row in the BMW 330i of the Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive. This gives the trio an unassailable lead in the drivers’ standings and they will be crowned the new champions of the Nürburgring Endurance Series at the finale in two weeks’ time. “I haven’t even realised it yet,” admitted Zils, who has narrowly missed out on the title several times in recent years. “Today, we did everything exactly the same way as we always do. But the pressure from our rivals was noticeably greater.” Sandberg describes the secret of success: “We are a damn good driver trio. We talk openly about our strengths and weaknesses and always try to achieve the best for the team in the end. Speaking of the team, Adrenalin simply knows how to build good cars and accordingly has a big share in the success. It’s not without reason that this is the fifth title in a row for the team around Matthias Unger.” Setsaas was also overwhelmed: “What happened today is still beyond my perception. I was at the Nürburgring at the 24h race for the first time when I was nine years old and have dreamed of being successful here ever since. Fifteen years later, it worked out.”
The finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series will take place in two weeks. The catch-up date of the 46th NIMEX DMV 4h Race, which was cancelled in April due to weather conditions, will conclude the 46th season of the Nordschleife Championship. The race distance will be four hours. Tickets are available from 18 euros at vln.de/tickets. Children up to 14 years of age are admitted free of charge.