The champions were crowned in golden autumn weather

At the 46th NIMEX DMV 4h Race, the season finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, all pending decisions were finally reached in golden autumn weather: Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Sindre Setsaas were crowned champions at the season finale on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. For their team Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive around team boss Matthias Unger, it marks already their fifth title since 2018. With their third victory in a row, Jakub “Kuba” Giermaziak and Kim Luis Schramm secured first place for the Scherer Sport Team Phoenix in the prestigious NLS Speed Trophy.

After 4:00:21.803 hours, Giermaziak and Schramm took the chequered flag in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II as the winners. Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler in the sister car finished second, 1:34.847 minutes behind. The fact that the two Audi duos were able to celebrate victory in this constellation for the third time in a row was also due to a technical problem with Walkenhorst Motorsport’s BMW M4 GT3. About one hour before the end of the race, Christian Krognes pitted for the last scheduled stop while leading the race. Due to problems with the BMW M4 GT3’s fuel system, it was not possible to refill the planned amount of fuel and the stop lasted more than one minute longer than scheduled. To make it even worse, the Norwegian had to come to the pits once again for another refuelling stop. “Never before has this happened to us and we still have no idea what the problem was,” Krognes explained. “Until then our car was running well and we were clearly on the way to win.” A small consolation: With 7:49.578 minutes, Krognes set a new lap record in the race.

“The race was tricky. I lost a few positions in the early stages and then had to make up ground over the distance,” said Giermaziak. “In terms of pace, we were on the same level as Stippi in the sister car and the guys in the Walkenhorst BMW. Due to different strategies, we were ‘adjusted’ in first place in the middle of the race before the BMW suddenly became really fast. Eventually, the race ended in favour of us. To score another one-two for the Scherer Sport Team Phoenix is fantastic.” Kolb drew a positive conclusion to the season: “We had a fabulous season, with no retirements or technical problems. In eight races, we finished six times on the podium. That’s mega! We can go into the winter break with a good feeling.”

The victory in the Pro-Am classification of the SP9 class went to Jörg Müller, Mario von Bohlen and Anders Buchardt. The Am triumph was secured by Henry Walkenhorst, Friedrich von Bohlen and Alexander Prinz.

Daniel Blickle is the champion of the drivers’ classification in the Cup 2 class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. Together with David Jahn, the 44-year-old took fifth place overall and the third class win at the finale. The AVIA W&S Motorsport driver thus dominanted over Karsten Krämer and Christopher Brück of KKrämer Racing who finished second in the race and in the championship.

The champions of the Cup 3 class had already been decided before the finale. Mauro Calamia, Ivan Jacoma and Kai Riemer took the fourth win of the season for Schmickler-Performance. Jacoma and Riemer claimed the PAGID Racing trophy for Gentlemen drivers.

The madness about cars of Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Sindre Setsaas is not only evident on the race track – also off the track are the three of them involved with cars. Zils runs a vehicle wholesale business in Bendorf near Koblenz. As a McLaren technician, Sandberg is deeply rooted in the world of cars. The qualified racing mechanic is employed by the Dörr Group in Frankfurt am Main. The head of the group is Rainer Dörr, a car dealer of Germany’s most diverse sports cars and a long-time participant in the NLS. Setsaas, finally, is a driving instructor in his home town of Stjørdal, a municipality not far from Trondheim in Norway.

“It doesn’t really matter which race car you are in. The most important thing is that you win in the end. That’s just a great feeling,” says Setsaas. The 24-year-old Norwegian has been racing in the Nürburgring Endurance Series since 2018 and has scored ten class victories so far. His compatriot Sandberg can by now look back on 21 successes. In 2014, the 30-year-old made his debut in the V4 class with a BMW 325i. The first vehicle that Zils drove at his premiere in the NLS in 2000 was one size smaller: a VW Polo. 82 class victories go to the 44-year-old’s account. This puts Zils in eighth place in the eternal class-winner statistics of the Nordschleife championship and he is the pursuer of Nordschleife celebrities such as Heinz-Otto Fritzsche, Jürgen Nett, Peter Haas, Andreas and Ralf Schall, Johannes Scheid and Volker Strycek.

Since he completed his first race in 2009 alongside the current team principal Matthias Unger, he has remained committed to the racing team from Heusenstamm – and he has been extremely successful. In 2017 and 2018 he finished second in the championship and in 2021 he became third. “This would actually be the right time to finish my career,” says Zils. “By winning the championship, I have fulfilled a big and long-held dream. But then I would be sitting in front of the livestream next year and it would be tingling again. All kidding aside, though. I’m excited to see what Matthias Unger has planned for 2023.” It almost goes without saying that Zils will continue to count on Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive.

In 2022, Sandberg is one of the most successful Nordschleife drivers. “This was definitely my best year in motorsport,” says Sandberg. “I took the class win at the TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring, celebrated the title in the RCN Performance Test a fortnight ago and now the championship in the NLS – you can’t get more than that. The NLS title is of course the most important.”

Not only for the champions, but also for the other successful drivers of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, one date is very clearly marked in the calendar: 26 November. This is when the big ‘Night of Champions’ will take place at the Nürburgring and trophies and prize money will be awarded.

One week later, the NLS will present itself at the Essen Motor Show. The Nordschleife Championship will be represented at the Nürburgring stand in Hall 3 from 3 to 11 December (preview day on 2 December).