At the 54th Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, the BMW Junior Team achieved the perfect triple for the Munich-based car manufacturer. Daniel Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen crossed the line after 28 laps with a lead of 16.853 seconds over Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin in the BMW M4 GT3 of ROWE RACING. Third place went to Christopher Mies, Christopher Haase and Patric Niederhauser in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II of Audi Sport Team Land Motorsport. ROWE RACING and Walkenhorst Motorsport had won the first two races.
Having started from second place, the BMW Junior Team was in the leading group from the very beginning of the race. After eleven laps, they went into the lead and left it briefly to the Falken Motorsports Porsche of Nico Menzel, Sven Müller and Martin Ragginger only twice due to different pit stop strategies. “It was definitely a good race,” said Hesse. “We had good pace from this morning and were also well positioned in the qualifying. All three of us were very happy with the car. The team and BMW M Motorsport have done a good job. The race went very well. We had a few difficulties at the beginning, but we were then able to move back into the front. The conditions in the last two laps were a bit difficult, but we’re very happy with our win in the end.” The Falken trio finished the race in fifth place.
Sheldon Van Der Linde secured pole position in the ROWE BMW with start number 98. “I’m delighted with my first pole position on the Nordschleife,” said the South African. “I had to wait four years for this. I’m very happy because it shows that the team has worked well in the three preparation races to take the car to a very good level.” Together with Dries Vanthoor, he finally finished fourth. The sister car, too, drove a strong race. Thereby, the first metres already marked the cornerstone for their success. “For me, the clear highlight of the day was the start from seventh position and moving to third within two corners,” said Wittmann. “My reaction was really good and then I was able to get into a good position in the first few corners. It’s always nice to be the start driver and it’s all the better when you then make up positions.”
Niederhauser celebrated his first podium in the NLS in the Land Audi. “I’ve been so close many times, but it just hadn’t been enough so far,” said the Swiss. “This is not a world championship title, but I’m happy to have ticked off this item on my bucket list. On the Nordschleife, everything always has to fit perfectly. And that was the case for us today.” Team-mate Mies had to fight with a lot of traffic during his stint: “It was a difficult rhythm today because there were some incidents and Code 60 phases. But from a performance point of view, we can be satisfied. In the end, BMW had a bit more luck today.”
The Frikadelli Racing Team put a first exclamation mark on the season. With sixth place in the Ferrari 296 GT3, David Pittard and Felipe Fernández Laser clinched their best result of the season. In doing so, the duo was also able to score the first lead lap for the team. Also with Italian temperament, Christian Kohlhaas, Stefan Aust and Luca Ludwig drove their Ferrari to first place in the Pro-Am classification of the GT3 class SP9. In the end, they finished 13th overall.
New winners in the GT4 and TCR classes
For the first time this year, the victory in the highly competitive GT4 class SP10 went to the Toyota Supra GT4 of the team KCMG. With drivers Joshua Burdon, Edoardo Liberati and Martin Rump, the racing team from Hong Kong prevailed over the BMW team FK Performance Motorsport with an impressive advantage of 1:10.530 minutes. Nick Wüstenhagen, Nick Hancke and Thorsten Wolter had won the first two races of the season.
With seven cars starting, full points at NLS 3 were also awarded in the TCR class. 15 points were taken by the Norwegians Håkon Schjærin, Atle Gulbrandsen, Kenneth Østvold in the Audi RS3 LMS from Møller Bil Motorsport. Second place went to the two Swiss drivers Armando and Dario Stanco in the Cupra TCR ahead of the other Audi drivers Jens Wulf and Volker Garrn.
For the second time in a row, Moritz Kranz and Christopher Brück secured victory in the CUP2 class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. The duo from KKrämer Racing dominated over Paul Harkema, Tim Scheerbarth and David Jahn of AVIA W&S Motorsport by a narrow margin of just 6.996 seconds. For the first time in 2023, Christopher Rink, Philipp Stahlschmidt and Francesco Merlini won CUP3 for Smyrlis Racing. The opening winners, Heiko Eichenberg, Patrick Grütter and Fabio Grosse of SRS Team Sorg Rennsport, were left behind in second place. Their gap after four hours was 21.166 seconds.
One-two lead in the standings for Adrenalin Motorsport Team Motec
The champion team of the past five years is not to be stopped so far in 2023 either. No less than two teams from the racing team around Matthias Unger are leading the classification after three of nine races. Sven Markert, Nils Steinberg and Yannick Fübrich – winners of the BMW M240i Racing by Goodyear class – and Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Philipp Leisen – winners of VT2-R+4WD – are tied in first place. Both teams achieved three class wins in a row.
The 54th Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy concluded the first third of the season of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. In about two months, on 17 June, the Nordschleife championship continues with the 46th DMV Grenzlandrennen. In the meantime, a number of NLS teams will be competing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours. In the past seven years, teams that have their roots in the NLS have won the classic endurance race in the Eifel.