It is hard to imagine the Nürburgring Endurance Series without Porsche vehicles. The sports cars from Stuttgart Zuffenhausen have claimed 225 overall victories in the Nordschleife championship to date. That is more than three and a half times the number of Mercedes in second place in the statistics. In addition, a total of 1,492 class victories are on their records. In 2016, the Cup 3 class – Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing – was launched. Last year, the new Cup 2 class was added in which Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars of identical construction compete. As a Porsche one-make cup under the name ‘Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring’, a long-running hit that enthuses participants and fans alike in the NLS was born.
“Porsche racing cars have always been handed over to customers and are used all over the world,” says Julia Klee, PETN Project Manager. “The international Porsche one-make cups offer customers the opportunity to enter their racing vehicles in a familiar environment and in series with a high level of quality. We are always driven by the greatest possible customer satisfaction. The Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring comprises no less than two special features in this respect: the PETN takes place in the existing race within the overall grid of the NLS and is also the only Porsche one-make cup that runs at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.”
The success proves Manthey Racing and Porsche right. Up to 30 race cars compete in the Cup 2 and Cup 3 classes. They deliver thrilling sport within the broadly diversified field of NLS participants. The focus is mostly on the “home-growns” of the Nordschleife scene, as the current standings show after the fourth of nine races in the 2023 season. In the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup class, Nico Otto and Benjamin Leuchter from Max Kruse Racing lead the standings, ahead of Moritz Kranz and Christopher Brück from KKrämer Racing. Paul Harkema and Tim Scheerbarth from AVIA W&S Motorsport are in third place. The loyal fans are familiar with the names of the protagonists. They stand for thrilling racing action. A similar picture emerges in Cup 3. Here, SRS Team Sorg Rennsport leads ahead of AVIA W&S Motorsport and Smyrlis Racing. The drivers here are an exciting mix of experienced long-distance specialists and ambitious young drivers: Fabio Grosse, Heiko Eichenberg and Patrik Grütter are in the lead of the championship, ahead of Finn Zulauf, Moritz Oberheim and Marius Rauer. Christopher Rink, Francesco Merlini and Philipp Stahlschmidt complete the top 3 positions.
The AM classifications are also very popular in the PETN. Ambitious amateur drivers compete in both classes. In the Cup 2, Klaus Abbelen leads the classification together with ‘Jules’. Herbert Lösch is following in second position and Bill and Jim Cameron in third. The action is extremely close in the Cup 3 AM classification: Stefan Kruse has a lead of just two points over Stefan Beyer and Carl-Friedrich Kolb. The Sorg duo, for their part, are only one point ahead of Horst Baumann in third place. And the reigning AM Cup 3 champions Rüdiger Schicht and Alex Fielenbach in fourth place are also only four points behind the leaders. The reigning AM drivers’ champion in Cup 2 Mustafa Mehmet Kaya will also be involved in the championship battle from now on after a late start to the season.
Five races are still on the calendar in the NLS 2023. And it will only be decided at the end who the new champions will be in the various classifications of the Porsche Endurance Trophy.