There is currently no way of beating Christian Krognes and Jakub ‘Kuba’ Giermaziak in the Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 in the Nürburgring Endurance Series. The duo celebrated their third victory in a row at the 55th ADAC Barbarossapreis. For Krognes it was the fourth triumph of the year, for ‘Kuba’ even the fifth. Although being in the lead of the race temporarily, David Pittard, Nick Catsburg and Felipe Fernández Laser in the Frikadelli Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 had to admit defeat as they finished second. Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II from Scherer Sport PHX ended their streak of bad luck and finished in third position.
Excitement was assured at the eighth race of the 2023 NLS season. Frank Stippler secured the fourth pole position of the year for the Scherer duo. After the start, Stippler defended his lead until the first pit stops. In addition to the later first and second-placed drivers, the team mates of the winners, Dylan Pereira and Sami-Matti Trogen, also collected leading laps. The decision for the victory was then made at the last pit stop. In light drizzle during the last third of the race, the Frikadelli team lost valuable time with their tyre choice. “The driver wanted slicks, the race engineer wanted rain tyres and then I made the decision in favour of slicks,” said team boss Klaus Abbelen. The tyre choice should turn out to be right, due to the delay at the pit stop, the gap for the Ferrari team, however, accumulated to a delay of 2:24.758 minutes.
“I have to say that it was a very tough battle,” said Giermaziak. “We were lucky with the first pit stop – we were able to gain time there. After that we were almost on par with the Ferrari, even though the car is unbeatable on the straight.” Krogne, who had to admit defeat to the Ferrari in a direct duel, said: “It was a cool fight! Especially during the rain it was very difficult to realise on the track whether it was wet or dry there. It was a real challenge, Nicky was very fast, but I’m glad we came out of the race in first place.”
Catsburg describes the thrilling duel with Krognes as follows: “Chris and I had a lot of fun at the beginning of the stint, he was very fast. Then, at the end of the stint, his tyres started to get weak, so I was able to catch up. And then the rain started. I wish to say that I love this track, but I hate these conditions! When you’re on slicks and it starts to rain… I managed to get past Chris and was able to pull away a little. Then, out of nowhere, he was close to me again.”
Regarding the end of his streak of bad luck with three retirements in a row, Stippler said: “It is of course great that the streak of bad luck has now been broken. That kind of situation, I mean when you have to experience so many retirements, also puts a damper on the mood of the other drivers and the team. That’s good for us, and it’s like balm on the wounds and the souls of the team.” Kolb added: “The issue of tyre failures is definitely over now and even if the lower track and air temperatures played into our hands, I think we are back where we finished last year.”
Behind the top three, Darren Turner, Ben and Phil Dörr finished fourth in the Dörr Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3. They were followed by Pereira/Trogen in the Walkenhorst BMW. The fastest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was driven into sixth place by Christopher Brück, Tobias Müller and Moritz Kranz for KKrämer Racing.
Nasr takes first step towards DPN A
Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Nasr has accomplished his first step towards getting the big Nordscheife permit. Together with Alesia and Jacqueline Kreuzpointner, he drove the Porsche Cayman GT4 CS to victory in the class for alternative fuels. “Last week I was in Indianapolis, today here at the Ring – these are two completely different worlds,” said the Brazilian. “I enjoyed every single lap. The Nordschleife is something very special. The idea behind my participation is to obtain the DPN A and then maybe compete in the 24h Race here sometime in the future.”
Other class wins went among others to Møller Bil Motorsport (Audi RS3 LMS) in the TCR class, Manheller Racing (BMW E90) in the V4, Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol in the V6 and SP3T, Zierau Hochvolt by Mertens Motorsport (Hyundai i30N) in VT2-FWD, FK Performance Motorsport (BMW M4 GT4) in SP10, Smyrlis Racing (Porsche 718 Cayman GTS) in SP4T and the ‘girls only’ team of GITI TIRE MOTORSPORT BY WS RACING in SP8T.
The big showdown to come at the final
The championship decision remains open until the final. Both Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Philipp Leisen in the BMW 330i of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Motec and Heiko Eichenberg, Fabio Grosse and Patrik Grütter in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS of SRS Sorg Rennsport have taken a class win at NLS8. This results in the following situation in the championship standings: Adrenalin has already collected the maximum possible number of points. With another victory at the final, Sorg can still catch up. The points from the two dropped results will then be the deciding criteria. A third place in the final will in this case be enough for the Adrenalin trio to take the title. For the team from Heusenstamm it would be the sixth in a row.
The results of the 55th ADAC Barbarossapreis remain provisional. Max Kruse Racing has lodged an appeal against a decision by the stewards. After a collision, the car of Benjamin Leuchter and Nico Otto was disqualified and the DPN of Leuchter was suspended for the upcoming event. The team now has 96 hours to provide their reasons for the appeal.
The 47th PAGID Racing DMV Münsterlandpokal will conclude the 2023 season of the Nürburgring Endurance Series on 7 October. The race will run over the usual distance of four hours. Tickets are available in advance at VLN.de/tickets.