Heading for a great season finale

The Nürburgring Endurance Series is heading for a great season finale on 7 October. Not only will the ninth and final race of the year decide on the championship, but the field of participants at the 47th PAGID Racing DMV Münsterlandpokal is also extremely strong. A number of spectacular GT3 cars will once again take the honours to take part in the final race in the long-established Nordschleife championship. More than 120 racing cars – from production-based touring cars to sophisticated super sports cars – will contest the 4-hour race. The two ex-Formula 1 drivers Timo Glock and Jack Aitken will also be on the grid. Tickets are available from 20 euros (children under 14 free) at VLN.de/tickets.

According to experience, the preparations for the coming year already start for many teams at the season finale. This is also why some spectacular GT3 cars return to the Green Hell. An armada of Porsche 911 GT3 R cars will be part of the action. In the services of Falken Motorsports, Sven Müller, Alessio Picariello, Tim Heinemann and Nico Menzel will attack with two 911s. Adrien De Leener and Dennis Olsen will start for Dinamic GT, while Julien Andlauer and Patric Niederhauser will take turns in the cockpit of the Rutronik Racing car. The Haupt Racing Team and the Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed will be flying the Mercedes-AMG flag. Arjun Maini, Frank Bird and Ralf Aron will take turns in the HRT car, Lucas Auer and Fabian Schiller in the GetSpeed-AMG. Also strongly represented is the Aston Martin squad with two Vantage GT3s from PROsport Racing and one from Dörr Motorsport. In addition to the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II from Scherer Sport PHX – here Ricardo Feller will start alongside Frank Stippler – Car Collection Motorsport will bring a car for Florian Spengler and Markus Winkelhock to the Eifel. In the Ferrari 296 GT3 of the Frikadelli Racing Team, team boss Klaus Abbelen will personally contest the finale alongside David Pittard.

The main rivals are the two BMW M4 GT3s from Walkenhorst Motorsport. The racing team from Melle has already scored five race wins in 2023. Most recently, Jakub ‘Kuba’ Giermaziak and Christian Krognes were on the top of the podium three times in a row. And Dylan Pereira, who will be competing in the sister car together with Sami-Matti Trogen, has already proven his potential with second place at the seventh round. However, Walkenhorst is not only present in the leading group.

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In 2020, British racing driver Jack Aitken already made a dream come true when he competed for Williams Racing in the top class of motorsport in Bahrain. This year, he is racing in the DTM together with Emil Frey Racing and entered his name in the winners’ list at the Lausitzring. He will now tick off the next item on his bucket list at the NLS finale. “I’m really excited to contest my first NLS race with Walkenhorst Motorsport this weekend. It’s been on my wish list for a long time,” says the 28-year-old, who will share the cockpit of the Hyundai i30N with Manuel Maldonado and Bailey Voisin. “It’s one of those iconic tracks that everyone has to try. First and foremost, I want to make it to the finish and have fun!”

Timo Glock has much more experience in Formula 1. The 41-year-old contested 91 Grand Prix races between 2004 and 2012. He is now heading to the Green Hell with considerably less power. In the BMW M240i Racing Cup, Glock will start together with Anton Abee and Michel Albers for Up2Race. Glock’s goal is to qualify for the DMSB Permit Nordschleife Level A. “I’ve never before driven a race car in the Green Hell, so I’m obviously very excited to see what is going to happen,” he says. “The track is always a challenge, even with a relatively small vehicle. But I have already competed in the BMW 318ti Cup this year, so I know roughly what I have to expect. I am of course also looking forward to seeing many of my colleagues again.” With a grin, he adds, “Then, when they rush past me in their GT3 racer, I’ll just wave.” For team boss Patrick Schneider, it is a great honour to have a top-class driver like Glock in his car: “We are very pleased that Timo has placed his trust in us to accompany him on his way to the permit. I competed in the BMW Cup class myself last year and I’m very excited to see how a proven professional will perform in the field.”

Exciting championship decisions in many classes

Ahead of the finale, the focus is on the decision in the drivers’ championship. Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Philipp Leisen lead the standings in the Adrenalin Motorsport Team Motec BMW 330i. With another class win, Heiko Eichenberg, Fabio Grosse and Patrik Grütter in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS of SRS Sorg Rennsport would draw level on points. Then, the comparison of the points from the two dropped results will come into play. That means that a third place in the finale would be enough for the Adrenalin trio to clinch the title. For the team from Heusenstamm, it would be the sixth in a row.

In the NIMEX Team Trophy, too, the die is not yet cast in all classes. For example, PROsport Racing with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 can still catch CP Racing (Mercedes-AMG GT3) at the top in the SP9 Pro-Am classification. In the Ladies’ Trophy as well, the decision will only be reached at the finale. Flavia Pellegrino Fernandes (Keeevin Sports and Racing) currently leads by one point ahead of Desiree Müller (Eifelkind Racing). Both ladies are competing in the V4 class. Taking into account the two dropped results, Müller can still turn the tide in her favour with a good result. Before the final, titles are also still open in the class winners’ trophy. Pellegrino Fernandes’ team-mates – Dan Berghult and Juha Miettinen – are still fighting for victory in V4 against the trio from QTQ-Raceperformance. And in VT2-FWD, Felix Schumann, Joachim and Jürgen Nett (mathilda racing – Team LAVO Carwash) may still catch the leaders Daniel Mertens and Christian Alexander Dannesberger (Zierau Hochvolt by Mertens Motorsport).

The 47th PAGID Racing DMV Münsterlandpokal will run over the usual distance of four hours. The grid positions will be determined in the qualifying between 08:30 and 10 am. At the ‘NLS Pitwalk presented by PITWALK – das Motorsportmagazin’ from 10:20 a.m. and the visit to the starting grid from 11:10 a.m., the fans will then experience motorsport with all their senses. The race starts at 12 noon. The entire race day will be broadcasted live on VLN.de.