After a thrilling final, the champions of the 2023 Nürburgring Endurance Series are confirmed. In the BMW 330i of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Motec, Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Philipp Leisen drove to their ninth victory in the ninth race in the VT2-R+4WD class. In a long-range duel with the driver trio from SRS Sorg Rennsport, Zils, Sandberg and Leisen thus rounded off their triumph. For Adrenalin Motorsport, it is the sixth title in a row. Leisen secured his fourth championship altogether, Zils and Sandberg defended their title from last year and took their second championship crown. The victory at the 47th PAGID Racing DMV Münsterlandpokal went to Frank Stippler and Christopher Mies in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II. The duo from Scherer Sport PHX thus gave Ernst Moser, team founder of the predecessor racing team Phoenix Racing, a victory on his literally last appearance at the pit wall.
With its sixth title, Adrenalin Motorsport is now the most successful team in the NLS and has replaced Scheid Motorsport at the top of the statistics. “I can only repeat myself,” says team boss Matthias Unger. “From the outside, it might look easy sometimes, but this year was really damn hard. We had to work extremely hard again to end up with nine class wins in the highly competitive VT2-R+4WD class. It was not a walk in the park.” The success of the team from Heusenstamm is no coincidence. “We simply had the best package once again this year,” said Sandberg. “We were a super-fast driver trio, the car was always perfect, the tyre choices were always right and, last but not least, our team always took the right decisions – that was, as in the previous year, the secret of our success.” After seven wins in the first seven races, the Adrenalin trio had already achieved the maximum points score. After that, calculations started. The Sorg trio could still have caught up and even won the title. “That was always in the back of our minds, of course,” says Zils. “But in practice we only ever thought from race to race. We primarily concentrated on ourselves and that was ultimately the reason for being successful.” With four titles in the NLS, Leisen is now one of the most successful drivers in the history of the traditional series. Only Heinz-Otto Fritzsche and Johannes Scheid were more successful with five triumphs each. Leisen is already looking ahead: “After the season is before the season. I wish I could fight for victories with such cool team mates like Daniel and Oskar next year as well.” One of the first to congratulate him was Daniel Sorg: “I congratulate Matthias on winning his sixth title. We had a thrilling fight until the final. In the end, second place is a strong result for Heiko Eichenberg, Fabio Grosse and Patrik Grütter. For us as a team, it’s finally good motivation to fully attack again next year.” In addition to the vice-championship, SRS Sorg Rennsport also claimed victory in the Cup 3 class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring.
Starting from pole position, Stippler and Mies dominated the action at the front of the field. Five-time season winners Jakub ‘Kuba’ Giermaziak and Christian Krognes in the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 also collected leading laps. In the end, the team chose the wrong strategy, had to make a fuel stop shortly before the end of the race and narrowly missed out a position on the podium in fourth place. Fabian Schiller and Lucas Auer in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed were happy about their second place. Julien Andlauer and Patric Niederhauser in the Porsche 911 GT3 R from Rutronik Racing completed the mix of brands on the podium.
Emotional victory for Scherer Sport PHX
“This was a very emotional victory for us,” said Stippler. “We have had a very tough year. And with the retirement of Phoenix founder Ernst, an era is coming to an end. So it was important for us to present him this victory. I have been with Phoenix for 15 years. We have celebrated many great successes together. I’ve been squeezing the car like a lemon throughout the whole season. But it has never been rewarded. So I was in full agreement with Chris that we would give it our all again today. I would like to thank all the safety track marshals and all the other competitors for giving us such a good time on the most beautiful race track in the world. We all have to be very grateful that we are able to do this together.” Mies added: “That was legendary, sharing the car with Stippi and celebrating this victory for Ernst.”
Schiller, who was racing in the lead group throughout the race in the GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3, was finally happy with second place: “It was a tough race. The car was very, very good and it was a very good race for us in general. For Luggi, it was his first Nordschleife race and only his second ever in GT3 car – so second place is a fantastic result.” Auer was also delighted with second place after the race: “Fabian did a mega job. For me, it was important to complete laps on the Nordschleife and I’m very happy to be on the podium now.” The Rutronik duo was also pleased with third place at this year’s final event in the Green Hell. “It’s fantastic that I was able to finish my first race at the Nürburgring with the Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) on the podium. I had a lot of fun in the duels during the race. In the end I lacked a bit of pace against Fabian,” said Niederhauser. The victory in the Pro-Am classification of the GT3 class SP9 went to Florian Spengler and Markus Winkelhock in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II of Car Collection Motorsport. The duo finished fifth overall ahead of the fastest Aston Martin Vantage GT3, driven by Phil and Ben Dörr.
In addition to the drivers’ championship, Zils / Sandberg / Leisen also won the Production Car Trophy. And in the medienkraftwerk Junior Trophy, too, an Adrenalin driver was at the top in the end. Nils Steinberg prevailed over Nico Otto (Max Kruse Racing) who finished in second place and the two Black Falcon drivers Ben Bünnagel and Noah Nagelsdiek who came third. In the NIMEX Team Trophy, Adrenalin won four class titles. Other titles went to Zierau Hochvolt by Mertens Motorsport (VT2-FWD), CP Racing (SP9 Pro-Am), FK Performance (SP10), Four Motors Bioconcept-Car (AT(-G)), MØLLER BIL MOTORSPORT (TCR) and Walkenhorst Motorsport (SP9 Pro), among others. The racing team from Melle also decided the NLS Speed Trophy in its favour. Fastest lady of the 2023 season was Flavia Pellegrino Fernandes (Keeevin Sports and Racing).
The successful drivers of the 2023 NLS season will be honoured on 18 November at the Nürburgring’s Bitburger Event Center. The Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series will then start its winter season 23/24 on 2 December, with five races on the calendar until spring. Real endurance racing in the Green Hell will then start again at full speed from the end of March. The exact dates will be announced shortly.