Falken Motorsport once again unstoppable

New day, new race, new faces on the podium and yet one constant: Falken Motorsports also dominated the second race of the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers. In the fourth race of the ADAC Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie, the team led by tyre manufacturer Falken celebrated its third win of the season. Nico Menzel and Martin Ragginger saw the chequered flag with a narrow lead of 1.793 seconds ahead of Maxime Martin, Marco Wittmann and Raffaele Marciello in the ROWE RACING BMW M4 GT3. In third place, Ayhancan Güven and Thomas Preining celebrated the fourth podium win of the season for Grello, the Porsche 911 GT3 R from Manthey EMA.

“It can go on like this, two victories in one week – I would like to extend this subscription,” said a delighted Menzel, who secured his first Nordschleife victory in a GT3 at the NLS opener. Ragginger added: “Nico and I have had bad luck time and again in the past. So it’s all the better that it was enough for Falken to take a third win.” Second-placed Wittmann was also satisfied after his first Nordschleife outing in 2024: “The Nordschleife is always something very special for every racing driver,” he said. “As long as you’re not at the top, there are always things to improve. But we made a huge step today between qualifying and the race and are confident that we can make up that little bit that we’re still missing on the Porsche before the 24-hour race.” The final driver in the ROWE-BMW was Martin, who gave his all until the chequered flag fell. “We wanted to win, so I pushed right to the end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough in the end.” After his first two races in the Green Hell, Güven sees potential for improvement first and foremost in himself: “That was my best race with Grello on the Nordschleife today. I’m very happy that my team-mates are taking wonderful care of the setup of the Porsche so that I can concentrate fully on driving. Four races, four podium finishes. I think we can look ahead with confidence.”

In the first Top 30 qualifying in the history of the ADAC Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie, Klaus Bachler secured pole position in the second Falken 911 with a time of 8:09.219 seconds. In the early stages, he fought a thrilling battle with Dennis Olsen in the Herberth-Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, who started from second place and racked up the leading kilometres. Together with Vincent Kolb and Robert Renauer, Olsen finished the race in twelfth place. The Porsche of Bachler, Alessio Picariello and the previous day’s winner Sven Müller retired two laps before the end after a collision while lapping in the Mutkurve.

The two Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II cars from Scherer Sport PHX were also battling in the leading group for long stretches. While Frederic Vervisch, Christopher Hasse and Dennis Marshall finished the race in fifth place behind the second ROWE-BMW, the car of Frank Stippler, Christopher Mies and Ricardo Feller was forced to retire after a technical defect on lap 24. The top 10 positions were completed by the Gen2K BMW, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein, the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO of RED BULL TEAM ABT and two Mercedes-AMG GT3s of Mercedes AMG Team GetSpeed.

KKrämer Racing and AVIA W&S Motorsport win the PETN classes

Michele di Martino and Christopher Brück took the first Cup 2 victory of the 2024 season for KKrämer Racing in the Porsche 911 GT3, beating Ben Bünnagel, Moritz Kranz and Arne Hoffmeister in the Mühlner Motorsport 911. Moritz Kranz and Peter Terting completed the good team result for the Belgian-based racing team in the sister car. AVIA W&S Motorsport triumphed in Cup 3. Moritz Oberheim, Joshua Bednarski and Lucas Daugaard prevailed in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS against Heiko Eichenberg, Patrik Grütter and Fabio Grosse from SRS Team Sorg Rennsport.

Fair gesture: Eifelkind Racing helps out Adrenalin with BMW M240i

The NLS season motto “RESPECT! MY RACE IS FAIR PLAY” was also put into practice at the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers: Marvin Marino, Yannick Himmels and Nico Silva retired prematurely in the BMW M240i Racing Cup of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Mainhattan Wheels on lap nine of Saturday’s race after an accident. As the bodyshell had been damaged, it was not easy to repair it overnight. Without further ado, Eifelkind Racing offered its support to Matthias Unger’s championship-winning team. The team from Nordhorn entered a BMW M240i Racing Cup in the RCN performance test on Saturday afternoon and made it available to Adrenalin as a spare parts donor for Sunday’s race. “That was a really great initiative by Eifelkind Racing, many thanks to Christian Wendland and his team,” said Unger. “This example shows once again that the NLS family sticks together.”

Adrenalin secures the half-time championship

Marino, Himmels and Silva successfully completed the race and took second place behind the BMW of Sven Markert, Ranko Mijatovic and Toby Goodman. With the fourth victory in the fourth race, the Adrenalin trio secured the half-time championship in the Nürburgring Endurance Series. “Our weekend went perfectly again,” said a delighted Ranko Mijatovic. “We’re taking a relaxed approach, driving defensively, and that’s the key to success. At the moment, I don’t even realise that we’re really half-time champions – of course I’m mega-happy about that. But it’s obviously going to be a huge challenge to keep this up throughout the season.”

Meanwhile, the current championship leaders, who were level on points, stumbled in the second race of the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers. Daniel Mertens and Joshua Hislop in the Hyundai i30N from Mertens Motorsport lost a lot of time after a slip on an oil lane at the high eight and were only classified seventh in the VT2-FWD class, ten laps down. Victory was almost snatched by Alex Georg Schneider, Niklas Walter and Akshay Gupth in the sister car, who led the class for long stretches. However, the Mertens-Hyundai retired on the last lap. In the end, Tobias Jung, Micheal Eichhorn and Andreas Winterwerber celebrated in the Cupra Leon KL from Auto Thomas by Jung Motorsport.

The ADAC Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie starts the second half of the season on 22 June with the 69th ADAC Westfalenfahrt. From 30 May to 2 June, a large number of the NLS teams will compete in the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring.