An endurance test for man and material in the PETN: Typical Eifel weather at the debut of the 12h Nürburgring
Meuspath. Last weekend, the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring was part of the debut of the 12h Nürburgring - the new race format of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. Raced into darkness on Saturday and back into action on Sunday with a spectacular restart procedure, the twelve-hour distance in the Green Hell was completed in two six-hour sections. Rain was literally followed by sunshine and the protagonists were challenged in more ways than one.
Both the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982) impressively demonstrated their performance and precise handling in changeable weather conditions on Saturday. Gabriele Piana in the Cup 2 Porsche from Team Black Falcon (#104) showed great performance in qualifying: He put the 911 in third place on the grid and thus broke into the ranks of the GT3 cars at the top of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. At the start, the Italian even took the lead because, unlike the GT3 cars ahead, his team had opted for slick tires. This allowed him to pass on the still dry GP track, but he was overtaken again by several GT3 cars on the wet Nordschleife. Team G-Tech Competition (#117) was right on the money with its tire choice. Fabio Grosse started with rain tires and initially dropped back on the GP track. In the wet conditions on the Nordschleife, he was able to play his trump card and passed everyone to take the lead. Piana and Grosse thus became the first drivers to collect leading kilometers in an NLS race with a Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring car and once again proved their talent. In the course of the 12-hour race distance, the more powerful GT3 cars took over the front places again.
Finishing eleventh overall, Daniel Blickle, Tim Scheerbarth and David Jahn from Team AVIA W&S Motorsport (#120) took the win in the Cup 2 class for the second time in a row. With a class lead of 1:24.049 minutes, the trio finished ahead of second-placed Arne Hoffmeister, Hendrik Still and Reinhard Kofler of Team Mathol Racing (#107). Third place went to KKrämer Racing (#112) with Christopher Brück, Karsten Krämer, Florian Naumann and Alexey Veremenko. The team fought for the front positions over the entire distance and was in the lead at times. With the result, the team defended its lead in the Cup 2 team standings.
Race winner Scheerbarth summed up the difficult conditions of race-part 1: "on Saturday we didn't always have a lucky hand with the tires. It was a lottery. I think we rarely managed our planned nine laps per stint because the weather kept throwing a spanner in the works."
After the restart on Sunday morning, some teams decided to change tires after the first lap. Mistakenly, the pit lights showed "red" on exit, so the drivers were delayed in resuming the race. Race control admitted the mistake, and the stewards looked at each car individually and issued appropriate time credits to make up for the disadvantage.
This meant that it was difficult for the teams to assess their positions: "Our plan was simple: we drove flat out until the chequered flag fell. That worked out in the end and we made up important points in the Cup standings with our second victory," explains Scheerbarth.
Time credit also in the Cup 3 class
The winners of Cup 3 class were also affected by the red pit light and received a time credit after the chequered flag: Mauro Calamia, Ivan Jacoma and Kai Riemer in the Cayman GT4 CS of Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol (#969). "At first I thought the championship was gone. After all, the 12h Nürburgring awarded significantly more points than a normal NLS race," Riemer sums up. Fidel Leib, Philip Miemois, Martin Rump and Moritz Wiskirchen from Team Sorg Rennsport (#959) crossed the finish line first, but were classified second due to the time credit of the Schmickler trio. Fidel Leib: "Saturday was difficult conditions and a tough fight. That we still made it to the podium is really nice."
Third place in Cup 3 for Rüdiger Schicht, 'Montana' and Alex Fielenbach of Team Mathol Racing (#955) meant also the win of the AM classification in class. "We didn't expect to be on the podium today and win the AM classification," said 'Montana'. "It was very difficult conditions on Saturday and the tire choice was a pure gamble. The track was always semi-wet and semi-dry. We kept the car clean on the track. The cars just work well even in such difficult conditions and are a lot of fun to drive."
New to the AM Drivers' Championship podium in the Cup 2 class were Bill and Jim Cameron (#113). "The car just worked great. We have a super team that has been working together in the constellation for a long time," said Bill Cameron. "Our plan was to just keep the car in the race - and it worked out."
W&S Motorsport shortens gap to 1st place in Cup 2 - Schmickler Performance still leader of Cup 3 class
KKrämer Racing (#112) continues to lead the team standings in the Cup 2 class. With 108.5 points, the team is only 4.5 points ahead of Team AVIA W&S Motorsport (#120). The AM drivers' classification is led by Mustafa Mehmet Kaya from Team Black Falcon (#104).
In Cup 3 class, Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol (#969) secured full points and can further extend its lead (115.5 points). Behind them is FK Performance Motorsport (#976) with 94 points. Best placed AM drivers are Rüdiger Schicht, 'Montana' and Alex Fielenbach of Mathol Racing (#955).
Onboard auction for the benefit of the track stewards
For the 12-hour race, Manthey auctioned an onboard camera among the teams of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring . The winning bid was placed by Team Smyrlis Racing with a bid of 5,950€. The onboard camera in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS with the starting number #952 broadcasted both parts of the race, as well as the timed practice live and was part of the coverage in the official livestream.
All proceeds will go to the ILN Sportwarte AG. They will use the proceeds to further equip the track marshals.
The sixth race of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring will take place as part of the Nürburgring Endurance Series on October 8. The 54th ZEWOTHERM ADAC Barbarossapreis of the MSC Sinzig runs over the usual distance of four hours.