Successful move up: AVIA W&S Motorsport takes the PETN Cup 2 title
Meuspath. Celebrations at AVIA W&S Motorsport (#120) after the season finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series: the racing team around Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas has successfully made the move up from the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982) to the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992). In 2021, the team won the Cup 3 title, and now they are the first Cup 2 champions in the newly created Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring.
"We had a great season. Last year the title and this year champion again - you can't imagine it better than that," says team boss Schellhaas. "The battle for the championship was very exciting right to the end. The switch from the Cayman to the Cup Porsche worked out well for us, because the cars are completely different. With the Cup 2, you're much further ahead in the top group of the NLS - so it's a bit tighter overall. But in terms of competition, the PETN classes are not much different. In both classes, there's a hard fight for every position."
It was exactly this closeness to the leading group of the Nürburgring Endurance Series that almost doomed Daniel Blickle and David Jahn in the first few meters of the final race. In the tumult of the first corner, Jahn was spun around. The following drivers reacted quickly and avoided the 911, which was standing in the opposite direction of travel. After that, the big chase to catch up started. "I was able to take the lead for a short time in the first few meters, then at the exit of turn one I was hit on the rear by a GT3 driver. The driver apologized afterwards, that can happen," said Jahn. "Our race was flawless from then on and we were able to retake the lead in class."
Blickle, who piloted the No. 120 Porsche in all eight races, sees the championship with a tear in one eye and a smile in the other. "The fact that I have now managed to win the second title in a row - incredible! I can't really believe it yet. A small drop of bitterness is that I'm the sole champion at the end, because Tim Scheerbarth, who was there for the first six races, was unable to drive at the end due to illness. He would have deserved the title just as much. Without him and David, I wouldn't be standing at the top now. Thanks also to the team. We drove through the whole season without any problems."
Blickle is thoroughly positive about his move up from the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982) to the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992): "In Cup 2, the air at the top is really thin. The pressure over the season was brutal. So it's even nicer that it was enough to win the title in the end. One-make series are the biggest thing for me. And here, Manthey in particular deserves great praise. They put together an extremely good cup. Everyone fights with identical material and it's all about strategy and consistency."
Second place at the finale for KKrämer Racing (#112) was equal to second place in the championship in the end. Karsten Krämer, Christopher Brück and Moritz Kranz took two victories over the season and had to concede defeat after eight races, 16.5 points behind the leaders.
Mauro Calamia, Ivan Jacoma and Kai Riemer with Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol (#969) were already the winners of the PETN Cup 3 drivers and team classification after seven rounds. With another victory at the finale, the trio also claimed the overall title of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring in the debut year of the Porsche one-make series. The trio finished at the top of the podium four times in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982), collecting 165.5 points. "This is a dream," said Riemer after the race. As Cup 3 winners, the team from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler will be given the opportunity to enter one of the highly coveted Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) cars next season. And that is the goal that team boss Markus Schmickler is already working towards.
PETN series organizer Julia Klee draws a positive conclusion at the end of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring's debut season: "The addition of the Cup 2 class to the existing Cup 3 of the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing and the merge to the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring as a Porsche one-make series was a big step for us. We can look back on a successful season. We experienced exciting sport in both classes and the titles were fiercely contested. Many thanks to all the teams, drivers and partners who gave us their trust and support in our first year as a Porsche one-make series. We are already looking forward to next season!"
In Cup 2, three different teams shared the victories throughout the season. In addition to AVIA W&S Motorsport (#120) and KKrämer Racing (#112), BLACK FALCON Team Identica (#102) also scored two race wins. There was even more variety on the podium in Cup 3, with Sorg Rennsport (#949), FK-Performance Motorsport (#976) and Smyrlis Racing (#952) all successful alongside Schmickler Performance.
The successful PETN drivers will be honored during the big NLS victory ceremony on November 26.