KKrämer Racing and Schmickler Performance are the first winners in the new Porsche one-make series
Meuspath. Exciting start to the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring, which forms part of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS): The first ever round of the new Porsche one-make series produced plenty of highlights and entertaining racing. Victory in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring Cup 2 went to KKrämer Racing in the #112 Porsche 911 GT3 CUP (992), driven by Christopher Brück, Karsten Krämer and Moritz Kranz. In Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring Cup 3, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982) of Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol (#969), with Mauro Calamia, Ivan Jacoma and Kai Riemer alternating at the wheel, took the lead shortly before the finish and went on to take first place.
The Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring began with a success as early as Saturday morning’s qualifying session. Moritz Oberheim from the team FK Performance Motorsport (#976) set a new lap record of 8:32.188 minutes in the Cup 3 class and secured the additional championship point. The fastest lap in the Cup 2 class came courtesy of Gabriele Piana from the Black Falcon team (#104), who clocked a time of 8:05.065 minutes.
Last year’s champions of the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing – Tim Scheerbarth and Daniel Blickle with their team-mate Ralf Schall in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) run by AVIA W&S Motorsport (#120) – fell back through the field on lap two, having suffered a slow puncture caused by a foreign object. The team from Öfterdingen came in for an unscheduled pit stop, before fighting back strongly to finish third behind Black Falcon Team Identica (#102) with Paul Harkema and Tobias Müller.
“The quantity and quality in this class is extremely high. The drivers and teams on the grid here are nothing short of impressive,” said third-placed Tim Scheerbarth after the opening race. “As such, we are particularly pleased with this third place. You have to push on every lap. The car is not all that easy to drive, but it is also very fast – particularly in sections like Flugplatz, Schwedenkreuz and Döttinger Höhe. It is a lot of fun.”
At the head of the field, the KKrämer Racing (#112) trio ultimately took a comfortable victory. After four hours of racing, they crossed the finish line with a lead of 2:14.064 minutes. “We had a really clean race, the pit stops were perfect. We did not make any mistakes and worked our way consistently to the front,” said Christopher Brück.
Another very happy man was Karsten Krämer, whose team from Bergisch Gladbach is focussing on the new one-make series with multiple cars. “The goal was first to get out there and then to see how we get on. And here we are now, on the top step of the podium. We are obviously thrilled. We did everything right today. Long may it continue this way,” said the team principal and driver.
The fastest drivers in the AM class in Cup 2 were Mike Stursberg and Mustafa Mehmet Kaya from Team Black Falcon (#104). “It is great to be involved in this new format from the very beginning. The whole race was a close affair. We, and the fans at the circuit, witnessed some great motorsport today. That is what everyone wants to see,” said Stursberg.
Cup 3 decided in the final few metres
In Cup 3, the race came down to the closing metres in a thrilling conclusion. Kai Riemer, Ivan Jacoma and Mauro Calamia, in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982) of Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol (#969), crossed the finish line first, just 0.138 seconds ahead of Smyrlis Racing (#953) with drivers Christopher Rink, Philipp Stahlschmidt and Francesco Merlini. They were followed home in third place, a further 21.331 seconds back, by Jens Moetefindt, Moritz Oberheim and Thorsten Wolter from the FK Performance Motorsport team (#976).
“We did not know how strong the other cars are. As a rule, whoever makes the fewest mistakes tends to win. That has not changed since last year. The car was perfect, which meant I was able to pull off my manoeuvre and clinch first place. We did not expect that, but long may it last,” said Kai Riemer, who went on to praise his team-mates: “I trained Mauro [Calamia] two years ago, and now we are at the same standard. Together with Ivan [Jacoma], we are the team to beat.”
30-year-old Swiss driver Calamia was also happy with the day’s work: “For me, there are only positives from all this. I can learn an incredible amount from the other two. I have to take a slightly cautious approach at first, particularly in the fast sections. I tried not to ruin anything and believe we will get faster with every lap. We are looking forward to the rest of the competition in this fiercely-competitive class.”
Christopher Rink was proof that a two-time NLS overall champion can also take great satisfaction from finishing runner-up: “The car was new for all three drivers, and the team is new. Of the nine guys we had here today, only the team principal and another two had ever been on the Nordschleife before the test last weekend. We came here with very different expectations. I want to help Ioannis [Smyrlis] as team principal, with whom I have been friends for 20 years. That worked out well. We thought we would be doing well to complete the race and finish fifth. It felt as though we were battling for the win, right down to the final corner. That is phenomenal. Let’s see what happens in two weeks’ time. That has aroused our ambition.”
The AM class in the Cup 3 competition was eventually won by “SVITTEL” and Marius Rauer with teammate Daniel Bohr (pro-driver) from the AVIA W&S Motorsport team (#960). “This year I am joining Cup 3 class the first time for a whole season. I had some very nice battles with the other Cayman during my stint. We are delighted with first place among the AM cars but we finished fifth overall in Cup 3. Our goals is to be on the overall podium in Cup 3 class”, said “SVITTEL”.
The next race in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring is in two weeks, on 09 April 2022.