At NLS 7, the Phoenix Racing team secured the first two places. In an exciting duel with unpredictable weather, Engstler/Giermaziak/Schramm prevailed. In its race debut, Porsche drove straight onto the podium with the 911 GT3 R.
Once again, in the sixth round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, everything was all about Phoenix Racing. The local heroes fielded two top cars and brought the two Audi R8 LMS home in the first two places. The number 16 car (Kuba Giermaziak/Luca Engstler/Kim-Luis Schramm) crossed the finish line first, 21.649 seconds ahead of the teammates with the number 5 car (Vincent Kolb/Frank Stippler).
Confusion during the pit stop
Engstler, who celebrated his Nordschleife premiere, and Kolb offered a real thriller for the fans at the track. In the end, the lead changed hands several times, and the duel reached its climax in the Tiergarten, where Engstler finally prevailed and only a few meters later headed for the pits in front of his teammates. After the service, which should have taken exactly the same amount of time for both, Kolb rejoined the track while he was in the lead. The confusion was perfect.
"There was a misunderstanding," said Giermaziak. "Luca drove his first race here and parked the car in neutral, which we don't usually do. I didn't realize during the five-second countdown that the car was in neutral. When I wanted to drive off, I first had to shift gears We lost a position, but then we made it up on the track. There were no team orders or anything."
Stippler on pole position
The Stippler/Kolb duo was once again happy about second place. "It was a good race," said Stippler. "Unfortunately for Vincent, a Code 60 phase cost 30 seconds. In the end it was 20 seconds behind. That's why a win today was possible, but that's how it is sometimes with Code 60 - it can be decisive for a race."
Stippler had already presented with pole position. Most of the teams used rain tires at the start because it rained right at the start. After a brief exchange of blows with Nico Menzel in the Huber-Porsche, the Audi factory driver retained the upper hand and handed the lead to Kolb after two stints. He immediately caught another rain shower phase and then fought the duel with Engstler.
Podium for Porsche 911 GT3 R at race debut
The new Porsche 911 GT3 R completed the podium in third place. A small success, after all it was the first race kilometers on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife for the new GT3 racer of the 992 generation. Porsche had only planned the whole thing as a test run.Because there is still no GT3 homologation for the car, you had to start behind the entire GT3 pack in the SP-X class and sit an additional 30 seconds at each pit stop. At the finish, the gap was 2:07.450 minutes.
"The car worked as expected, but we didn't fly," said Frédéric Makowiecki, who shared starting number 911 with Julien Andlauer. "Now we know where we need to improve. It's all about balance and adapting to the conditions in general. So today's mixed conditions were good for us." Andlauer added: "We didn't have any problems with reliability or technology throughout the race."
Failures at Haupt and Walkenhorst
The best Mercedes-AMG actually ended up in fourth place. Julien Apothéloz, Luca-Sandro Trefz and Stevenson Casper finished the race for Landgraf Motorsport 3:35.903 minutes behind the leaders. However, they were subsequently disqualified, which allows everyone else to move up a position. The brand colleagues from the Haupt Racing team had to say goodbye after just one lap after spinning and hitting the crash barriers. A similar fate befell the #34 Walkenhorst-BMW during qualifying, which is why it didn't even take part in the race.
Behind the Landgraf-Mercedes follows another representative of the Star Warriors with the Schnitzelalm-Mercedes by Carrie Schreiner and Peter Terting. The best Pro-Am car was the Prosport Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with Nico Verdonck and Christoph Breuer at the wheel in fifth place. The Huber Porsche, which also started with a Pro-Am entry, finished the race in sixth place in front of the three Cup Porsches from KKrämer, W&S Motorsport and Black Falcon. Tenth place went to True Racing's KTM X-Bow GT2.