VLN8 was not the first time this year that Oliver Kainz went to the podium at the Nürburgring. The Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 driver took a win in June and has been a front-runner since. With everything falling into place, Kainz and teammates Jochen Krumbach and Georg Weiss once again made their way to the podium in the 49. ADAC Barbarossapreis, this time to pick up a well-earned third-place trophy.
The stiff competition going into the weekend didn’t leave Kainz confident that he’d be able to repeat a podium visit. That changed when in qualifying Jochen Krumbach rode to pole position.
Even as pole served as a great stepping stone, the Rinaldi Racing-run team still had to fight for their eventual third place. Through the challenging autumn weather and the high attrition rate at the front of the field, WTM secured the trophy.
“We didn’t expect it, but then we took pole position, had a really good start and were really lucky over the whole race,” Kainz looks back.
“We changed the tyres at the right moment. It’s definitely not that easy to decide if you go for rain tyres or slicks, and sometimes you have the wrong tyre on the car.
“In the end, this is what counts.”
After struggling through the first stint, Wochenspiegel’s star driver Krumbach handed over the car to Kainz, who went into the increasing rain with nothing but untreaded tyres.
“I started on slicks and then it started raining, so I came in. We switched to rain tyres and this was the right choice. I did the stint on rain tyres before Jochen went in the car and I made the decision to let him go out on slicks.
“He showed this was a good decision: he was lucky and happy with it.”
When the action died down in the second half of the four-hour race, the chrome-coloured Ferrari appeared out of the slowly dissipating rain in podium position. Pressure form the rear was gone, to the front there was nothing to gain any more.
Can the Wochenspiegel Ferrari maintain its growing presence at the front of the grid? Kainz sees opportunity while remaining realistic about the team’s chances.
“I hope so,” the racer from nearby Mayen answers. “It depends on how many cars and professional drivers we have next year, and the big question is the Balance of Performance. As you could see in this race, there were some cars not starting in our class, but we are racing against each other. The question for next year is how this continues with the BoP.
“But, we will stay with this car and this team, and I’m sure we’ll do a good job again.”