Friday action at the Nordschleife saw teams and drivers get up to speed in preparation of Saturday’s VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) delayed season-opener. While a number of GT3 teams are absent this weekend as they contest the GT World Challenge Europe season premier in Monza, a good 20 GT3 cars made their way to the Eifel to complete a 147-car strong field.
With Christian Krognes (due to travel restrictions) and David Pittard (racing in Monza) not at the Nürburgring and part of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team focussed on running two of its BMW M6 GT3s in Monza plus another two at the Nordschleife, Ben Tuck will have to do with a BMW M2 CS instead of the Total-sponsored #34 BMW M6 GT3 this weekend. He did, however, get some training laps in aboard the #35 BMW M6 GT3 that will be raced tomorrow by Jörg Müller and junior drivers Sami-Matti Trogen and Mario von Bohlen.
Making his return this weekend after having sat out the pandemic-hurt 2020 season was Ralf Schall. While tomorrow he will be in for four hours of racing in his old Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, Friday saw him take the legendary and beloved Mercedes-Benz 190 Evo II out on track for a few laps.
Newly arrived CP Racing of American racing fanatic Charles Putman put in their first laps at the Nordschleife. Due to make their NLS debut last year but with the later races of the season cancelled, the Americans can finally set sail at the Eifel course. Putman shares his Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with fellow American Joe Foster and — for this weekend — none other than 2016 Nürburgring 24 Hours winner and Mercedes-AMG works driver Adam Christodoulou. With a handful of former ProSport Performance personnel — in addition to some former HTP Motorsport people — making up the crew, it’s a partial reunion of the 2018 Creventic 24H Series champions.
Audi Sport, meanwhile, took to the track with its new Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 model. No doubt to prepare the car for a future NLS outing.
Photos by JP Wagner.
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