➤ With an emotional one-two victory, Frikadelli Racing paid proper tribute to the late Sabine Schmitz. Six weeks after the passing of the team’s co-owner and race car driver, Earl Bamber and Mathieu Jaminet celebrated the win in the 62. Eibach ADAC ACAS Cup ahead of teammates Patrick Pilet and Maxime Martin.
➤ Klaus Abbelen, Frikadelli Racing team principle: “It was a perfect weekend for us, which we were able to finish in the best possible way with first and second overall. This double victory is only for ‘Binchen’. We are all sure that she is just as happy right now as we are and that she enjoyed it from above. I am incredibly proud of the entire team and our team performance. We used the entire preparation phase intensively with top engineers, mechanics and of course everyone in the background to make such a result possible. Apart from the Nordschleife, which has many times more grip, we have found a lot of potential in our cars. In addition, Michelin did a great job over the winter. Almost all manufacturers have shown this potential. Nobody can take the double victory away from us.”
➤ Confusion surrounding a stop-and-go penalty for the #31 Frikadelli Racing suggested that the one-two victory was in jeopardy. While the TV broadcast commentators were adamant Maxime Martin should come in to serve his penalty, in reality that penalty for overtaking under yellow had already been served on lap 19 by Patrick Pilet. As explained by Auto Motor und Sport, the penalty was announced after it was served. To add to the confusion, timing and scoring did not count the stop-and-go as a visit to the pits. The valuable time lost possibly costed the #31 Frikadelli Porsche the win.
➤ The NLS3 victory was Frikadelli Racing’s first win since 2018 when Lance David Arnold and Norbert Siedler won VLN4.
➤ Due to ongoing travel restrictions, Falken Motorsports is going it without tyre engineering support from Japan — at least in the traditional sense. While no personnel is travelling to Germany to support the team, video conference calls still provide the Schnabl Engineering team with useful support, resulting in a podium finish last weekend. Klaus Bachler, driver #4 Falken Motorsports Porsche: “To finally be on the podium again after two tough years is an amazing feeling — and to achieve that with such strong GT3 competition. Our engineers from Japan are currently unable to come to the race track in Germany and are celebrating from afar. The analyses and discussions instead take place via video conference, even if it is long after midnight.”
➤ Third place for the #4 Falken Motorsports Porsche 991.2 GT3R of Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger was not a given until the final moments of the last lap. Having gone for an unconventional pitstop strategy, the Porsche was risking running out of fuel. Klaus Bachler came in for his first pitstop after only four laps (25 minutes), the shortest possible stint to make it to the end with three more stints of eight laps (4-8-8-8 laps), if the race goes no further than 28 laps. While it normally doesn’t, a remarkedly fast race can go the 29-lap distance. This almost did happen — risking the #4 Falken Porsche to run out of fuel, force an extremely slow final lap to conserve fuel if even possible, or lose time and positions for a splash-and-dash as eight laps is the maximum the Porsche 991.2 GT3R can go at race-pace on one tank of fuel. Falken Motorsports was saved by a prolonged Code 60 Zone at Döttinger Höhe which kept race leader Mathieu Jaminet in the Frikadelli Porsche from crossing the finish line before the 4-hour mark for the 28th time, coming short just 19 seconds.
➤ For comparison: the race-winning Frikadelli Porsche went with a 7 (Bamber) – 8 (Jaminet) – 8 (Bamber) – 5 (Jaminet) strategy.
➤ Sub-8 lap times were abundant during qualifying, with a grand total of fifteen cars breaking into the 7:50s. Jesse Krohn won pole position with 7:54.865 — over two seconds slower than the lap record set in 2018 by Christian Krognes and 1.2 seconds slower than Dennis Olson’s NLS2 pole time. The once-illustrious 8-minute barrier is this year also regularly being broken into during the race even after the traffic-free opening laps. Nick Catsburg scored the fastest race lap with a lap of 7:56.465 set on lap two. He was one of seven drivers to lap quicker than 8 minutes. The race-winning #30 Frikadelli Racing Porsche, however, managed no less than three sub-8 laps, with Nick Tandy setting two and Mathieu Jaminet one lap in the 7:50s. Their quickest lap of 7:58.273 was set by Tandy on lap 17, during the second lap after his pitstop.
➤ NLS3 highlights clip.
➤ In the SP9/GT3 Am class victory went to the #9 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Janine Shoffner and Moritz Kranz, finishing twentieth overall on the lead lap. This was the second win in a row for the Axiom Space-themed Mercedes-AMG that sees Janine Shoffner this year race without husband John Shoffner for the first time while the American is preparing to possibly pilot a space mission to the International Space Station in 2022. She teams up with VLN Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Trophy champion Moritz Kranz.
➤ The SP9/GT3 Pro-Am win went to the #24 Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Lorenzo Rocco, Patrick Kolb, Patric Niederhauser and Johannes Stengel. The trio finished ahead of the #25 Huber Motorsport Porsche 991.2 GT3R of Nico Menzel, Philipp Neuffer and Stefan Aust, but as the Porsche was penalised for Alex Müller not turning a lap during the race, the #40 Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Milan Dontje, Klaus Koch and Jörg Viebahn moved up to second to make it a Car Collection Motorsport Pro-Am one-two.
➤ Nico Menzel was one of the stars of the first hour, racing the #25 Huber Porsche to fourth place amongst international GT stars. The youngster, a local of the Nürburgring and son of Christian Menzel, was once a BMW Junior and raced a season with Wochenspiegel Team Monschau in the Ferrari 488 GT3. He has also contested several races with KCMG aboard the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 and last year won the SP7 class with Huber Motorsport in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as well as the SP9/GT3 Pro-Am class in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
➤ In the SP10/GT4 class Allied Racing took a convincing first win of the year by beating Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport and SchnitzelAlm Racing by over half a minute. The #178 Porsche Cayman GT4 driven by Dennis Fetzer and Nicolaj Møller Madsen took over the lead halfway into the race after the long-leading #171 Ring Racing Toyota Supra GT4 ran into technical trouble. In the battle for second, Marcel Marchewicz in the #162 SchnitzelAlm Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 managed to close the relatively large gap to the #191 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 in the final hour, but was unable to pass Gabriele Piana. Finishing in fourth was the #165 SchnitzelAlm sister car — a brand-new chassis delivered to the team after a seemingly innocent accident in NLS2 turned out to have damaged the chassis.
➤ Five cars were entered in the TCR class, split between two Pro class and three Am class cars. While the #822 Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR of Roger Vögeli and Roland Schmid won the Am class, Manuel Lauck and Marc Basseng lived it up in the #831 Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai Elantra N TCR leaving all other TCR cars — including those in SP3T — one lap behind and setting a new TCR lap record of 8:40.053.
➤ Long-time Renault Clio Cup racer Stephan Epp made a short return to his own Aufkleben.de Motorsport team for the start of NLS3, getting behind the wheel of the third-generation #620 Clio before returning to his 2021 program of racing the #504 Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport BMW 330i. The spectacular four-lap opening stint of the H2 class Clio was shown live via the SchnitzelAlm-Fan-Onboard. Although the return of the team principle did not yield the success Aufkleben.de Motorsport is known for — retiring after thirteen laps with technical problems — in the BMW, Epp and co-drivers Björn Simon and Edoardo Bugane earned a hard-fought second place in the VT2 class after losing several minutes at the start as the result of a spin and a forced reset of the BMW’s systems.
➤ A practice crash on Friday left Haupt Racing Team with a problem. As the #6 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo was irreparable after the accident suffered by Maro Engel at Schwedenkreuz, a reshuffle in the driver line-up needed to take place in order to give all drivers enough drive time for the Nürburgring 24 Hours in five weeks. With Maro Engel — together with #16 HRT Mercedes-AMG driver Luca Stolz — off to Magny-Course next week for the GT World Challenge Europe, the decision was made to move Engel and Hubert Haupt to the #16 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Bilstein Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and replace Manuel Metzger who will instead participate in this upcoming weekend’s ADAC 24h Qualifying Race. FULL STORY.
➤ KTM X-Bow regulars Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck returned to the Nürburgring for their first outing in the GTX. Entered in the #922 True Racing KTM X-Bow GTX alongside KTM works driver Reinhard Kofler, the brothers won the Cup X class with a gap of 75 seconds to second place.
➤ That second place in Cup X was taken by the #913 Teichmann Racing KTM X-Bow GTX driven by Daniel Bohr, Reinhard Kofler (again) and Timo Moelig. Most remarkable, besides the fact that Reinhard Kofler scored his own one-two victory with two different teams, was the car the trio raced. After a crash on Friday had taken the #910 GTX out of the race weekend, mcchip-dkr — who had just announced the premature end to its own GTX project — came to the rescue by loaning its customer’s KTM X-Bow GTX to Teichmann Racing. In a nice gesture of gratitude, Teichmann placed a big ‘DANKE!’ (Thanks) sticker on the side of the car.
➤ The largest class after SP9/GT3 (23 Pro, 4 Pro-Am, 4 Am) was VT2 with eighteen cars. The class reserved for production vehicles with turbocharged engines in capacity of 1.620 to 2 litre was won by the #485 FK Performance Motorsport BMW 330i of Christian Konnerth, Ranko Mijatovic and former British GT driver Ben Green. However, that is not to say the VLN championship leader also comes from this class. With two V4 class (twelve cars, 2-2.5 litre production cars) wins in a row, 2018 and 2020 VLN champions Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen are leading the VLN championship as well as the Production championship with 19.22 points.
➤ Victory in NLS2 and fourth place in NLS3 has given the #911 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R a solid lead in the Speed-Trophäe. The car both times driven by Lars Kern and Michael Christensen and with Kévin Estre the third man in NLS2, has scored 57 points while the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 in second is 28 points back.
➤ The Junior-Trophäe championship is led by Moritz Oberheim and Nico Otto (#875 FK Performance Motorsport BMW M2 CS Racing, Cup 5)
➤ Round four of the VLN Nürburgring Endurance Championship, the 52. Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, is planned for 26 June. In the meantime, the Nordschleife will host the ADAC 24h Qualifying Race on 8-9 May and the ADAC Total 24h Race on 3-6 June.
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