Aston Martin Racing proved that absence doesn’t dull speed as Maxime Martin and Nicki Thiim stormed to victory in the eighth round of the NLS, the ADAC Barbarossapreis.
At the start of the penultimate race of the year, it was pole-sitter Julien Andlauer who led the opening few laps in the Frikadelli Racing Porsche. A stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start cost the Frenchmen the lead, but as he continued to put down blistering fast laps, by the second hour Andlauer was back at the head of the field. As gentleman driver Klaus Abbelen took over for his stints, the Pro-Am entry faded.
That allowed the BMW Junior Team BMW M6 GT3 to sweep into the lead with Daniel Harper leading the charge ahead of the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb and Martin in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
The decisive moments in the race started to shape with an hour of the 240-minute encounter to go. The BMW came in for its final stop first of the top three allowing Stippler and Martin to move into the lead, which then descended into a straight dog-fight between Stippler and Martin onto the GP section of the Nürburgring. A cracking battle unfolded, in which Martin squeezed his way past the Audi and into the lead.
Proving stronger on fuel economy, the Aston was the last to stop – on lap 23 compared to Stippler’s lap 22 – with Thiim taking over from Martin and using fresher tyres to extend his lead to more than 13 seconds when he finally took the flag, even electing not to slow down and going onto the last lap with seven seconds left on the clock.
Thiim’s relatively relaxed run to the flag was helped by the fact that an almighty battle was forming behind for second place as Kolb was busy fending off Max Hesse in the BMW Junior Team entry. Try as he might, Hesse couldn’t find a way through as Kolb managed to widen his R8 to such an extent that he crossed the line with a slender two-tenth advantage.
Just missing the podium was the #23 Lionspeed by Car Collection Audi R8 LMS GT3, more than 30 seconds behind the lead trio but about the same margin ahead of the #55 BMW Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 in a strong run for the next-generation of BMW racers.
Haupt Racing Team took sixth, in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Hubert Haupt, Patrick Assenheimer and Manuel Metzger. Seventh went to Mann-Filter Team Landgraf – HTP/WWR drivers Dirk Müller and Luca-Sandro Trefz in the pre-Evo Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The SP9/GT3 Pro-Am sub-class was won by Huber Motorsport with Nico Menzel and Achim Thyssen piloting the Porsche 991.2 GT3R to eight overall.
Frikadelli ended up finishing ninth with Abbelen and Andlauer finishing second in the SP9/GT3 Pro-Am category, while GT3 returnee Black Falcon Team Identica took tenth in their Porsche 911.2 GT3R of Identica juniors Noah Nagelsdiek, Hendrik von Danwitz and Florian Naunmann.
The final round of the NLS – the 45. DMV Münsterlandpokal – takes place on Saturday 9 October.
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