Vincent Kolb returned to the podium for the first time since winning the VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series season finale in 2021. The young driver, who has been learning on the job since 2018, finished third in NLS4 underlining his continued improvement.
The #5 Scherer Sport Team Phoenix Audi R8 LMS GT3 crossed the finish line of the 45. RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen 2 minutes and 20 seconds behind the winner. In the hours before, Kolb’s co-driver and mentor Frank Stippler had led the race for some parts of the opening stint before an ill-timed Code 60 threw the Audi out of contention for the win that would eventually go to their teammates René Rast and Kuba Giermaziak.
“It’s amazing,” Vincent Kolb says about the podium finish.
“It was a very tough race for me, my first stint was a bit… I had my ups and downs, but thanks to my great teammate we could finally end up in P3 overall – I think it’s a very good result. Our sister was P1 overall which is awesome. We had two cars that were frontrunning so a big shout-out to the entire team who built these two amazing cars.”
The now 27-year-old Kolb made his GT3 debut in 2018 as part of Phoenix Racing’s junior programme and under the guidance of Nürburgring veteran Frank Stippler has been improving ever since.
“I am very happy with my development over the last couple of years. We started the project in 2018 and had years with ups and downs, as always. This season was also very tough for me in the first races and now a third place is very rewarding for us.
“[Frank Stippler is] not only a coach but also a very good friend of mine over the last couple of years. It’s a lot of fun to learn from him because he has a lot of experience in all the different weather conditions and with the traffic since he’s driven here since – I don’t know, 120 years maybe! The experience he brings is very big and it’s good for me to learn from that.
“In terms of lap times, breaking the 8-minutes was the first big boundary. I achieved that, my fastest lap is now 7:56, which is quite good, but then everything has to be perfect. Fighting with Pro drivers, factory drivers, over a stint of 7, 8 laps, is where I’m still struggling a bit. I’m struggling also with taking higher risks in overtaking, but at the end of the day I’m quite happy with the results so far.”
Expanding his horizon and testing his skills in other championships is not a top priority for the son of historic cars racer Alexander Kolb, instead choosing to craft his skill at the Nürburgring with the occasional race elsewhere.
“I raced in the last couple of years in different championships for single events: Creventic, GTC. But for me it’s best to drive here at the Nordschleife. It’s very easy to go on Friday from the home office to the hotel and then have the free practice in the afternoon and evening and then Saturday qualifying and race in one day and be home at 19 for dinner, that is very nice.
“It’s perfect, it’s a very good mix. I have 17, 18 race weekends, another couple of track days. That’s a lot of weekends here at the racetrack but I love it, it’s the best, I’m living the dream!”
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