Kuba Giermaziak took his fourth VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) win of 2022 taking victory with partner Kim Luis Schramm in the #16 Scherer Sport Team Phoenix Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the rescheduled NLS2 46. Nimex DMV 4H-Rennen ahead of teammates Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb in the #5 sister car. However, for a long time it looked like the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Christian Krognes and Sami-Matti Trogen would provide an upset with a better pit strategy and Krognes picking up the lap record and leading for much of the race before being denied in the final pit stop by a recalcitrant fuel filling system.
Frank Stippler started the race from pole in the sister #5 Scherer Sport Team Phoenix Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shared with Vincent Kolb. At the first corner Stippler found himself under pressure and squeezed into contact with the #120 Avia W&S Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of David Jahn. Jahn came off worst and found himself turned around and facing the oncoming traffic. The contact earned Stippler a stop-and-go penalty which would cost them a possible race win. The opposite was true for Jahn and his teammate, Daniel Blickle, who got going again and by the end of the race had got back into the lead of Cup 2 after misfortune struck one by one all of their competitors and with it won the Porsche Endurance Trophy Cup 2 championship.
Coming out of the Mercedes Arena it was Dorian Boccolacci in the #107 Team Mathol Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup leading ahead of Stippler in second and the #55 Landgraf Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Luca-Sandro Trefz taking third. By the end of the opening lap both Phoenix Audis had pulled themselves up through the order to cross the line with Stippler leading and Giermaziak up to third place having dropped to sixth at the start.
An early casualty, not even getting off the Grand Prix circuit was the #17 ProSport Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 of Jean Glorieux which found itself stranded at the side of the track with heavy rear-end damage following contact at the Kurzanbindung.
The second major casualty was the #55 Landgraf car which was forced to pit at the end of the first lap after an off during the fight for third on the opening lap. A short inspection was followed by the Mercedes being pushed into the garage and out of the race.
By the end of lap 2 Christian Krognes in the #34 Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 was challenging Stippler and attempted to force his way past the Audi into Tiergarten. Stippler held him back only for Krognes to make a second attempt at turn 1 which again Stippler resisted. Giermaziak had by now closed the gap to the leaders with the #25 Huber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Nico Menzel following the Pole.
With 5 laps in the bag Krognes was the first of the leaders to stop, handing over the BMW to teammate Sami-Matti Trogen, whilst Giermaziak stayed out for an extra lap. Stippler pitted along with Krognes but only to take his stop-and-go penalty. A lap later Stippler stopped again for his regular pitstop which dropped the Audi down to fourth. This gave the lead to Trogen with Giermaziak chasing and Dennis Fetzer’s Porsche in third place.
Pushing hard during his second stint, Krognes posted a new lap record with a time of 7m49.578sec – the first-ever lap to break into the 40s. Putting in an unrelenting stint, the Norwegian built a 44 second lead which in the final hour would have put the BMW and #16 Audi absolutely together following the final stops, however, a fueling problem for the Walkenhorst car destroyed all of Krognes’ hard work. With the car refusing to take on fuel, he not only lost all his hard won time in the stop but was also forced to come back into the pits for a top up to make it through to the end of the race.
Giermaziak chasing his fourth win of the season maxed out his stint to hand over the car to co-driver Kim Luis Schramm for the final two hours. Taking his final pitstop with 51 minutes remaining, Schramm rejoined the race ahead of Krognes. The unscheduled stop for Krognes also brought the #5 Phoenix Audi back into the picture giving second place to Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler and a 1-2 finish for the Scherer Sport Team Phoenix in a repeat of the last two races.
Having won four out of eight races in 2022, Scherer Sport Team Phoenix cleared out the top class championships taking home the Speed Trophy and Nimex Team Trophy with the #16 Audi while Kuba Giermaziak won the SP9/GT3 Pro class.
Adrenalin Motorsport’s Oskar Sandberg, Sindre Setsaas and Daniel Zils already secured the NLS championship last time out and were officially crowned after the race. The trio finished the season in style with a winning overtake on the penultimate lap to complete their clean sweep. With five NLS titles in a row Adrenalin Motorsport continues its unparalleled streak of consecutive championships and has joined the top of the all-time champions amongst the illustrious Scheid Motorsport and Bonk Motorsport teams.
Dinamic Motorsport got to try its hands at the 2023 model Porsche 992 GT3R. Painted in Pirelli yellow-black and shod on the Italian rubber, Matteo Cairoli and Julien Andlauer worked their way from the back of the GT3 grid to fourth at the finish, in spite of the handicaps given to GT3 prototypes. The Italian team finished a lap ahead of the Avia W&S Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in fifth place.
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