In a nail-biting climax, the 2023 VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) season came to a dramatic close, crowning champions that will be remembered for years to come. The #1 Adrenalin Motorsport Team Motec BMW 330i, piloted by the champions line-up of Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg, and Philipp Leisen, secured its ninth victory in the VT2-R+4WD class in nine races to claim the championship in style.
NLS9 | QUALIFYING REPORT | RACE REPORT
The victory at the 47. Pagid Racing DMV Münsterland Cup was claimed by Frank Stippler and Christopher Mies, who powered the #5 Scherer Sport PHX Audi R8 LMS GT3 to victory. Their success was particularly poignant as it marked the last appearance of Ernst Moser, the founder of Phoenix Racing, on the pit wall.
While Zils and Sandberg were successful in defending their 2022 title, for Leisen it is already his fourth championship triumph. Although they had won every race in their class up to that point, coming into the final race it was still all to play for with SRS Sorg Rennsport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS drivers Patrik Grütter, Heiko Eichenberg and Fabio Grosse – competing in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring CUP3 – still in with a shot at the title. Claiming yet another class victory, however, sealed the deal.
This remarkable achievement made them the undisputed champions of the season, clinching the sixth consecutive title for Adrenalin Motorsport and securing the team’s position as the most successful squad in NLS history, surpassing Scheid Motorsport’s record. Team boss Matthias Unger shared his thoughts, saying, “I can only repeat myself. Sometimes it might look easy from the outside, but this year has been really damn hard. We once again had to work extremely hard to ultimately achieve nine class wins in the highly competitive VT2-R+4WD class. It wasn’t a walk in the park.”
The race for overall glory saw a dominant performance from Frank Stippler and Christopher Mies, the former having grabbed pole position in the morning and led from the start. Despite their fierce competition, including five-time season winners Kuba Giermaziak and Christian Krognes, who took turns in the lead as well aboard the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, Stippler and Mies held their ground.
Frank Stippler expressed the emotional significance of the victory, stating, “It was a very emotional win for us. We have had a very tough year. And with the departure of Phoenix founder Ernst, an era comes to an end. That’s why it was important for us to give him this victory.”
Christopher Mies added, “It was legendary, sharing the car with Stippi and celebrating this victory for Ernst.”
Walkenhorst Motorsport missed out on the podium as a slow puncture on the penultimate lap forced the BMW into the pits to finish an unfortunate fourth place that did not do the team justice to both their race pace as well as their Speed Trophy championship winning performance throughout the season.
Fabian Schiller and Lucas Auer secured second place in the #9 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3, while Julien Andlauer and Patric Niederhauser completed the mix of brands on the podium in the #21 Porsche 992 GT3R from Rutronik Racing.
Fifth place went to the #20 Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 driven by Florian Spengler and Markus Winkelhock, claiming the SP9 Pro-Am win.
Completing the top ten were the #24 Dörr Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 of Phil and Ben Dörr with Darren Turner in sixth, #35 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Dylan Pereira and Sami-Matti Trogen in seventh, #18 Dinamic GT Porsche 992 GT3R of Dennis Olsen and Adrien De Leener in eighth, #17 ProSport-Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 of Maxime Dumarey, Marek Böckmann and Mike David Ortmann in ninth, and tenth went to the #102 Black Falcon Team Identica Porsche 992 GT3 Cup of Ben Bünnagel, Noah Nagelsdiek and Gabiele Piana who held off the hard-charging Team Mathol Racing Porsche to score the win in the CUP2 class.
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