After the season is before the season. While the real Green Hell is slowly but surely coming to rest, preparations for the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series (DNLS) are in full swing. Season 5 of the successful sim racing championship, which replicates the traditional and unique Nordschleife series of the VLN, kicks off the 23/24 winter season on December 2. With new vehicles and new classes, there will be more thrilling racing action on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in around a month's time.
The most important innovation is the upgrading of the always fiercely contested CUP2 class. The Porsche Esports Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PEETN) will be held here for the first time. With the support of Manthey, who also provide the two strongest Cup classes in the NLS in the real world, sim racers can also look forward to trophies and prize money totaling 8,000 euros in the future. As in its real-life counterpart, the PEETN is seamlessly integrated into the DNLS races. "We are delighted to be expanding the PETN season with the 'Porsche Esports Endurance Trophy Nürburgring', giving both teams and drivers as well as fans the opportunity to experience exciting racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife during the winter months," says Julia Klee, Project Manager Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. "This complements the existing one-make cup concept so that participants can continue to develop their driving skills and compete for a championship even after the official Nordschleife season. We are particularly looking forward to the additional collaboration with the well-known PETN teams and drivers and at the same time to getting to know new faces in virtual racing."
A breath of fresh air is also blowing in the other classes. For example, the Ferrari 296 GT3, which has caused a stir in real motorsport this year - including victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring - will be competing in the SP9 for the first time. In the SP10, the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 will join BMW and Mercedes-AMG in the winter season. In the SP3T, the Hyundai Elantra will be replaced by the Veloster. And with the introduction of the VT2 class, the Toyota GT86 celebrates its entry into the digital Nordschleife championship.
"The regulations are available online at vln.de/dnls and registration for the new season will start shortly," says Lars Nachtsheim, DNLS project manager within the VLN. "We are convinced that the DNLS will take another big step forward in Season 5, also thanks to the support of Manthey with the Porsche Esports Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. There is also an innovation in our own scoring mode: in addition to the winners in the now five classes, we will also crown the overall DNLS champion at the end. As in the real Nürburgring Endurance Series, the teams in the 'small' classes have the opportunity to finish at the top."
When the new season of the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series kicks off on December 2, four teams that won the DNLS Community Cup this year will also be taking part: Dörr Esports (SP9), Gericke Motorsport (CUP2), Deutsche Payment Phantom (SP10) and Team Heusinkveld (SP3T).