Two cars, one team: The two Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II cars of Scherer Sport Team Phoenix settled the victory at the 54th ZEWOTHERM ADAC Barbarossapreis between themselves. Jakub "Kuba" Giermaziak, Kim Luis Schramm and Luca Engstler won race six of the Nürburgring Endurance Series after a four-hour race distance with a lead of 21.649 seconds ahead of teammates Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb. Julien Andlauer and Frédéric Makowiecki celebrated a fantastic debut at the world premiere of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R: They finished third in the new 911's first race outing.
The weather conditions made race six of the NLS a major challenge on several occasions. Low temperatures in qualifying were followed by light rain on the grid and before the race had even started, it became a poker game. Most teams played it safe and went for rain tyres in the starting phase. After five laps, the track had dried enough to switch to slicks. This was also done by the two Scherer-Audi cars, which preferred the 'short' stint. After two and a half hours, rain set in again from time to time. The two Audi teams were not impressed by this either and drove home the victory in a spectacular pairing. In the end, the team in the green Audi R8 - Giermaziak, Schramm and Engstler - cheered at the top of the podium at the award ceremony. Giermaziak was the overall winner for the second time this season. The joy was also great for Engstler, who crowned his first Nordschleife race with a GT3 car with victory. "If someone had told me this morning that I would be on top at the end of the day, I would have called them crazy," said Engstler. "My goal was to collect kilometres on the Nordschleife, leave the car whole and not take any risks. When I was on slicks in the rain, the team helped me a lot. We always knew where it was wet and where it was dry. So I could always adjust to the conditions." Kolb was also satisfied with his third podium finish in a row: "In the third stint I was driving in the rain. The main thing here was not to make any mistakes. Overall, I had a lot of fun again today and the one-two for Phoenix is a fantastic result."
It was not expected that the new Porsche 911 GT3 R would score a podium finish on its race debut. Since the 911 does not yet have final homologation for the GT3 class, it started in the specially designated SP-X class. Regardless of the practice time achieved, the #911 from Manthey had to start the race behind the last GT3 car of the first starting group and additionally had to stand 30 seconds longer at each pit stop. The fact that it was still enough for a podium finish in the end - with a gap of 2:07.450 minutes - was due in part to the way the race went and the perfect tactics of the experienced Manthey team. "If you subtract the 90 seconds we lost in the pits, you see the reality," said Makowiecki. "The car was running well - quite as expected. We now know where we can still improve things." The direct lap comparison underpins the Frenchman's statement: Stippler clocked 7:57.319 minutes on his fastest lap, the Manthey Porsche 7:58.942 minutes.
Behind the top trio, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Landgraf Motorsport was flagged off in fourth place. However, as the vehicle height did not comply with the regulations, the #55 car was disqualified after the race. With Schnitzelalm Racing, brand colleagues Carrie Schreiner and Peter Terting moved up to fourth place. In fifth place, Christoph Breuer and Nico Verdonck in the PROsport-Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 celebrated victory in the Pro-Am category. Fastest in the Am category were Michael Heimrich and Arno Klasen in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II from Twin Busch by équipe vitesse.
Philipp Leisen (Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive) and Malte Tack (Manheller Racing) fought an impressive battle for victory in the V4 class until the very end. Bumper to bumper, the two BMW 325i cars chased each other through the Green Hell - with the better end for three-time champion Leisen. At the finish, his lead was 5.104 seconds. The VT2-FWD was also close. mathilda racing - Team LAVO Carwash prevailed in the VW Scirocco R with a lead of 5.546 seconds over the BMW 128ti from Sorg Rennsport. The finish in SS3 was also close: The Toyota GT86 Cup of Car Competiton Racing Team was the class winner, 6.069 seconds ahead of the Renault Clio Cup of X85racing.
A small preliminary decision has been made in terms of the championship. While Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Sindre Setsaas in the Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive BMW 330i celebrated their sixth class win in the sixth race, the pursuers fluffed. Mauro Calamia, Ivan Jacoma and Kai Riemer, who drive a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (982) for Schmickler Performance powered by Ravenol, only managed third place in CUP3. Daniel Blickle and Tim Scheerbarth finished second in CUP2 in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup from AVIA W&S Motorsport. Class wins went to Smyrlis Racing with Christopher Rink, Philipp Stahlschmidt and Francesco Merlini in CUP3. Karsten Krämer, Christopher Brück and Moritz Kranz from KKrämer Racing triumphed again in CUP2.
The seventh race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series will take place in a fortnight, on 22 October. The PAGID Racing 46th DMV Münsterlandpokal runs over the usual distance of four hours.