A real Eifel thriller: High-voltage at the premiere of the 12h Nürburgring


Premiere a success! The first edition of the 12h Nürburgring was a real highlight on and off the track. The race had all the elements needed for a good Eifel thriller: a real tyre poker in changeable conditions on Saturday, Nordschleife romance in the evening hours, the restart as an additional element of suspense, drama in the fight for victory and a happy ending with beaming winners at the end. The successful protagonists were Joel Eriksson, Jaxon Evans, Sven Müller and Alessio Picariello after two six-hour races. They brought the Porsche 911 GT3 R from Falken Motorsports home in first place after 79 hard-fought laps through the Green Hell.

"It wasn't clear to us until the very end whether we would really take home the win, because we didn't know exactly how long our competitors would need at the final stop based on the time monitors," said Müller. "In the end, we were extremely happy to win the 12h Nürburgring after winning the 6h race. The conditions in the first six hours were really tough. With slicks and a lot of rain, it was difficult to keep the car on the track. Today the weather was no longer a factor. It was still really close in the end." Müller welcomes the format of the 12h Nürburgring: "We had a lot of fun driving into the night yesterday. The restart was interesting as well."

The fastest car on Sunday was the Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Scherer Sport Team Phoenix. Jakub "Kuba" Giermaziak and Kim Luis Schramm could only be stopped by a strategic slip-up. After 58 laps, Schramm rolled into the pit lane with an empty tank. After the stop, the team lost further seconds until the car started again. "It's not always the fastest car that wins, then we would be at the top of the podium," Giermaziak admitted. "On Saturday we had the wrong tyres on once, which also cost us a lot of time. Still, it's nice to be on the podium, but it's not nice to be second."

On the other hand, Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb were happy about third place, who in the sister car of Scherer Sport Team Phoenix ended up less than a minute behind the leaders. "We didn't do everything right on Saturday in particular, but we didn't do everything wrong either, which shows third place at the end," said Stippler. Kolb added: "I lost some time when I was on slicks in the heavy rain in the early stages. That was like driving on black ice. Today we didn't lose much time and we are happy with the result."
Behind the top trio, Björn Grossmann and Luca Ludwig drove to fourth in the Ferrari 488 GT3 from octane 126. After the duo had been in contention for the top spot in changing conditions on Saturday, they lacked the pace in the dry to climb the podium. Fifth place went to Marcel Marchewicz and Marek Böckmann in the Schnitzelalm Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The fastest SP9 Pro-Am car - the Audi R8 LMS GT3 from Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport - was driven by Leon Köhler, Simon Reicher, Florian Spengler and Jörg Viebahn in eighth place.

The Cup2 911s, new this year, caused a sensation especially in the early stages of the race. Starting from third place, Gabriele Piana (Black Falcon) stormed into first place immediately at the start with the right tyre choice. After the first lap, Fabio Grosse in the G-Tech Competition counterpart returned as the leader. Even though the Cup 911s could no longer compete for the very top positions in the end, they showed strength: After 12 hours, Daniel Blickle, Tim Scheerbarth and David Jahn in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of AVIA W&S Motorsport only just missed the top 10 in eleventh place. They collected the 30 points for first place in the class, as did Mauro Calamia, Ivan Jacoma and Kai Riemer in the fastest Cup3 Cayman. In VT2-R+4WD, Daniel Zils, Oskar Sandberg and Sindre Setsaas triumphed in the BMW 330i of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive. Thus, the top two finishers in the championship each scored maximum points. The gap in the drivers' standings remains unchanged at 17 points with three races to go.

Jahn/Hinzer/Sidorenko/Schroers (VW Golf, GITI TIRE MOTORSPORT BY WS RACING) in VT2-FWD, Epp/Uelwer/Kaatz (Renault Clio Cup, MSC Adenau) in SS3 and Markert/Reimer/Deißler (BMW M240i Racing Cup, Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive) also secured maximum points.
The VLN officials drew a positive conclusion at the end of the 12h Nürburgring. "From a sporting point of view, almost everything went perfectly - so the many hours of preparation were worth it," said Michael Bork, VLN Head of Sport and Race Director. "Especially the restart was a highlight of the event. We received a lot of positive feedback from the participants." The event was also a success from a marketing point of view: "Together with our partners, we created a lot of attractions on the ring°boulevard, in the paddock and the pit lane. This attracted many young families to the Nürburgring and there were shining children's eyes," says Michel Pathe, Managing Director of VLN VV GmbH & Co. KG. "When you look at the great pictures of the 12h Nürburgring, it becomes clear what our team has put a lot of heart and soul into over the last weeks and months." The teamwork of the two organisers, AC Altkreis Schwelm e.V. in the ADAC and Dortmunder MC e.V. in the ADAC, is praised by Ralph-Gerald Schlüter, Managing Director of VLN Sport GmbH & Co. KG: "For the first time in the history of the series, a race was jointly organised by two organisers. ACAS and DMC have succeeded in this in an exemplary manner. Both clubs complemented each other and played to their strengths."

The sixth race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series will take place on 8 October. The 54th ZEWOTHERM ADAC Barbarossapreis of the MSC Sinzig will then again take place over the usual NLS distance of four hours.