12h Nürburgring brings championship decisions in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring
Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring
Meuspath. Under the name of the 12h Nürburgring, two races of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring took place in one weekend as part of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. NLS6 and NLS7 each covered a distance of six hours and once again held important championship points in store for the participants of the Porsche one-make series. With two victories, Team Sorg Rennsport (#959) with Heiko Eichenberg, Fabio Grosse and Patrik Grütter won both the Cup 3 team classification and the drivers' classification prematurely. The Cup 2 AM drivers' classification was also decided this weekend. With a victory in the first and a second place in the second race, Klaus Abbelen and 'Jules' were crowned champions early.
Close battles in Cup 2 class: championship decision postponed
In the morning qualifying for the sixth NLS round, Mathol Racing (#107) claimed the best grid position of the PETN so far, starting fourth overall. In qualifying, which was characterised by many Code-60-zones, the driver duo Arne Hoffmeister and Reinhard Kofler's first timed lap with a time of 8:56.803 minutes was enough to place the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) in fourth place overall and thus on grid position one in the Cup 2 class. For the sixth round of the NLS, the longest possible combination of Nürburgring GP circuit and Nordschleife (25.877 kilometres) was used for the first time. NLS7 on Sunday again took place on the usual 24.358-kilometre NLS variant. First place on the grid in Cup 2 class was secured by Marcel Hoppe, Tobias Vazquez-Garcia, Nick Salewsky and Peter Terting from Mühlner Motorsport (#123) with a lap time of 8:13.916 minutes.
In both NLS6 and NLS7, thrilling overtaking manoeuvres and lead changes over several laps ensured excitement in the PETN. In the end, the same teams and driver pairings were rewarded with the podium in both races. Benny Leuchter and Nico Otto from Max Kruse Racing (#100) won both races. Second place went to Christopher Brück, Michele Di Martino, Moritz Kranz and Tobias Müller in starting number 121 of KKrämer Racing. The podium was completed in both races by Black Falcon Team IDENTICA (#102) with Ben Bünnagel, Hendrik von Danwitz and Noah Nagelsdiek.
"A perfect weekend for us with the second and third win in a row. Effectively twelve hours with two drivers in the heat was brutal but we mastered it and the team did a great job. Unfortunately, we were not able to win the championship yet, as the competition was very strong again. Now we have to get through the last two races," summarises Nico Otto, driver of car number 100.
Max Kruse Racing leads the Cup 2 team and driver standings with 152 points. 23.5 points separate the team from their pursuers KKrämer Racing (#121). Black Falcon Team IDENTICA (#102) also has a chance of winning the championship with 111.5 points.
Klaus Abbelen and 'Jules' are PETN Cup 2 AM-Drivers Champions 2023
Together with PRO-driver Felipe Laser, Klaus Abbelen and 'Jules' from the Frikadelli Racing Team (#111) collected crucial championship points this weekend. A victory in Saturday's race and second place on Sunday were enough for the duo to stand unassailable at the top of the Cup 2 AM-drivers' standings with 153 points.
“It was an amazing weekend – we had good performance all round. I´m over the moon to be champion. In 2019 I won the AM driver´s championship in the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing and now winning the title in Cup 2 class is absolutely fantastic. Many thanks to my team and teammates which have been amazing to work with and super supportive,” says ‘Jules’ who is the first AM-driver in the PETN who has won both the Cup 3 and the Cup 2 title.
On Saturday, Ralf-Peter Bonk and Marco van Ramshorst from pb performance (#106) finished second behind Abbelen and 'Jules' and Jim Cameron and Bill Cameron from Team Cameron (#113) finished third. Sunday's race was won by Mustafa Mehmet Kaya and Mike Stursberg with PRO-driver Christopher Mies in starting number 103 from Black Falcon Team TEXTAR ahead of Abbelen and 'Jules'. Third place went to Karsten Krämer and 'SELV' with PRO-drivers Tobias Müller and Alexey Veremenko from KKrämer Racing (#112).
Sorg Rennsport dominates Cup 3 class and decides championship early
For the third time in a row, Heiko Eichenberg, Patrik Grütter and Fabio Grosse from Sorg Rennsport (#959) secured pole position in qualifying for NLS6 and thus also the additional championship point in Cup 3 class. With a lap time of 9:21.349 minutes on the 25.877-kilometre variant of the Grand Prix circuit and Nürburgring-Nordschleife and a 15th place overall, this was a sensational result for the PETN as well. The qualifying of NLS7 was decided in favour of Marius Rauer and Moritz Oberheim of AVIA W&S Motorsport (#960). The duo lapped the 24.358-kilometre NLS variant of the track in 8:37.381 minutes, placing them on pole position in Cup 3 class of the one-make series.
Heiko Eichenberg, Fabio Grosse and Patrik Grütter showed particular consistency this season with Sorg Rennsport (#959). The team finished on the podium in every race. After winning the six-hour race in July, the trio added two more victories at NLS6 and NLS7 and thus secured the championship in the Cup 3 drivers' classification and Sorg Rennsport the title in the Cup 3 team classification ahead of time.
"A perfect weekend with two wins and a superb team performance. We knew that the weekend was important because of the fact that 1.5 times the points would be awarded and we went 'all in'. We are really happy to be standing here as champions now," says Fabio Grosse, driver of car number 959.
In both races, Smyrlis Racing (#952) finished second. The driver duo Francesco Merlini and Christopher Rink were supported by Josh Bednarski in Sunday's race. The third podium place on Saturday went to Sorg Rennsport (#949) with Stefan Beyer, Mads Gravsen, Carl-Friedrich Kolb and Torsten Kratz. On Sunday, Team Oehme (#944) with Leonard Oehme, Moritz Oehme and Niklas Oehme completed the podium.
Tension in the Cup 3 AM drivers' classification
While champions have already been crowned in other PETN classifications, the championship in the Cup 3 AM-drivers' classification remains exciting. Stefan Beyer and Carl-Friedrich Kolb lead the championship with 130 points after a victory and third place. Stefan Kruse from Adrenalin Motorsport (#930) follows in second place with 121.5 points, having scored a fourth and a second place this weekend. Thanks to second place in Saturday's race and their first victory in Sunday's race, the brothers Leonard, Moritz and Niklas Oehme move up to third place with 116 points.
"On Saturday we were able to fight our way up to second place and on Sunday things went even better. For the first time, we won the AM-classification and even finished third in the Cup 3 overall standings. Finally, the hard work of the whole team is paying off. Now we are even more motivated and want to decide the AM-championship in our favour in the last two races," says Leonard Oehme, driver of the number 944.
Horst Baumann of Schmickler Performance (#950), who was leading the championship before the weekend, drops back to fourth place due to Sunday's retirement despite a second place on Saturday. With 103.5 points, however, he still has a chance of winning the title.
The next race of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring takes place in two weeks. The 55th ADAC Barbarossapreis on 23 September runs over a distance of four hours.
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