A last dance in the Fog for NLS in 2021
Fog and delays marked the final 2021 round of NLS, but a class win and a class podium were clinched by two of the four teams lining up female drivers.
The last race of the 2021 season of NLS was affected by fog and a shorted race distance after delays during the first sessions. It wasn't until 11:07 local time that practice could be started, 8 minutes before the 45-minute qualifying and with the race start scheduled for 13:45.
The new race distance was set to 165 minutes - but it would change one more time to 195 minutes.
Fastest in the qualifying session was the #7 team of Jefferies/Pepper (Lamborghini GT3 Evo), ahead of the #30 of Abbelen/Laser/Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R) and the #38 Beretta/De Leener/Cairoli (Porsche 911 GT3 R).
The #7 car was able to defend their lead ahead of the #38, which had the better start and took over second place. There was bad luck for the #30, as they made contact with the #70 driven by Müller/Trefz/Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3) - the latter missing their braking point at turn 1. Ahead, the #38 and the #4 car of Ragginger/Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R) put pressure on Pepper in the #7 Lamborghini. Beretta (#38) tried to pass Pepper, but it was Müller who overtook both and led the race.
Drama after two hours, when the #38 Porsche was forced to retire due a technical issue. But the title fight was on fire, as the #481 driven by Stahlschmidt/Rink/Zils (BMW 330i) had a puncture and lost many laps as they slowly returned to the pits. At that moment, the #960 Blickle/Scheerbarth/Kronberg (Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS) was in contention to win the title, but their last pit stop was 1,5 seconds under the minimum service time and they were forced to come in again.
Ultimately, the #5 Kolb/Stippler (Audi R8 LMS GT3) won the final round of the 2021 NLS season, ahead of the #4 Ragginger/Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R) and the #7 car of Jefferies / Pepper (Lamborghini GT3 Evo). Philipp Leisen and Danny Brink (Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive) were thus crowned series champion.
Here's a look to the other classes, where four women were competing in NLS 9.
Cup 5 - Christina Nielsen
Unfortunately, Yeeti Racing - which lined up Christina Nielsen with Domenico Solombrino, Phil Hill and Thomas Krebs ended their race with a DNF.
H2 - Dr. Anna Loewe
Dr. Anna and Romeo Loewe finished 4th in class.
H4 - Chantal Prinz
As only car in the H4 class, Chantal and Alexander Prinz, Martin and Michael Kroll finished the race and took home another victory.
SP3T - Michelle Halder
The successfull Halder siblings add another podium to their records, as they finished in third place with their Seat Cupra by Halder Motorsport. Mike Halder and Michelle Halder brought back the car gaining a few places from their starting position, having started 5th in the SP3T class after qualifying.
"Despite being late due to heavy fog, it went well for us today." - said Michelle.
"We finished the qualifying due to many Code 60 phases on P5."
"This time Mike drove the start and could directly make up some places. After Mike had finished his first stint, I was allowed to get into the car. After another driver change, Mike brought the car to the finish in P3. Many thanks to our team, who did a great job again."
Michelle Halder will now focus on TCR Spain, hosting its final race at Circuit the Catalunya, Barcelona, on 13-14 November.
The NLS 2021 season is now over, but we will continue to follow the Nordschleife-based series in 2022 for more women competing at the Green Hell.