Challeging weekend for the Kreutzpointner Twins at Norisring in BMW M2 Cup
The famous Norisring street circuit played host to the BMW M2 Cup round in a festival-like event. At their second appearance in the series this year, twins Alesia and Jacqueline Kreutzpointner had a great start of the weekend and pace to fight around the top-five, but then battled with technical issues that made for a challenging weekend.
A rainy day welcomed the teams and race fans at the famous Norisring, where the field of the BMW M2 Cup gathered for round 3 and 4 of its second racing season. And, on home soil, BMW celebrated its 50th anniversary with many special guests at the festival-like event. Among the drivers on the starting grid were Alesia and Jacqueline Kreutzpointer - the two fast twins at their second season in the championship who made a return behind the wheel of the M2 CS Racing challenger for their second appearance this year.
Since its inception, the series has been pioneering a format to make the competition fairer, which includes a random draw to assign cars each weekend.
"Can't wait to be back on such a unique racetrack!"- said Jacqueline Kreutzpointner.
Free practice and qualifying took place on a wet Friday, which was the chance for many drivers to learn the street circuit in such conditions. Maxime Oosten was the best at this task and scored pole position ahead of Tom Nittel and Fabian Kreim. Jacqueline Kreutzpointer - who had some really impressive practice sessions with appearances in the top five - kept momentum on this track and was tenth fastest, while Alesia Kreutzpointer would start from 14th place.
On the other hand, the first race day saw the cars hitting the track under the sun and with warm temperatures; Oosten held the lead as the lights went out and, without meeting troubles, he won the BMW M2 Cup Race 1 at ahead of Nittel and Kreim, as the top three remained unchanged.
While it was a quiet race in the leading group, the midfield had plenty of action: Bart Horsten came from 11th to 7th place and brought home the rookie victory. Alesia Kreutzpointer finished P12, while her sister Jacqueline - who had a great getaway - was running well until she got hit on the side of her car by Diego Stifter, who moved to the right as they battled side-by-side. There was no chance for Jacqueline to continue and she parked her BMW on the side of the track. Later, she had to make a visit to the local hospital as she had x-rays at her hand.
"What a weekend. One of the toughest for me in motorsport", she said.
"Started really good with a Top 5 result in Practice and P2 under wet conditions. It continued with an early 6th place in the first race until my car lost its power and I had no chance. Later in the race another driver missed me and crashed into me", she continued.
"When I stopped the car, my hand swelled so much that the doctors sent me to the hospital. The result: A hand fracture." - Jacqueline Kreutzpointner summed up.
The good news on Sunday morning was that Jacqueline Kreutzpointner was allowed to start the race after the injury and she was assigned a new car.
Race 2 started with Oosten again in pole position, ahead of Müller and Nittel. Oosten was unchallenged into the first corner and held the lead, but behind him there was drama all across the field. Nittel made contact with the wall and stopped on track, while Michal Makes went wide, missed the turn and stopped on track as well. The first safety car was deployed and preceded race leader Oosten, Marc David Müller and Fabian Kreim.
With many position changes, the action was non-stop after the restart; Stifter had to pit due to technical issues, Leonard Hoogenboom crashed into the wall but was able to limp back to the pits. Some minutes later, Aaron Wenisch stopped on track, triggering the second safety car of the race.
Second-placed Kreim was on a hunt to catch race leader Oosten, and the neutralization gave him a chance at the restart. Additionally, the leading group had to manage the traffic of the lapped cars, with Stifter wanting to let the pack through, ending up unintentionally slowing everyone before the start-finish-line.
Oosten and Kreim pulled away and left a heated fight for the final podium position. Jacqueline Kreutzpointner passed her sister Alesia for P10 at the restart, on her way to claim more points after an overall challenging weekend.
Ultimately, Oosten was able to manage his lead to win the second race at the Norising, finishing ahead of Kreim and Lorenz Stegmann - who was the biggest winner at the restart and made the most out of the slowing slow car of Stifter.
Jacqueline Kreutzpointer finished 10th and Alesia, who was on P11, returned to the pits at the final lap for a technical problem, but was classified in 11th place.
"Bad luck for me. Unfortunately I lost power due to an overheated engine in the first race. In the second race my gearbox failed and I couldn't finish the race." - Alesia Kreutzpointner commented.
The next race of the BMW M2 Cup will take place at the Nürburgring from 26th to 28th August, hopefully with Alesia and Jacqueline again behind the wheel of the BMW M2 cars.