NLS: A class victory, a podium, and an engine failure for the Girls at the Green Hell
Live racing action was finally back with the first NLS (Nürnburgring Endurance Series) round 2020: plenty of female drivers were back at the Green Hell, in an action-packed race that brought some great achievements as well as some bad luck.
It was the first motorsport event in Germany after lockdown - everyone observed the new strict protocols and it was a success. The first major change was the big outdoor pitlane with plenty of room and then a quality livestream in both German and English for the fans at home.
And it was an action-packed race 4 hours race. Patrick Assenheimer and Marco Engel (Mercedes-AMG GT3) started from pole and waved off in the lead at the start-finish line, but a mistake on the last pit stop prevented their line-to-line victory. The squad received a time penalty of 37 seconds due to their shorter minimum servicing time and fell behind the David Pittard and Mikkel Jensen duo (BMW M6), who inherited the victory at the end.
The last podium place was an exciting fight between Fabian Schiller, Maximilian Buhk and Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG GT3) with Michele Beretta and Kim Louis Schramm (Audi R8 LMS GT3). Just few seconds divided the teams, but a collision from Beretta dropped him back to seventh place at the end of the race.
In the Cup 5 class, Francesco Merlini, Sindre Setsass, David Griessner and Yannick Fübrich took the victory.
Charlie Martin and her teammates Lutz Marc Rühl and Davide Bertello drove together for the first time as a team and for the first time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It was a calm race with no mistakes, resulting in a good 7th place at the end, in a class field of 12 cars.
P53 in the overall standings.
"P7 in race 1!" - wrote Charlie. "Solid result today, driving the start of the race was a pretty intense way to enter my first ever race at the Nordschleife!"
"Really happy with how I drove, I set my fastest laps yet and my teammates Lutz Rühl and Davide Bertello both did a mega job too - totally clean race and slick performance from all the crew Adrenalin Motorsport".
"It’s hard to put into words how much of a rush it is to drive here, until you experience it you can only really imagine" - she added.
"Can’t wait for NLS races 2 & 3, it’s a double header next month! Huge thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch and support today, you guys are the best and it means a lot to know you’re all cheering me on."
The victory was taken by Olaf Beckmann, Peter Hass and Volker Strycek. Anna and Dr. Romeo Loewe were on P5 out of 7 cars. After approximately two hours, they had a collision with the #949 team, but both cars managed to continue the race.
P101 in the overall standings.
It looked like the perfect second victory for the "Girls only team", but a mistake and a time penalty for Carrie Schreiner dropped the team with Célia Martin and Laura Kraihamer back to P2, behind Jörg Kittelmann and Wolfgang Weber out of 4 cars.
P43 in the overall standings.
"P2 in Race 1" - said Kraihamer via her social media feeds. "Content with the progress and work of the whole team of Girls only! A weekend full of new experiences and learnings. Growing as team and starting to understand the car better and better. Racing after such long time felt amazing - a shoutout to NLS for making this happen and to all the fans for supporting from home - you guys are awesome".
Siblings Michelle and Mike Halder started on pole, but an engine failure with Michelle behind the wheel took the team out of the race. With a 9:02.127 effort, they drove the fastest lap time in class.
"After a great start from my brother and a great pace we could keep our place on P1" - it were Michelle Halder's words after the season opener.
"Unfortunately, I had to park the car with engine failure on P1".
With just one starting car in this class, Carrie Schreiner and her teammates Niklas Kry and Henrik Bollerslev took the victory and the fastest lap time in class.
P64 in the overall standings.
SP9 AM class
It was a clear victory for Christian Kohlhaas, Nicolaj Rogivue and Stephan Köhler with a 1 lap gap to the second place. The last podium spot was taken by Janine Hill with her teammates Adam Osieka and John Shoffner.
P18 in the overall standings.
Sophia and Holger Gachot did not finish the race, while Norbert Fischer, Daniel Zils and Oskar Sandberg took the victory in class.
The series will resume in two weeks time with a double header: both the 60th Reinoldus-Endurance Race and the 52nd ADAC Barbarossapreis will feature 4-hour races.