NLS: Victory for Kreutzpointner Twins, Jilkóvá back on class podium
The previously cancelled NLS round finally took place last weekend and, after a fog delay in qualifying, the NIMEX DMV 4h Race was a flawless run for the three female drivers on the grid: Jacqueline and Alesia Kreutzpointer took class win, while Gabriela Jilkóvá was third in V5 class - an important result to gain Permit A.
The 46th NIMEX DMV 4h Race, second Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) round was initially scheduled for April but couldn't take place due to adverse weather conditions at the Green Hell and therefore rescheduled for November.
Despite the difficult time of the year at the Eifel, the race could be contested without troubles after a slight delay in qualifying, when a thick layer of fog halted the action in the morning.
In an overall smaller field for the final round of the year, three female drivers would get behind the wheel: in the #632 BMW M2 CS Racing from Four Motors Bioconcept-Car, Alesia and Jacqueline Kreutzpointner, together with BMW M2 Cup champion Maxime Oosten.
The fast Kreutzpointner twins have been racing in the BMW one-make series in support of DTM in the past two seasons and showed great improvements, with both drivers scoring consistently top ten finishes.
"We did the last NLS run to get some permit laps", Jacqueline told us. "We want to do more endurance races in the future and need the A Permit for that."
"Therefore, our goal was definitely just to finish and gain experience. Together with our team we decided to drive a BMW M2 Cup because we know the car very well", she continued.
The team choice was also not accidental either: Jacqueline and Alesia's father, Fritz Kreutzpointner, has been one of the protagonists of the great DTM era in the 90s.
"We planned the race together with Four Motors because there is a nice story behind it", explained Jacqueline. "In 1992 my dad drove with Four Motors' team boss Thomas von Löwis in the same team in the DTM in a BMW."
Furthermore, the #632 BMW M2 ran the entire race sustainably, as it was powered by the E20 high-performance fuel from CropEnergies.
The Kreutzpointner twins were not the only female drivers in the field, as Czech racer Gabriela Jilkóvá returned to the Ring in the #437 Porsche Cayman by PROsport-Racing, sharing the wheel with Ivan Peklin and Hugo Sasse - as she aimed for the Permit A.
The story of the race
After the fog-delayed qualifying, on-track started at 9 am and the session was shortened to 60 minutes. The #5 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Kolb/Stippler was fastest overall and claimed pole position. The #632 BMW M2 driven by Alesia and Jaqueline Kreutzpointer had a brilliant qualifying and started from pole in class.
"Qualifying went very well for us" - Jacqueline said. "We had a very good strategy on a drying track and managed to get the pole position in our class and 33rd overall".
Gabriela Jilkóvá also had a good qualifying run and would start from third in the V5 class.
At the start of the final NLS race of the season, the #120 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Daniel Blickle and David Jahn snatched the lead at the first corner, but was spun around by the pole sitting #5 Audi, which meant that the #107 Porsche, driven by Hoffmeister/Boccolacci/Stil, took over the lead.
After just one lap around the Nordschleife, though, the #5 Audi was back on top of the leaderboard, ahead of the #34 Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 (Krognes/Trogen) and the #16 Scherer Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Giermaziak/Schramm). A three-car battle for the lead followed, until the #5 Scherer Sport Audi was handed a stop-and-go-penalty for the collision at the start with the #120 AVIA Porsche.
After the first round of pit stops, the #34 Walkenhorst BMW emerged in the lead, while the #5 Audi fought back to P3 on lap 12. The #34 BMW was fast - as Christian Krognes set the fastest lap with 7:49.578 - but lost significant time due to a technical problem during the refueling, thus dropping back to third. Its fast pace, though, allowed him to catch back up with the leading group.
At the end of the four hour race, the #16 Scherer Sport team Phoenix Audi of Giermaziak and Schramm took overall victory, ahead of the #5 sister car of Kolb and Stippler and the #34 BMW driven by Krognes and Trogen.
Alesia and Jacqueline Kreutzpointer - teaming up with Maxime Oosten in Four Motors Bioconcept-Car's BMW M2 CS Racing - continued a great weekend with a flawless race around the Green Hell. After setting pole position in class, in an impressive 33d place overall, the trio battled their way to a class victory.
"The race went almost perfectly" - Jacqueline summed up.
"Unfortunately, our BMW only has an 80L tank. Therefore we had to pit once more than many other teams", she explained. "But Alesia, Maxime and I drove fast and consistent lap times and made no mistakes."
Jacqueline and Alesia Kreutzpointner swept the competition in class and finished P33 overall, also claiming the Ladies Trophy.
"I am more than happy with the team, who did a great job. Also with Maxime and Alesia" - Jacqueline continued. "I am thrilled with the Nordschleife and hope to race here again very soon."
"The whole weekend was a lot of fun and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity."
In the V5 class, GT4 ace Gabriela Jilkóvá teamed up with Ivan Peklin and Hugo Sasse in PROsport-Racing Porsche Cayman, as 'Quick-Gabi' aimed for the Permit A.
A strong result in qualifying gained them third place on the grid and 59th overall.
With a great effort from the whole team, the #437 Porsche Cayman climbed the overall standings and completed the four-hour race in P45 overall, retaining third in class.
The class podium gained all three drivers the Permit A.
Many new challenges await Jilkóvá, who is also set to contest a GT4 program with PROsport-Racing.