Class podium for W&S Motorsport after impressive catch-up race in the NLS
W&S Motorsport led by Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas travelled to the Nürburgring with a fleet of five Porsche. The third round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) season ended with a 16th position overall and second place in Cup2 of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN) for the AVIA racing Porsche 992 GT3 Cup #120 after an impressive recovery. The driver duo in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport #164 just missed the podium with fourth place in SP10 at their guest start in the series. The three Cup3 AM drivers in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #961 finished eighth in Cup3. The two Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #962 and #960 in Cup3-Pro had accidents.
Spring weather and cold temperatures made for almost perfect conditions during qualifying on Saturday morning. After 90 minutes, David Jahn, Paul Harkema and Tim Scheerbarth qualified for fourth on the grid with the AVIA racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 #120. An early faultless lap by Moritz Oberheim, who shares the cockpit with Marius Rauer and Finn Zulauf, secured pole position in Cup3 for the AVIA racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #960 in the closely contested Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring class. The Vöhringer Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #961 with the three AM drivers Jürgen Vöhringer, Sébastien Carcone and René Höber started the four-hour race from eleventh position. The CMS Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #962, driven by Philip Miemois, Niclas Wiedmann and Mauro Calamia qualified fifth. But it had an accident during qualifying and could not start. The driver was not injured in the incident. The guest starters in SP10, Max Kronberg and "Jens", put the Rodopi Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport #164 in seventh place in the field of GT4 cars.
At 12:00 on the dot, the lights unleashed the race through the Green Hell for the 130 participants and start driver Tim Scheerbarth began a battle for the top spot in Cup2. Paul Harkema had to let the gap to the leader slip a little after a contact due to a longer pit stop, but he did not let the gap get too big. In the final stint David Jahn took the wheel and brought the AVIA racing Porsche 992 GT3 Cup #120 across the finish line in 16th place overall and second in class. The AVIA W&S Motorsport driver trio is back in second place in the PETN standings.
Max Kronberg and "Jens" drove a faultless race in SP10 with the Rodopi Porsche Cayman GT4 #164 and were rewarded with fourth place in class. Jürgen Vöhringer, Sébastien Carcone and René Höber were also flawless over the distance of four hours and fought fair duels in the race to finally pass the chequered flag in eighth place in Cup3.
Finn Zulauf started the race from pole position and defended his position at the top of the class. Marius Rauer then climbed into the cockpit of the #960 AVIA racing Porsche Cayman GT4 and was on course for victory when he was involved in an accident with a slower competitor one hour before the end of the race and had to stop the car.
The Nürburgring Endurance Series takes a longer break after the first third of the season, during which the legendary 24h race at the Nürburgring will be held from 15 to 21 May. Race four of the NLS then kicks off the second third of the season on 17 June.
Quotes after the race
Daniel Schellhaas, Team Principal W&S Motorsport: "The first part of the NLS is behind us after an intense six weeks with three races. We experienced ups and downs and had two retirements due to driving errors, this must not happen to us when fighting for a championship! We will use the break and come back even stronger. The slip-up in Cup2 was also very unfortunate and cost us the win. Thanks to a clever team strategy, we still finished a close second and are still in contention for the title defence in PETN. It will be exciting with the double weekend over six hours each, where there is one and a half times the number of points. We will definitely stay ahead in the fight for the one-make cup in both classes. The competition in the PETN is incredibly close, but always fair. Manthey has created a really great platform here where we feel very well looked after. We are already looking forward to the next battles at NLS 4, then the season has finally begun for W&S Motorsport in the GT4 series."
Paul Harkema, Driver #120: "Thanks to the super work from the team, David and Tim, we were able to secure second place, only ten seconds behind, despite my mistake. The race was very exciting and intense and we were on the right strategy. We will fight for the class win again at the next race."
Max Kronberg, Driver #164: "My summary after the guest start with 'Jens' after a longer absence in the NLS is thoroughly positive. Seventh place on the grid with a gap of only two seconds to first place already showed how close things are in SP10. Of course a podium finish would have been nice, but to finish fourth is a strong result for a guest appearance on the Nordschleife. We had fun, the team worked really well and professionally, also with regard to the upcoming season in the GT4 European Series and the ADAC GT4 Germany. We were able to prepare ourselves accordingly. Next weekend in Monza our season will start properly, I am really looking forward to that!"
Jürgen Vöhringer, Driver #961: "After a long break, it was my first NLS race in 2023 and I was very happy to finally be back to support René and Sébastien. Thanks to an excellently prepared car, I also found my way back very quickly and felt comfortable. The support from Team W&S Motorsport was great as always, it was really fun! We narrowly missed seventh place and thus an AM podium. But at the next race we will be stepping on the throttle even more in order to finish even further ahead. Thanks to the whole team of Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas and of course to my two cockpit colleagues!"
Tim Scheerbarth and Paul Harkema clinched another podium finish for the AVIA W&S Motorsport team with second place in class at round eight of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS). After starting from second position, the duo in the AVIA racing Porsche 992 GT3 Cup #120 edged out their rivals in the highly competitive Cup2 class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN) to cross the finish line in seventh overall.read more
AVIA W&S Motorsport won last Saturday with Daniel Blickle and David Jahn in the AVIA racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 #120 and took the lead in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN). The driver duo finished the eighth round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) season in eighth place overall. In the V5 class, Niclas Wiedmann, Kevin Rembert and Dirk Biermann won with the Porsche Cayman #460.read more
The sixth round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series was held as a 12h race for the first time. AVIA W&S Motorsport claimed class victory with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 #120 and reduced the gap to first place in Cup 2 in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN) to just 4.5 points.read more