Victory, second place and pole position for AVIA W&S Motorsport at the season opener of the NLS 2023
W&S Motorsport made a perfect start at the first round of the 2023 Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS). In the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN), Tim Scheerbarth and Paul Harkema in the AVIA racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 #120 took their first win of the season in the Cup2 class and finished in a strong 15th place overall. In Cup3, the AVIA Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #960 of Marius Rauer, Finn Zulauf and Moritz Oberheim finished second and took 28th overall. With positions four (#962) and eight (#961) for the two other Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS in Cup3, the quartet from W&S Motorsport had an excellent start to the season and finished without incident.
Saturday morning saw qualifying over 90 minutes and the choice of the right tyres was crucial for the grid positions after the rain the night before and a wet track. Tim Scheerbarth put the AVIA racing Porsche 992 GT3 Cup #120 on the fourth starting position of the top-class field with 13 participants in Cup2. After a brilliant lap, Moritz Oberheim took pole position in the Cup3 class with the AVIA racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #960 and he tackled the first race of the season from the front row of the second starting group. The CMS Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #962 of Niclas Wiedmann, Mauro Calamia and Philip Miemois started from fourth position and the Vöhringer Porsche Cayman GT4 CS #961 of René Höber and Sebastien Carcone from tenth.
Scheerbarth got off to a perfect start in the AVIA racing Porsche 992 GT3 Cup #120 and the Nordschleife expert took the lead in class during his stint. Dutchman Paul Harkema seamlessly continued the performance of his driver colleague and handed the car over to Scheerbarth at the end of the race, still in the lead. After a spectacular battle in the last lap, Scheerbarth kept the tension up until the end and crossed the finish line as the best Cup2 Porsche, also thanks to the team's clever tactics and flawless pit stops.
Starting from the Cup3 pole position, Moritz Oberheim in the AVIA racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS #960 was able to pull away from the pack early on and build up a gap. Marius Rauer took over the wheel and maintained the lead for a long time, while the incidents increased towards the halfway point of the race and double yellow and code 60 zones on the Nordschleife slowed him down at times. At the last hour of the race, Finn Zulauf climbed into the cockpit to chase the leader in second place. The talented young driver continued to defend himself against his pursuers and crossed the finish line in second place in Cup3.
The newly entered W&S Motorsport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #962 in CMS design was driven by Mauro Calamia, Philip Miemois and Niclas Wiedmann. Calamia, the reigning Cup3 champion, showed all his experience with the car. He defended fourth place on the grid with aplomb and was in second position behind the sister car #960 for a long time in the first hour of the race. A code 60 zone that was unfortunate for him then became Calamia's fate and he came into the pits in fourth place. Wiedmann took over the CMS Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS at the pit stop and made his debut in the GT4 class. The 21-year-old was able to demonstrate his strong performance again, as he had done in qualifying when he was in first place temporarily, and improved continuously during his stint. Miemois, who has already contested one season in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS, skilfully kept up with the leading trio and narrowly missed out on the podium with fourth place.
After René Höber and Sébastien Carcone had to drive the Vöhringer Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS #961 as a duo over the four-hour race distance at short notice, Höber started the race from tenth place on the grid and gained many places in the first hour of the race. Carcone then took over the wheel and handed back to his teammate after a short stint. The duo finished eighth in the PETN's strongly contested Cup3 class.
In less than two weeks (01.04.2023), W&S Motorsport will confidently continue to chase for points in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring at the second round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series.
Quotes after the race
Daniel Schellhaas, Team Principal W&S Motorsport: "The first race is in the books and went great with all four cars. Our thanks and praise go to our drivers and the entire crew, who did a top job. Congratulations to Tim and Paul on their well-deserved class win after an exciting finish. Also congratulations to the Cup3 drivers, who without exception all showed a super performance. We are satisfied with the podium and fourth place, but we will analyse what we can improve before the second race. I think even stronger results are possible then. Our new drivers Paul, Mauro, Moritz and Philip fit perfectly into the team and were mega strong at the wheel. I am confident that a lot can still happen this season!"
Patrick Wagner, Team Principal W&S Motorsport: "We were able to implement the experience gained from last year for this season. The restructuring of the pit team and the new trailer with additional workstations for the drivers and engineers for data analysis were the right step to set us up even more professionally. The strategy with the stops and the strong drivers resulted in a win, a podium and two other very good finishes. The first weekend went smoothly and now we can already concentrate on the preparations for the next race. Congratulations and thanks to our entire W&S Motorsport crew!"
Paul Harkema, Driver #120: "First race with a new team and immediately the first win! It was just great and the car was set up excellently. Tim was extremely strong at the wheel and I had great laps as well. It was a successful weekend and I am looking forward to building on that and keeping the lead in Cup2."
Moritz Oberheim, Driver #960: "It was a good start to the season with AVIA W&S Motorsport and I am very happy. We were able to score pole position and take home important championship points with second place. My two cockpit mates Marius and Finn were super fast and if we all play to our potential a little more, there is even more possible. That makes me feel positive for the rest of the season. Thanks to the team who gave me such a warm welcome and provided us with a top car."
René Höber, Driver #961: "Eighth place at the end is a satisfactory result after a tough race. I was already a bit unlucky in qualifying, because on a wet track I was on my fast and promising lap when I was slowed down due to an accident on track. I then started the race from tenth position and managed to move up to seventh. After a change of strategy, my second stint was moved forward and I was behind the wheel for almost three hours. Now I am looking forward with confidence to race two, where we will then start as a trio and attack again."
Niclas Wiedmann, Driver #962: "My first race in the GT4 class was great right from the start. I was able to set very good times in qualifying and felt very comfortable in the car. At times I was even on pole position, certainly also due to the good preparation in the W&S Motorsport simulator. Then we had a bit of bad luck in the race. That's why we shouldn't complain about fourth place, but be happy about it. Super work from the team and my colleagues Mauro and Philip, who are really strong and have brought us so far forward. The whole Cup3 field is very close together and promises more fierce competitions. Next time we want to fight for the win again!"
The fifth round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series was a great success for W&S Motorsport. At the 6 Hours ADAC Ruhr Cup Race, the driver trio of Daniel Blickle, Tim Scheerbarth and David Jahn won the Cup 2 class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN) with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 #120 and finished the race in ninth place 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 67th ADAC Westfalenfahrt on Saturday (26.03.2022) marked a successful start to the Nürburgring Endurance Series season for W&S Motorsport. All four Porsche cars entered by the team of Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas crossed the finish line without any faults and the team was rewarded with two third places in their class. The spearhead of the fleet, the AVIA racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 #120 with Daniel Blickle, Tim Scheerbarth and Ralf Schall at the wheel, finished third in the Cup2 class and 18th overall.read more