Brink and Leisen takes NES title in a finale full of tragedy at Nürburgring

Brink and Leisen takes NES title in a finale full of tragedy at Nürburgring

10.10.2021: No scriptwriter could have thought it up better: The finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series on Saturday afternoon was not for the faint of heart or sensitive minds. Luck and bad luck, tragedy and triumph, drama and jubilation alternated almost every m


No scriptwriter could have thought it up better: The finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series on Saturday afternoon was not for the faint of heart or sensitive minds. Luck and bad luck, tragedy and triumph, drama and jubilation alternated almost every minute at the PAGID Racing 45th DMV Münsterlandpokal.



In the end, the laughing thirds took the trophy on the Nordschleife. Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen from Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive, driving with Christopher Rink in the V4 BMW, took their third NLS title after 2018 and 2020.



"It was a roller coaster of emotions today. I can't describe it in any other way. It's unbelievable. You have to honestly admit that we won happily. It's a bit difficult for me because I really would have wished it on our VT2 team as well," said team boss Matthias Unger incredulously, who initially had to watch the championship aspirants Christopher Rink, Philipp Stahlschmidt and Daniel Zils being robbed of all their chances 81 minutes before the end in the race that was shortened to 3:15 hours due to fog.



At this point, they were once again leading the VT2 class in the BMW 330i of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive. But then a rear left tire puncture shattered all dreams.



"I had firmly assumed that the issue was over. I was driving purely for fun. Shortly before the Döttinger Höhe, they told me over the radio to bring the old and new number one home. I thought they were pulling my leg. I couldn't believe it until the last second. We won the title as a threesome.



It was a tough decision for Christopher because he loves the car and because we're a well-coordinated team. Understandably, he tried to back the class with the most starters," said new and old champion Danny Brink about his teammate Rink, who ultimately backed the wrong horse.




Too short and standing time in the pits costs the title



Now the track was clear for Daniel Blickle, Tim Scheerbarth and Max Kronberg from Cup 3 in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS. They, too, had fought their way to the front in the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing from tenth on the grid in their class. Suddenly, they had one and a half hands on the championship trophy.



But never mind, a mishap during the pit stop cost the driver trio from W&S Motorsport the triumph that was within their grasp. 1.5 seconds were missing to reach the minimum standing time. That meant another stop in the pits. And the end of the fight for the title.



Brink and Leisen, meanwhile, headed for their eighth class win in the eighth race of the season with Rink. "This is unbelievable, just unbelievable. I came here this morning with no expectations at all. We drove totally carefree and free.


It was actually clear to me that this couldn't work anymore. In the end, we allowed ourselves one mistake less than the others," said Philipp Leisen - in the end, this was also the motto of the entire race which was won by Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler in the Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing.



Kolb delighted with first NLS victory after three and a half years



"That was a pretty chaotic day, shortened qualifying, shortened race, things went mixed for us then. But, with a bit of luck and bad luck for the others, it was enough to win. After three and a half years of hard work we were rewarded," said Kolb, delighted with his first NLS success ever.


Team-mate Stippler added: "It was extremely bumpy for us today. I kept getting stuck in my last stint, while the Lambo just managed to slip through. I'm particularly happy for Vincent that it worked out in the end. That's a nice development, he deserves it, even though you don't really want to win like that. But we'll keep our eye on the ball, and maybe next year we'll make it on our own."


 

Second and third place went to Sven Müller and Martin Ragginger in the Porsche 911 GT3 R from Falken Motorsports and Jordan Pepper and Axcil Jefferies in the Lamborghini GT3 Evo from Konrad Motorsport. Both teams fell behind the winners in the final standings due to a 35-second time penalty for yellow-flag overtaking, who had already secured victory in the Speed Trophy earlier after the BMW M6 GT3 of Daniel Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen was hit in lapped traffic and the car spun off the track.



"There was a lot of action on the track. For the spectators it was mega, that was a cool GT3 race. If there was something going on, we'll have to take a look. For us, we crossed the finish line first," said Martin Ragginger a little defiantly.



Teammate Sven Müller, who was able to work his way up from ninth to third place right after the start, agreed with him: "Especially at the start we were able to attack well. The first stint was the best I've ever had on the Nordschleife. The few lead kilometers later were also very cool. It was an exciting race. Sometimes there's a yellow flag in the blind spot, but I don't believe it until I see it on the onboard."



The pole position had previously been secured by South African Pepper in 8:02.930 minutes. "We accept the penalties, the race stewards make the decisions. I'm still very happy. Pole position clinched and third place on my return to the Nordschleife is certainly not a bad result for the day. Big thanks to Axcil, who got me into the car at short notice. I'm looking forward to seeing you again," said the former Bentley factory driver.



The Nürburgring Endurance Series has concluded its 45th season. The new season will start on March 26, 2022. In the meantime, drivers, teams and fans will pass the time in the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series, among others.


Season 3 of the virtual Nordschleife championship starts on November 7. Until March, a total of five races are scheduled in the iRacing simulation.


- KS Media photos VLN

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10.10.2021 / MaP

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