Outstanding Christian Krognes leads Walkenhorst to first win of the season at Nürburgring

Outstanding Christian Krognes leads Walkenhorst to first win of the season at Nürburgring

12.07.2021: Crowning finale to an eventful double-header in the Nürburgring Endurance Series: Walkenhorst Motorsport secured its first win of the season with drivers Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Ben Tuck in the BMW M6 GT3.


Crowning finale to an eventful double-header in the Nürburgring Endurance Series: Walkenhorst Motorsport secured its first win of the season with drivers Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Ben Tuck in the BMW M6 GT3.

The podium places were completed by Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 from Phoenix Racing in second place and Dennis Olsen, Tobias Müller and Alessio Picariello in the Falken-Porsche 911 GT3 R in third.



There was also a battle for the championship: Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive regained the championship lead with series winners Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen.


What a jack-of-all-trades! Christian Krognes was the main actor at NLS 6. The 44th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen was all about the Norwegian, who set two special scent marks in one day. The 31-year-old caused a sensation even before the start on Sunday.


In the BMW M6 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport, the man from Hamar drove an outstanding lap around the Nordschleife. 7:51.807 minutes meant a new unofficial lap record. Exuberant joy for Krognes, who hastily climbed out of the car and ecstatically banged on the roof of his GT3 bolide several times.


But that was not enough. In a thrilling final phase, Krognes finally secured the long-awaited first overall victory in the Nordschleife championship, after having been on the podium nine times before. For team-mate Ben Tuck it was also the premiere victory, David Pittard enjoyed the champagne shower for the second time.


"The first overall win and unofficial lap record. You can't achieve more in one day. We have had a year full of challenges so far. But, this time everything worked perfectly. The car was extremely strong. The last laps were very exciting for me. For a short moment, they said the Audi of Vincent Kolb in front of me would get a time penalty and I thought we were safe in first place in second.


Then I got the news that the penalty had been withdrawn and that I would have to overtake him after all. I pushed hard again. And, what can I say, it worked. It was a great feeling," said Christian Krognes, whose duel with Kolb in the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 had the spectators holding their breath several times in the final laps. After third place on the previous day of the double-header, the man from Frankfurt consoled himself with team-mate Frank Stippler with second place.


"It was a very fair battle with Christian in the last laps. He came close every now and then, but at some point I couldn't keep up the speed and close the gap. Too bad. But it was really exciting, I learned a lot and it was a lot of fun. In the end, I had a little trouble in traffic.



We can count ourselves very lucky with second place. We have been on the podium three times in a row in the NLS, so our performance in the last few weeks has been extremely good," said Vincent Kolb.


Straight onto the podium in just the fourth race in the NLS "premier class": Tobias Müller's day at work in the Porsche 911 GT3 R from Falken Motorsports also went very well. For a long time, the 23-year-old had no idea of his good fortune. "I didn't know my exact placing until one kilometre before the finish line. Then I found out that the Lamborghini behind us was in P4.


With less than half a litre of petrol I still made it to the Parc Fermé," the Euskirchener told. "Even though you can't see it on my face, I'm very upset inside. I can't quite realise it at the moment. I am just overwhelmed. It was an exciting last stint.



 In the first two hours of the race we were out of range and lost a lot of time, there were vibrations on the car, we had to check that briefly. That pushed us back a bit," said Müller, who clinched the win together with Dennis Olsen and Alessio Picariello.


The situation was completely different in the BMW Juniors camp. Shortly before the end of qualifying, the winners of NLS 4 and NLS 5 were forced to retire early. At the Hohe Acht, Daniel Harper lost control of the BMW M6 GT3 and hit the crash barrier.


The car in the line-up of Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen was thus missing from the starting grid. Due to their retirement, the BMW Juniors also had to relinquish the lead in the NLS Speed Trophy to Phoenix Racing.


After finishing second in NLS 5, Haupt Racing Team Bilstein only ended up in ninth place on Sunday. For team boss Hubert Haupt as well as Manuel Metzger and Patrick Assenheimer, who had improved by four places to third at the start, the race was over just a few minutes later.


This was because there was a contact with the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Team WTM powered by Phoenix driven by Jochen Krumbach in the AMG Arena. This had serious consequences, because a completely bent tailpipe of the exhaust caused a considerable loss of power. This meant that another trio, who had been on the podium the day before, was out of the race for victory at an early stage.



In SP9 Pro-Am and SP9 Am, the picture at the top was unchanged compared to Saturday: Lorenzo Rocco, Patrick Kolb, Mattia Drudi and Milan Dontje won again in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport, in SP9 Am the series winners Janine Shoffner and Moritz Kranz were again on the spot.



In the VT2 class, the most crowded with 19 cars starting, Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive with Philipp Stahlschmidt, Christopher Rink and Daniel Zils won for the third time this season. In Cup 3, the NLS overall leaders to date, Daniel Blickle, Tim Scheerbarth and Max Kronberg of W&S Motorsport, finished second in their Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS due to a 3:05 minute penalty after a speeding offence in a Code 60 zone.

 

Ben Bünnagel, Nico Otto and Nick Wüstenhagen from FK Performance Motorsport benefited from this in this class. In the overall standings, reigning champions Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen, driving with Christopher Rink, moved back into first place with 47.60 points in their BMW 325i, 0.36 points ahead of Blickle/Scheerbarth/Kronberg.



The Nürburgring Endurance Series now enters a two-month summer break. The next highlight of the season, the ROWE ADAC 6h Ruhr-Pokal race, is scheduled for 11 September. The two-hour longer distance means 50 per cent more racing action in the Green Hell.



KS Media photos VLN







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12.07.2021 / MaP

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