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Tight decisions in the classes

Racereport Nürburgring 31.07.2022 Fourth win for Viszokay/Lengyel/Piana

At the sixth round of the DMV NES 500, Viszokay/Lengyel/Piana (BMW M4 GT4) secured their fourth win of the season. The trio relegated Benny Leuchter (VW Golf GTI TCR) and Koen de Wit (BMW M4 GT4) to the next places at the Nürburgring.

This year, the DMV NES 500 is a good place for the Hungarian BMW team around Arpad Viszokay, Adam Lengyel and Gabriele Piana. The fourth success of the season was definitely a hard piece of work. From the third lap, the trio took the lead. The team delayed the first mandatory stop for a long time. Gabriele Piana only came into the pits after more than 1.14 hours of driving. A little too late, as Arpad Viszokay admitted: “We missed making the first stop on time and had used too much fuel. After that we spent too much time in the pits to refuel.” The small lapse cost us around 30 seconds. As a result, Koen de Wit and Benny Leuchter passed the BMW M4.

When shortly afterwards Leuchter and de Wit made their second stop, the lead changed again. After the second pit stop phase, the order was Leuchter ahead of de Wit and Viszokay/ Lengyel /Piana. While the third-placed drivers completed a very short stint, Leuchter and de Wit only stopped a few laps later. Meanwhile, final driver Gabriele Piana picked up the pace again. And the final spurt should be worth it. In the 86th lap, Leuchter re-entered the track behind Piana. He continued to keep the pace high so that the gap in second place increased to over 29 seconds and brought victory. “I think the pace was okay for all three of us. We made a small mistake during the pit stop. But we knew that we had the necessary pace to correct that on the track. Then everything went well and we had our next win,” said Adam Lengyel. “We had to work hard to regain our position. That was a bit difficult,” agreed Viszokay.

As expected, Benny Leuchter was the strong opponent for overall victory. Despite 21 laps in the lead, Leuchter had to settle for second place ahead of Koen de Wit. "I'm a little disappointed. But to be fair, I have to say that the car in front of me didn't stand a chance on this track. The vehicle is simply superior here on this stop and go route. So all good. I was able to finish P2 overall and win the class. Basically satisfied, but a bit disappointed that we weren't able to fight for victory on our own,” said Benny Leuchter. With second place, Leuchter also celebrated victory in the well-filled NES 8. Since teammates Xavier/Dawson/Constantini saw the finish line in seventh place, it was a double victory for the Max Kruse Racing team. In addition, the trio cleared the title in the NES 8 early. “We won the championship in the NES 8. That was our priority here at the Nürburgring. I'm very pleased that the boys were able to win the championship title in the NES 8 in their very first season," said Leuchter.

Schnitzelalm Racing prevailed in the NES 6

The NES 7 once again became the safe prey of Rolf Becker and Stefan Schmickler (Porsche 991). Behind the NES 9 cars of Luther/Schmickler (BMW M4 GT4) and Reiter/Müller/Böhnisch (Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS) it was enough for sixth place in the overall classification. Michael Neuhauser (BMW M135i) and Driescher/Baum (BMW M240i Evo) secured the other podium places.

The NES 6 was fully booked this weekend, where a total of seven teams competed. After three hours, victory for Neuser/Härtling/Marchewicz/Böckmann with a two-lap lead over teammates Kolb/Hahnenkamm/Büsker/Kieslich and Steinacker/Abée/Nagy (all BMW M240i RC) was a clear affair, but it was not really easy. Especially at the beginning, the BMW of Steinacker/Abée/Nagy stuck to the rear of starter Marcel Marchewicz. Only as the race progressed did Marchewicz pull away from his pursuers. The leader came to his mandatory stop with a lead of just over seven seconds, while Steinacker/Abée/Nagy stayed a few more laps on the track.

While Jay Mo Härtling constantly increased the gap with fast lap times, those in second place came under increasing pressure from the second Schnitzelalm Racing BMW. After half the distance, the two places were not even separated by a second. That could only be right for Tim Neuser, who finally handed over the M240i RC to Tim Böckmann with a good lead. He completed what his three teammates had done. “My job was quite relaxed because my teammates had done some good preparatory work. Don't break anything and see the checkered flag. I managed that. I'm super happy. The whole team did a great job. Marcel Marchewicz, on the other hand, had more work to do: “The start was generally good. The second was initially able to keep up. I tried to set good lap times, pull away a bit and gain a little lead.” Behind them, Kolb/Hahnenkamm/Büsker/Kieslich caught up with Steinacker/Abée/Nagy, who had been in second place for a long time.

In the NES 5, after two second places, Rob Nieman and Simon Knap (Renault Clio 4) achieved their third class victory. As is so often the case, Philipp Eis and Pia Ohlsson were the closest opponents, but after the Scirocco had problems towards the end, the drop was over. As a result, Borcheld/Richert (BMW M3 E36) also came in third.

The NES 4 went to Backus/Drasal/Sauerbrei, who used the Mercedes C300 for the second time after Assen. A gripping finale took place in the NES 3. Thomas Röpke actually gave the direction – secure second place. But Alex Pavlow turned up the heat again after the pit stop. Lap by lap he reduced the gap to his teammates Heidrich/Volmer (both BMW 328i ST E36). Shortly before the end, Pavlov passed and even increased the gap. Disillusionment came soon after. Because the pit stop was too short, there was an additional ten second penalty. Heidrich/Volmer also got penalty seconds – but only five seconds. That narrowly secured the duo victory. Third place went to Obermann/Blum/Bock/Rosam in the Awesome Racing BMW 325iS E90. “In the end it was a tough fight. We got everything out of there. But the tires were pretty much done. I also braked badly. The opponent had a good chance of overtaking. It was a shame for him that he got the penalty in the end,” said Dirk Volmer. After a lot of bad luck in the course of the season so far, Martin Heidrich was happy about the victory. “Technically, everything was top. We had run over the tires partially. There were a lot of duels, so that can happen. We are happy that we arrived error-free and without breakdowns.”

Trembling in the NES 1+2

So far, Igor Rodella and Michel Dänzer have been unbeatable with their Suzuki Swift. In the Eifel, a whole pack of BMW 318ti Cup vehicles confronted the two Swiss. Above all, Paul Heinisch and Ioannis Smyrlis turned out to be strong opponents. So the Suzuki team, spoiled by victory, had to settle for fourth place in its class. Because both Hermann/Hermann/Hermann and Berrenberg/Bodin/Henggeler had pushed themselves in front of the Suzuki. Around 45 minutes before the end of the race, Heinisch/Smyrlis had established themselves at the top with the improved Cup 318. When Heinisch was supposed to take over for the last stint, the BMW suddenly wouldn't start anymore. It took some time until a loose ground cable was identified and fixed as the culprit.

Rodella/Dänzer used the time to take the lead. However, the last few kilometers were also torture for the Swiss. Clutch problems, servo failure and a gradual flat tire almost prevented the next victory. But Igor Rodella saved the Suzuki from Berrenberg/Bodin/Henggeler and Beckwermert/Micheel/Bedbur to the finish. “In the beginning we had to fight really hard not to fall too far behind. We slowly fought our way back to the other cars.

At the end we were a bit lucky because the other team had a technical problem,” said Michel Dänzer. A visibly exhausted Igor Rodella reported: “My first stint was actually pretty good. I was able to keep up the pace and caught up quite a bit. From the third lap I had no more servo. This got worse and worse. I rode the last ten laps without assistance. It was still very hot. The last two laps I had extreme vibrations in the front. Creeping flatfoot. In the end it was really lucky.”

After the gripping race at the Nürburgring, there is some time to breathe deeply. The next race is from 9.-10. September, where the final decisions will fall at the Lausitzring.



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