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Zolder premiere for the DMV NES 500

Racereport Zolder 24.04.2022

At the Zolder premiere of the DMV NES 500, Arpad Viszokay and Adam Lengley (BMW M4 GT4) celebrated victory ahead of their brand colleagues Michael Luther and Jan Kortüm. The two Danes Jesper Henriksen and Frederik Vodder secured third place in the Audi RS3 LMS TCR.

Things got tight again towards the end of the 3-hour distance, but in the end Arpad Viszokay and Adam Lengley celebrated their second overall victory in the DMV NES 500. Even without Gabriele Piana, the BMW duo made a strong showing at the beginning. Heiko Hammel had won the start, but the M4 GT4 was hot on the heels of the leader. Starting driver Adam Lengley, who was still on the Nordschleife the day before, accelerated and increasingly pulled away from Hammel. After around half an hour, the Hungarian BMW driver had got up a lead of more than five seconds. Shortly thereafter, the Code 60 signs went out. The timing was bad for both Lengley and Hammel. While Hammel was late pitting, Lengley stayed one lap longer on the track. When the leader came in to stop, the pink signs were caught up again shortly afterwards. Having dropped back to fourth place, the two had to rush to catch up.

While Viszokay/Lengley picked up more and more speed, Hammel/Nehls didn’t have any luck in the leading position. First, Petry/Kiedrowski was hit with a gearbox failure in the fast BMW M3 E90. Only two laps later, the Opel Astra TCR from Hammel/Nehls also disappeared into the pits. About an hour before the end of the race, the eventual winners had taken first place again. Luther/Kortüm and Henriksen/Vodder followed a lap behind. It got exciting again at the end when the M4 GT4 suddenly slowed down with the brakes slacking off. But Viszokay/Lengley crossed the finish line with a lead of 8.781 seconds. A race without mistakes brought Luther/Kortüm the second place overall, just like at the start of the season in Hockenheim. In the early stages, Luther, who had started the race from sixth on the grid, made up positions and secured the fourth place. Luther caught the Code 60 phase at the best time. Halfway through the race, the duo was in third position before both leaders retired. The two could not keep up with Viszokay/Lengley, but with the second place there was still a strong result to celebrate. “I got a bit stuck at first, but then I was able to improve step by step and move up the field. It was an easy race overall with relatively little traffic. We caught the Code 60 phase well. I was 300 meters from the entrance when it was announced," said Luther. Jan Kortüm added: “I'm used to taking over a nice car from Michael in the race. It was the same this time. It was well prepared and drove great. Of course, luck is also part of a race like this.”

NES 8 victory goes to Denmark

Jesper Henriksen and Frederik Vodder had the NES 8 firmly under control after Hammel/Nehls dropped out. “We had a good race at Zolder. We had good pace throughout the race and absolutely no problems,” reported the two danes who relegated Xavier/Dawson/Costantini to the second place in the VW Golf GTI TCR run by Max Kruse Racing while Hammel/Nehls just managed to score and collect important championship points for their third place.

The fifth place went to Nieman/Knap, who beat their teammates Koper/Dijkhof (both Renault Clio 4) and Ohlsson/Eis/Schrey (VW Scirocco). Especially at the beginning, the two Dutchmen had a fight with starting driver Philipp Eis. The Scirocco skidded out due to a broken brake disc. Eis just managed to avoid a collision with the wall. Although the trio returned to the track, there was no chance for a better result. What looked like an easy win turned out to be a nail-biter for Nieman/Knap. “We had a lot of problems with the tires during the race. The brake pads also gave us problems. During the three-hour race we had to change the brakes twice, which we never had before. We drove it for ten hours at the 24-hour race here in Zolder. Here it was completely gone after an hour and a half,” said Rob Nieman.

The winners of the NES 6 finished sixth overall. Steinacker/Nagy prevailed here with a six-lap lead over Bengel/Engel (both BMW M240i RC). Behind Bengel/Engel, Roepke/Pawlow (BMW 328i ST E36) finished ninth overall. This brought the duo the victory in the NES 3 ahead of Eisberg/Ponkratz/Capliuk (BMW 325iS E36) and Heidrich/Volmer (BMW 328i ST E36). The Hockenheim winners were in the pit for 45 minutes due to a technical defect. In the NES 1+2 Hermann/Micheel/Bedbur prevailed against Hermann/Hermann/Hermann (both BMW 318ti Cup).

The next race of the NES 500 will take place from March 13 to 15 in Zandvoort!

Text: arpRedaktionsbüro Patrick Holzer

Pictures: Patrick Holzer & Denis Petermann



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