In a packed racing programme at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife races five and six of the Nürburgring Endurance Series 2021 were held as a double header on Saturday and Sunday and the overall win went to the BMW M6 GT3 on both days.
In the fourth NLS race two weeks ago, BMW Juniors Dan Harper, Neil Verhagen and Max Hesse celebrated their first overall win in the series, making them the youngest team to date to win an NLS race. They followed on from this seamlessly on Saturday in NLS5, and took their second win in a row in the #44 BMW M6 GT3. Starting from fifth on the grid, Hesse quickly worked his way up through the field and took the lead during his stint, which his colleagues Verhagen and Harper brought home successfully.
“It’s further evidence of just how quickly our BMW Juniors learn,” said mentor Jochen Neerpasch. “It wasn’t an easy race, and the race definitely wasn’t gifted to them, and they handled every situation well. Hats off to them, they made it to the front.” Hesse said: “I got off to a good start and it wasn’t long before we were in P2. From then on we had great pace with fantastic duels, and we were already leading by twelve seconds when we pitted for the first time. We’re still learning, but it’s always great to win.” Harper added: “The first win in NLS4 was really special, but the second win feels just as good. All three of us had a smooth race with fantastic stints. Huge thanks to BMW M Motorsport and BMW Team RMG, and everyone supporting us. All the hard work is starting to pay off with results now.” “It feels amazing to be on the top step of the podium once again,” said Verhagen. “It was a fantastic team performance, and we couldn’t have done it without this hard teamwork.” However, unfortunately the trio was unable to take part in the sixth race of the season on Sunday after an accident in the morning’s qualifying session. Harper, driving, was unharmed, but it wasn’t possible to repair the car in time for the start of the race.
It was another BMW M6 GT3 that dominated proceedings on Sunday with car #34 of Walkenhorst Motorsport with Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Ben Tuck at the wheel. In the morning’s qualifying session, Krognes set a new qualifying record with a time of 7:51.807 minutes. Starting from pole position, he and his two team-mates went on to bring home Walkenhorst Motorsport’s first NLS win of the season in the afternoon’s four-hour race.
In addition to the two overall wins, Saturday and Sunday saw a total of ten class wins for the BMW M Motorsport teams. Four of them were secured by Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive. In the strong field of the VT2 class, the team won both races with the #481 BMW 330i, driven by Christopher Rink, Philipp Stahlschmidt and Daniel Zils. In the V4 class, it was the team’s #1 BMW 325i that was victorious on both days. Rink shared the car with Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen. (The class results of Sunday’s race had not been officially confirmed by the editorial deadline).
The class wins in the BMW M240i category went to Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport on both days. The winning #700 BMW M240i was driven by Michael Fischer and Markus Fischer. In addition, Hofor Racing won the H4 class on Saturday with the #610 BMW M3 GTR and the SP6 class on Sunday with the #211 BMW M3 CSL. Martin Kroll, Michael Kroll and Alexander Prinz were in action in both cars, with Chantal Prinz joining them in the H4 class.
In the CUP5 class, the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup NLS, the FK Performance Motorsport won on both days with the #875 BMW M2 CS Racing. There were also five podium finishes for the BMW M4 GT4. In the SP10 class, Walkenhorst Motorsport finished in second place with the #181 BMW M4 GT4 on both days. AVIA Sorg Rennsport also finished on the podium with the #180 BMW M4 GT4 in P3 on Saturday. In the SP4T+SP8T class, the Yeeti Racing team finished in second place with the #159 BMW M4 GT4 on both days.