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Weekly Racing Roundup (7.11.22)

Reports from weekend action in NLS and International GT Open, plus news and notes…

Photo: Jan Brucke/VLN

Falken Flies to First NLS Win Since 2018

Sven Mueller and Joel Eriksson took Falken Motorsports’ first NLS race victory in four years by winning the six-hour Nürburgring enduro in their Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Mueller and Eriksson controlled the final two hours after the former made an overtake on Patrick Assenheimer’s Landgraf Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

The best starter on Saturday was Philip Ellis, who rose from third on the grid to first at the opening corner driving for Mercedes-AMG team Schnitzelalm Racing.

Ellis led the opening stint from Ben Tuck in a Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 before handing the Schnitzelalm car over to Miklas Born.

Then, a dramatic accident occurred as oil on the track at Adenauer Forst caused the top three — Born’s Mercedes-AMG, Andy Soucek in the Walkenhorst BMW and Phoenix Racing Audi driver Kim Luis Schramm — to slide off into the right-side barriers.

That gifted the lead to Julien Apotheloz, but the Landgraf Mercedes-AMG ultimately fell back to fourth as Mueller and Eriksson charged to the front in their Porsche.

Eriksson advanced to the lead of the race by dispatching Assenheimer in traffic and went on to take victory by more than a minute over Audi duo Frank Stippler and Vincent Kolb.

Behind the Falken car, the battle for second grew intense as Scherer Sport Team Phoenix driver Stippler and Christian Krognes in the recovering Walkenhorst BMW engaged in a close battle that culminated with Krognes spinning at the Grand Prix circuit chicane.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better debut,” said Eriksson, who was drafted into the Falken lineup for Saturday’s race.

“Sven helped me a lot this weekend with my debut in the [team’s] GT3 car, which I really enjoyed.”


Photo: GT Open

Van Berlo, Gilardoni Take GT Open Points Lead

Glenn van Berlo and Kevin Gilardoni moved into the lead of the International GT Open drivers’ championship with victory in the second race of the weekend at the Hungaroring.

The drivers of the No. 19 Oregon Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo arrived in Budapest with a 10-point deficit to their teammates Leonardo Pulcini and Benjamin Hites but managed to reverse that with two solid points scores.

Pulcini and Hites ended up dropping to third in the standings after only taking three points across the weekend, with Nick Moss and Joe Osborne rising to second place.

The first victory of the weekend went to Team GT and its driver pairing of Florian Scholze and Alain Valente, who shared a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Pulcini made the best getaway, but it was deemed to be too good as the No. 63 Lamborghini was handed a 10-second time penalty for jumping the start.

The Oregon Team Huracans ran at the front until a safety car period on lap 15 — for Olimp Racing Audi driver Marcin Jedlinski spinning due to an oil leak from his own vehicle — fed into the pit window where several changes occurred.

Janine Shoffner emerged as the leader ahead of Hites, whose No. 63 crew gained a new five-second time penalty for undercutting its minimum pit stop time, and Valente.

Hites and Valente both got past Shoffner while a late second safety car after a heavy accident for Reema Juffali prevented the Lamborghini from negating its penalties, enabling Team GT to win.

Van Berlo and Gilardoni, who finished fourth, then claimed the points lead by winning Race 2. Gilardoni was fifth in the opening stages, as pole-sitter David Fumanelli charged into a seven-second lead after setting a new circuit GT3 lap record in qualifying.

Fumanelli’s Kessel Racing Ferrari co-driver Murat Cuhadaroglu remained in front after the pit window but van Berlo managed to hunt down the Turkish driver and get past.

A puncture for Hites in the early stages caused the No. 63 Lamborghini to finish 13th.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2 / Standings

Photo: Lamborghini

News & Other Racing Action

***Lamborghini Squadra Corse obtained ISO 20121 certification for running the first ‘sustainable’ Super Trofeo Europe event at Misano on the first weekend of July. It was granted by the sustainability certification body TUV Italia. Lamborghini stated that measures in place for the event included reduced use of paper and plastic, local organic products for catering, food recovery projects for charitable causes and raising awareness about sustainable practices.

***Shane Rudzis has been appointed to the position of event manager for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. Rudzis, who was previously the Australian enduro’s commercial director, commenced his new role on July 1.

***This year’s Indianapolis 8 Hour is set to run into darkness, with a 12 p.m. start time confirmed to coincide with the launch of ticket sales for the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round in October. It is two hours later than last year’s start time.

***The Ultimate Cup Series visited Misano last weekend. The four-hour GT endurance race was won by Akkodis ASP with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo driven by Vincent Capillaire and Nicolas Chartier.

On this weekend: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (Lime Rock Park), Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS (Suzuka)

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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