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Nürburgring Endurance

141 Cars to Contest NLS Season-Opener

NLS attracts large field for season-opener to be held behind closed doors this Saturday…

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

The entry list for this weekend’s Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie opening round has been released, with a total of 141 cars set to take part in the four-hour race.

The NLS season was due to begin at the end of March but the coronavirus pandemic forced a redrawing of the calendar which left the original round four as the new opener.

Saturday’s Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy will feature 20 GT3 cars competing for overall honors in the SP9 category, which is split into Pro and Pro-Am brackets.

Falken Motorsports has joined the grid with a single Porsche 911 GT3 R to be driven by Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli champion Dennis Olsen and former Lamborghini factory driver Christian Engelhart.

After initially electing to forgo the curtain-raiser, the Schnabl Engineering-run team will join the grid to make up for some of the track time it lost during the racing shutdown.

Falken’s second Porsche is expected to enter the series at round two on July 11-12.

Audi has the largest contingent in the SP9 class with a total of six cars entered between four teams.

Reigning Nürburgring 24 winner Phoenix Racing has two Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos entered, while there is also an Audi Sport Team car that will be driven by the factory trio of Robin Frijns, Nico Mueller and Christopher Haase.

A total of five Porsches are listed including a Manthey Racing car for Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer and Lars Kern and a Frikadelli Racing machine for 2018-19 FIA World Endurance GT champions Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.

Four examples of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo will take part, along with three BMW M6 GT3s and a pair of Ferrari 488 GT3s.

Elsewhere on the grid, there is a healthy representation of GT4 machinery and large numbers of touring and entry-level sports cars across the various sub-classes.

The new Toyota GR Supra GT4 will make its debut in the eight-car SP10 category, while BMW’s successor to the M240i – the new M2 CS Racing – will be given an early run-out by Walkenhorst Motorsport.

The fan-favorite Automobilclub von Deutschland Opel Manta is also taking part.

The NLS opener, which will be the second real-world sports car race to take place since the global health crisis began, is set to get underway at 12 p.m. CEST (6 a.m. ET).

It will involve the rollout of the championship’s new alternative pit lane system designed to limit the risk of coronavirus transmission by keeping teams at a safe distance.

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

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