06/28/2015

Two wins for Nicki Thiim

At the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland weekend on the Norisring, Nicki Thiim from Denmark has won both races at the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

On the 2.3-kilometre Nuremberg city circuit, he was victorious at Saturday’s race six as well as at race seven on Sunday. On Saturday, the Dane was joined on the podium by Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (I/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) and Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1). Climbing the podium alongside Thiim (KÜS Team 75 Bernhard) after Sunday’s race was Porsche Junior Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) and again Eng. “There’s nothing better than two victories! It’s a fantastic feeling for me and the entire team. They’ve worked really hard for this,” said an emotional Thiim as he crossed the finish line, leapt out of the car and threw his arms in the air. 

In the qualifying session on Saturday, Thiim planted his 911 GT3 Cup with the characteristic 3.8-litre flat-six engine on pole position for both races, and with convincing performances he converted them into victories. In race seven, the 19-year-old Porsche Junior Cairoli managed an inspired start from the second grid spot and drove door-to-door with Thiim over the first metres, with the seasoned specialist winning the sprint to the first corner. Cairoli stuck to his bumper until lap eleven only to come under pressure from Müller behind him running in third. Thiim grabbed the chance to pull clear at the lead, while turbulent scenes unfolded behind him. Cairoli left the track in lap 25 and fell down the order to seventh place.

Müller and Eng held on to places two and three

Cairoli explained what happened: “I made a slight mistake and found myself on the dirty side of the track.” This opened the door for Müller and Eng who held on to places two and three over the five remaining laps to the flag. “That was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever contested,” said Müller. “But ultimately it was a fight at the highest level and I’m very pleased with position two.” The defending champion Eng said: “I can look back on a successful weekend. Two podium spots and as a result I’ve extended my points lead. On the Norisring we sometimes come within millimetres of the wall and the main thing is to get your car to the flag in one piece.”

In the field of 24 identical, near-standard sports cars Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing) secured fourth place ahead of the Swiss Jeffrey Schmidt (Lechner Racing Middle East) in fifth. Cairoli was flagged off as sixth, with Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner) claiming seventh. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport) took home eighth place. Ninth after 35 laps went to Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport). “The competition in the German Carrera Cup is extremely tough and things didn’t quite pan out as we’d wanted. Now we’ll do some testing and see where we can make improvements,” analysed de Phillippi. Alex Riberas (The Heart of Racing by Lechner) from Spain rounded off the top ten. 

The double winner Nicki Thiim

An amendment was made to Saturday’s race result after the technical scrutineers undertook a routine inspection of the top three vehicles on Saturday evening. A nonconforming part was found on Cairoli’s car and he was disqualified from the classification. For Sunday’s race, the team rectified the problem so that Cairoli’s car was again in compliance with the regulations for Sunday’s race. The subsequent disqualification resulted in a reshuffle of the points’ table. After seven of eleven championship races, Eng holds the lead with 114 points. Schmidt sits in position two with 90 points followed by Engelhart with 85 points.  

A look back at race 6

“Twenty-six years ago my father won the DTM race on the Norisring, now I’m proud that I’ve done it in a Porsche. On every single lap you have to concentrate 110 percent, because if you make a mistake on this circuit you pay dearly. It’s simply fantastic to win on this race track,” said Thiim. Thiim, who competes for Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard’s team, took up the race from pole position in his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Cairoli lined up alongside him on the first grid row. Both pilots away cleanly at the start and held tight to their top positions. Thiim, as a seasoned specialist, drove his race unperturbed to cross the line first, with 19-year-old Cairoli calmly fending off the opposition with a faultless performance to bring home second place. “I’m totally happy with my first podium in the German Carrera Cup. It can continue like this,” said the youngster who came to the German brand trophy series as the reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia.

Starting from the fourth grid spot, Eng at first became entangled in the start melee on the narrow circuit and lost one place. The 25 year old, however, waited for his chance and worked his way up into third. “Matteo and I achieved a super result for the Project 1 team with two podium places. The car ran beautifully and I posted the fastest race lap. Plus I extended by championship lead,” explained Eng. Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport) eventually had to let the Austrian pass, but fourth place for the 22-year-old American still earned him valuable points towards the championship. “Thanks to my good start I managed to go from fifth to third. But unfortunately I then experienced gearshifting problems. It’s a shame to be on course for a podium result and then to finish in fourth,” said de Phillippi.

Riberas took the flag in seventh

Christian Engelhart saw the flag as fifth after 26 laps ahead of Jeffrey Schmidt from Switzerland. Alex Riberas from Spain took the flag in seventh, relegating Michael Ammermüller and Porsche Junior Sven Müller to positions eight and nine. “In the really tight corners I damaged the front side of the car which made it harder to drive afterwards. On Sunday I start from fourth and I’d like to use that as a starting point to get ahead,” explained Müller. 

Just how strong the field is in this year’s Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland is underlined by the fact that from four race weekends, four different winners have emerged as winners. Engelhart won both races at the Hockenheim season-opening weekend, victory on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife went to Porsche Junior Müller, Eng claimed both victories at the Lausitzring and now at the Norisring it was Thiim’s turn. In the overall standings Eng leads with 96 points, ahead of Schmidt (76 points) and Riberas (71 points).

Races eight and nine of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland will be contested from 10 to 12 July in Zandvoort (The Netherlands).

Race results

Race 6 (before the amendment):
1. Nicki Thiim (DK/KÜS Team 75 Bernhard)                                                  
2. Matteo Cairoli (I/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)                                   
3. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)                                    
4. Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport)                                            
5. Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing), 45 Punkte                              
6. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East)                              
7. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
8. Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
9. Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East)
10. Robert Renauer (D/Herberth Motorsport)

Race 7:
1. Nicki Thiim (DK/KÜS Team 75 Bernhard)
2. Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East)
3. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
4. Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing), 45 Punkte
5. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East)
6. Matteo Cairoli (I/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1)
7. Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
8. Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport)
9. Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport)
10. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)

Points’ standings after 7 of 17 races:
Driver classification

1. Philipp Eng (A/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1), 114 points
2. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East), 90 points
3. Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing), 85 points
4. Nicki Thiim (DK/KÜS Team 75 Bernhard), 78 points
5. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 78 points

Team classification
1. Team Deutsche Post by Project 1, 156 points
2. Lechner Racing Middle East, 156 points
3. The Heart of Racing by Lechner, 153 points

 

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