Photos: Creventic, ADAC
Nürburg. All good things come in threes: Berkay Besler (23/TUR) and Marvin Dienst (25/Lampertheim, both Toksport WRT) win Sunday's race of the Prototype Cup Germany at the Nürburgring. After the double victory of the Ligier JS P320 duo at the season opener in Spa-Francorchamps, it is already the third triumph for Besler/Dienst in the fourth race. Thus, the two youngsters not only extend their lead in the standings, but also leave the Eifel with the unofficial title of the half-time champions. Second place in the race goes to Matthias Lüthen (41/Hamburg) and Donar Munding (20/Stuttgart, both Mühlner Motorsport) in the Duqueine D08. The previous day's winners Mads Siljehaug (26/NOR) and Freddie Hunt (35/GBR, both Reiter Engineering) complete the Sunday podium in the Ligier. "It couldn't have gone better today," cheered Dienst after the race. "Three wins in four races make us really happy, of course. The championship title is the really big goal."
Dienst had already started the race from pole position. He converted the good starting position directly into the race lead and in the further course of the race, he was able to pull away sovereignly at the top. Behind him there was a lot of action. Maximilian Hackländer (32/Rüthen, Konrad Motorsport) in a Ginetta G61-LT-P3 and Ligier driver Felipe Fernández Laser (33/Leipzig, Frikadelli Racing) fought for second place. After about four minutes of racing, Fernández Laser prevailed and set off in pursuit of the leader. Freddie Hunt completed the top four at first. However, a spin after a collision with a competitor caused him to drop back to fifth position behind Mühlner driver Lüthen a little later.
Dienst set a high pace in the first part of the race and extended his lead to over ten seconds. Because of different pit stop times due to the respective driver classifications, the positions shifted somewhat after the pit stops. Klaus Abbelen (61/Barweiler), who had taken over from Fernández Laser, was briefly at the head of the field. Dienst's team-mate Besler, however, made short work of the Frikadelli Racing driver and took the lead around 20 minutes before the end. He did not relinquish this lead until the end of the race and crossed the finish line first with a lead of around 16 seconds. Dienst/Besler were also able to celebrate their triumph in the Junior classification.
Abbelen was overtaken by other competitors by the end of the race and finished in seventh place. Donar Munding in the Duqueine from Mühlner Motorsport took over second place. The 20-year-old kept the previous day's winner Siljehaug in the Reiter-Ligier at bay during the second half of the race and, together with team-mate Lüthen, was happy about second place and thus the best result of the season. For Lüthen, this also meant victory in the Trophy classification.
Behind Siljehaug/Hunt, the Ginetta duo Axcil Jefferies (28/ZWE) and Maximilian Hackländer finished fourth. The two Duqueine of Oscar Tunjo (26/COL) and Mateo Villagomez (19/ECU, both Rinaldi Racing) as well as Gary Hauser (30/LUX) and Sebastian von Gartzen (29/Butzbach, both Racing Experience) finished fifth and sixth. Eighth place went to Jacob Erlabacher (21/AUT) and Michael Herich (45/Bruehl, both Gebhardt Motorsport) in another Ginetta. Completing the top ten were Jesse Salmenautio (20/FIN) and Sebastian Arenram (39/SWE, both Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport) in the Duqueine and Giorgio Rosa (36/ITA) and Aleksey Chuklin (36/UKR, both Speed Factory Racing) in the Ligier.
"Of course I am really happy to have won the race today. The 25 points are very important for us in terms of the championship. I had a nice duel right at the beginning of my stint. After overtaking my rival, I managed to finish the race calmly. I'm now looking forward to the next race weekend at the Lausitzring."
"It was an incredibly nice race. Everything was going our way. Everything worked well in my stint. I handed the car over to Donar in fourth place and he did his job consistently. Second place and victory in the Trophy standings feel absolutely top. It's the most successful race weekend of my career so far."
"I am very happy to have clinched the result. I had oversteer in the car and had to drive extremely carefully. But at the same time I got a lot of pressure from the third-placed driver behind me. All in all, that was very exhausting. To be able to celebrate second place together with my team-mate makes me very happy, of course."
"My stint was quite good. Overall I was a lot more relaxed in the car today than yesterday. I had some contact and was forced into a spin. As a result, I lost a bit of ground. This is the second time we've been on the podium at the Nürburgring after winning yesterday. So we couldn't be happier."
"My stint was okay. I struggled a bit with tyre wear and lost some aerodynamics in traffic. All in all we had a good weekend. I really enjoyed my stint in the Prototype Cup Germany."
22 – 24 April Spa-Francorchamps (B), 24h Series
15 – 17 July Nürburgring, ADAC Truck Grand Prix
19 – 21 August DEKRA Lausitzring, Family & Friends Festival
21 – 23 October Hockenheimring, ADAC GT Masters
(subject to changes)