Prototypes return to the Norisring in Nuremberg for the first time since 1989. Markus Pommer and Gary Hauser lead the championship at the halfway point. Home outing for Zandvoort winner and ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Jan Marschalkowski.
From 7th to 9th July, the Prototype Cup Germany will make its debut at the Norisring, where it will go racing at a street circuit for the first time. The event in Nuremberg marks the return of prototypes to the Norisring, where they last appeared back in 1989 in the ADAC Supercup. The event in Franconia also kicks off the second half of this season’s Prototype Cup Germany. When the series reached the halfway point at the end of June in Zandvoort, it was Markus Pommer (32/Untereisesheim) and Gary Hauser (31/LUX, both Racing Experience) sitting pretty at the top of the championship. However, the duo from Germany and Luxembourg have a mere four-point lead over Valentino Catalano (17/Westheim) / Robin Rogalski (22/POL, both DKR Engineering). Oscar Tunjo (27/COL) and Julien Apothéloz (22/CHE, both van ommen racing by DataLab) have dropped back to third place in the Drivers’ Championship, following their two DNFs on the Dutch North Sea coast, but should by no means be written off yet. As usual, races seven and eight of this season’s Prototype Cup Germany will be streamed live and free of charge at adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adacmotorsports.
Championship leader Gary Hauser is already looking forward to his debut at the Norisring, the layout of which is unlike any other racetrack on the Prototype Cup Germany calendar. In a field that generally has very little experience of the Norisring, Hauser has a team-mate in Markus Pommer who has already gone racing in Nuremberg in the past. “It was a long time ago though, and in a different car. Maybe that will give us a small advantage in the first free practice, but the others will soon catch up.” Hauser himself has primarily been preparing for his first outing at the Norisring by watching onboard videos, but has also had a few sessions in a simulator. “The simulator is definitely good to give you a rough idea, but the LMP3 model in the simulator is not the same as the real car. I believe, if you have a certain among of experience in motor racing, that you get more out of watching real onboard videos, as they literally show you the reality. However, everyone has their own personal preferences and strategies.”
One driver who has a slightly different opinion of the advantages of onboard footage and simulators when preparing for a race is Jan Marschalkowski (20/Inning am Ammersee, MRS GT-Racing): “I believe the simulator helps more than onboard videos, but I use both in my preparations.” The talented German, who is supported by ADAC Stiftung Sport, lives by the Ammersee lake, just 1.5 hours from the Norisring. “I was in Nuremberg as a spectator last year, and am really pleased to be part of this great event. Because it is my home race, I will have a few friends, acquaintances and family members there to cheer me on.” The 20-year-old would love to reward his fans with a similar result to the one in Zandvoort, when he and Jasper Stiksma (22/NDL) surprised many by winning race one. “To stand on the top step of the podium in Zandvoort was incredible. And we are not just here to make the numbers up at the Norisring either.”
The two regular ladies in the field, Gabriela Jílková (28/CZE, van ommen racing by DataLab) and Courtney Crone (22/USA, Gebhardt Motorsport), are unable to start in Nuremberg. Czech Jílková, who celebrated her maiden LMP3 victory in Zandvoort, will be replaced by Spain’s Belén García Espinar (23), who became the first woman in Europe to win a Formula 4 race in 2019. She has since gained LMP3 experience in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and the Asian Le Mans Series. Standing in for Crone is Britain’s Michael Lyons (32), who started for Gebhardt Motorsport in last year’s Prototype Cup Germany.