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Promising NLS season opener

20 Mar 2023

GDM and PROsport Racing put in a satisfactory performance at the season opener of the Nürburgring Endurance Series.

The 68th ADAC Westfalenfahrt marked the start of the 2023 season of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. PROsport Racing fielded three cars in the four-hour race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife after Jörg Viebahn and Simon Balcaen’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup crashed into the guardrail during testing on Friday and could not be repaired overnight.

The #17 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was driven by Maxime Dumarey and Nordschleife veteran Christoph Breuer, who replaced regular driver Jean Glorieux at short notice. The car showed a strong performance in the race and reached the chequered flag as the best GT3 car that did not start in the Pro category. After four hours of racing, the bolide finished the race in 16th position overall, which is a strong result against strong GT3 competition ahead of the 24-hour race.

The focus of the second Vantage GT3 was to allow ADAC GT4 Germany champion Mike David Ortmann to familiarise himself with the British GT3 racer on the Nordschleife and to gain important kilometres in the GT3 Vantage. Ortmann shared the car with Belgian veteran Nico Verdonck. The #37 car ran the entire race without any problems and finished the season opener in 14th place, a result that PROsport Racing can build on in the coming rounds.

The GT4 class in the Nürburgring Endurance Series was strengthened in terms of both quantity and quality at the start of the 2023 season, with a whole nine cars competing in the first round of the season. The fast Czech Gabriela Jilkova, who will also compete for Chris Esser’s team in the ADAC GT4 Germany this year, completed her first GT4 race on the Nordschleife. Jilkova shared the car with the two gentleman drivers Guido Dumarey and Yevgen Sokolovskiy. After a faultless race, the trio finished the chase through the Eifel in sixth place in class.

Until the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, PROsport Racing will field alternating drivers in the GT4 class. In this way, the racing team from Wiesemscheid wants to determine the perfect driver line-up for the endurance classic, at which the team will bring two Vantage GT4s to the start. One car is to attack the class win, while gentleman drivers will take turns on the second Aston Martin.

“I am pleased with the season opener of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. Our Aston Martins contested the race without any problems and we were able to collect important data. Of course, it’s a shame that the Porsche couldn’t contest the race, but the most important thing here is that Simon Balcaen survived the accident uninjured. We will now repair the car and attack again at NLS2,” team boss Esser concluded.

The second round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series season will take place on 1 April.

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