Spanish debutant Belén García Espinar finishes runner-up at the first attempt. García Espinar and Xavier Lloveras are fastest juniors, Matthias Lüthen is the Trophy winner. Pommer / Hauser lead Oscar Tunjo / Julien Apothéloz by 28 points in the Drivers’ Championship.
The seventh race of this season’s Prototype Cup Germany was exciting right down to the finish: after 62 laps of the Norisring, Markus Pommer (32/Untereisesheim) / Gary Hauser (31/LUX, both Racing Experience) crossed the finish line just 0.452 seconds ahead of Belén García Espinar (23/ESP) / Xavier Lloveras (23/ESP, both van ommen racing by DataLab). “Even without pole position, we knew that our car would be very good over the race distance here at the Norisring,” said Pommer. Third place went to Oscar Tunjo (27/COL) and Julien Apothéloz (22/CHE, both van ommen racing by DataLab), who climbed into second place in the Drivers’ Championship thanks to the retirement of Robin Rogalski (22/POL) / Valentino Catalano (17/Westheim, both DKR Engineering) with gearbox issues. The best-placed Trophy driver at the Nuremberg street circuit was once again Matthias Lüthen (42/Hamburg, Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport). García Espinar and Lloveras were the top juniors, while the trophy for the best team went to team principal Christian Hauser from Luxembourg-based outfit Racing Experience.
Laurents Hörr (25/Gerlingen, Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport) took the lead at the start and initially set about opening a lead over Markus Pommer. However, Pommer then found his rhythm after a few laps and had closed to within roughly a second of Hörr by the driver changeover. By the time Matthias Lüthen had taken over from Hörr in the Duqueine, and Hauser had replaced Pommer at the wheel of their car, Hauser had a lead of over four seconds. Bronze driver Lüthen was unable to fend off Silver racers Xavier Lloveras, Julien Apothéloz and Nico Göhler (20/Grasleben, BWT Mücke Motorsport), and ultimately crossed the finish line in fifth place.
Further toward the front of the field, Lloveras had consistently been closing in on race leader Hauser in the second half of the race. In the final ten laps or so, he had reduced the advantage of the driver from Luxembourg to less than two seconds, and the two rivals were now faced with the additional challenge of having to pass lapped cars. As such, the gap at the front was changing all the time, but the Spaniard was never quite able to get close enough to Hauser to launch a serious attack. “Only once did I break out in a sweat, when there was a misunderstanding when lapping my team-mate Wolfgang Payr, of all things. I lost about 2.5 seconds as a result of that. Apart from that, I knew that I was faster than Xavier on the straights, so he could not get past me unless I made a mistake,” said the victorious Hauser. Behind Pommer / Hauser and García Espinar / Lloveras, the duo of Oscar Tunjo / Apothéloz completed the podium. Gustavo Kiryla (29/BRA, BWT Mücke Motorsport) finished fourth together with team-mate Göhler, ahead of Hörr / Lüthen and the two individual starters Danny Soufi (19/USA, Konrad Motorsport) and Jan Marschalkowski (20/Inning am Ammersee, MRS GT-Racing).
The race had to be suspended shortly before the first attempt to get it started. Alex Cascatau (30/ROU, BHK Motorsport) lost control of his car whilst warming the tyres and crashed into the barriers. The Romanian was in a stable condition and responsive, but was taken to hospital for further examination. Because the crash barrier had to be repaired at the point of impact, the race eventually started after a 35-minute delay.
Belén García Espinar – second place for van ommen racing by DataLab:
“I had a good first lap, overtook Oscar Tunjo on the way to turn one and Max van der Snel in the chicane. That put me third. Even after that, I was able to do fast laps and handed over to Xavier in third place. A podium in the first race with my boyfriend is something very special.”
Xavier Lloveras – second place for van ommen racing by DataLab:
“Belén performed very well and put me under some pressure to also drive well. In the end, I perhaps needed another two or three laps to overtake Gary Hauser and win the race. After this morning’s qualifying, we changed the set-up of our car a little, which had a positive effect.”
Oscar Tunjo – third place for van ommen racing by DataLab:
“My start was not a good one and then I got stuck on the inside in the first corner. I was also hit by various other cars and found myself down in tenth or eleventh after turn one. After that I was able to overtake a few rivals, which I was happy about.”
Julien Apothéloz – third place for van ommen racing by DataLab:
“First of all, it is cool that both the cars run by van omen racing by DataLab made it onto the podium for the first time. We had a better handle on our issue with understeer than we did in qualifying. However, the key thing here was to score a lot of points, having left Zandvoort empty-handed.”