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At the premiere of the 12-hour race of the Nürburgring Endurance Championship (NLS), BLACK FALCON experienced a weekend with ups and downs. In the end, victory in the CUP2-AM classification and an outstanding performance in qualifying were clinched. The race, which was divided into two six-hour sections, was held over two days. On Saturday, the weather around the Nürburgring made for the most difficult conditions. Heavy rain showers alternated with dry phases, and the choice of tyres became a pure gamble at times. The second part of the race took place on Sunday in perfect conditions.
BLACK FALCON: EAE Porsche 992 GT3 Cup #104 wins CUP2-AM
In the CUP2-AM classification of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN), BLACK FALCON started with two Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars. The number 104 car of Mustafa Mehmet Kaya, Gabriele Piana and Mike Stursberg already caused quite a stir in qualifying. On a drying track, Piana put the EAE Porsche in third place overall, beating not only all competitors in the CUP2 class, but also 12 of the 14 supposedly superior GT3 cars. At the start, the Italian reacted quickest, even took the overall lead for the first few corners and was the first to turn onto the Nordschleife. In the following six hours, the driver trio defied the changeable conditions and finished the first part of the race in first position in the CUP2-AM class. The crew of the #104 also remained faultless on Sunday and crossed the finish line as CUP2-AM winners after 12 hours of racing. Meanwhile, their teammates in the #103 Cup Porsche, Noah Nagelsdiek, Reinhold Renger and Maik Rosenberg, experienced ups and downs: Shortly before the end of the first half of the race, the trio was in a promising position in second place in the CUP2-AM standings before the Porsche was hit by a GT3 car on the last lap and severely damaged. With its front axle dragging, the #103 just managed to cross the finish line. The split of the race proved to be a stroke of luck for the team, as the car could be repaired overnight. For the repair during the race break, which took place under parc fermé conditions, the #103 received a classification penalty and initially fell far behind. In the second half on Sunday, the trio shone with a strong performance and made up places in the overall standings lap after lap. After 12 hours, they finished 4th in the CUP2-AM standings, moving up into the top-25 overall and collecting important points for the championship.
BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR: Solid double effort in fiercely contested GT4 class
For the first time this season, BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR started with two Porsche Cayman GT4 RS. The #161 car was driven by Cabell Fisher, Carsten Palluth and Tobias Wahl. In the sister car with the 162, double starter Fisher, the two NLS returnees Alexander Akimenkov and Vasilii Selivanov as well as Martin Meenen took turns. Both GT4 RSs competed in the SP10 class for cars according to SRO GT4 regulations, which was partly staffed with professional drivers. The Cayman GT4 RS started well into the race and established themselves in the top-5 of the class. The driver quartet of the #162 completed a faultless race and crossed the finish line in fourth position after 12 hours as the best SP10 Porsche.
The #161 slid off the track in difficult conditions in the first half of the race and then had to pit for a 45-minute repair stop. After the additional stop, Fisher/Palluth/Wahl started a race to catch up, which brought them up to fifth place in the class.
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA: Retirement after outstanding performance
The BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA regular drivers Paul Harkema and Tobias Müller were joined at the 12-hour race by double starter Gabriele Piana. After a fabulous qualifying lap by Müller, the IDENTICA Porsche 992 GT3 Cup (#102) started the race from an excellent sixth place overall - amidst the significantly more powerful GT3 cars. After a hectic initial phase, which was characterised by changing weather conditions, the IDENTICA trio established themselves at the head of the class and in the top five overall. With a strong driving performance, Harkema/Müller/Piana built up a lead of several minutes over their pursuers in the CUP2 class. However, after about three and a half hours of racing, the Porsche was involved in a collision. As a result, a problem with the drive train led to an early end to the race.
Timo Frings: Head of Motorsport BLACK FALCON:
"From a sporting point of view, the premiere of the NLS 12-hour race was an up and down story. With the Cup cars, we made a big impression or two, which we will remember positively beyond the season. In the most difficult conditions, we were faster than most of the GT3 cars for hours - I think that's very remarkable and an outstanding performance by the drivers and the team. Furthermore, we are still unbeaten in the CUP2-AM. The crew of the 162 also came through without incident and in the end was rewarded with the best possible place - considering the strong competition in the class. Unfortunately, we did not have the necessary racing luck with the other vehicles over the distance and had to accept a retirement as well as accident-related setbacks. In the last three races of the season, we want to attack once again and are already looking forward to the seventh round at the beginning of October."
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