Falken Motorsports out of luck at Nürburgring Endurance Series season opener
The omen for a successful season opener in the Green Hell were good: In bright sunshine fans finally returned to the paddock and pit lane of the Nürburgring. The joy at the end of the winter break was great, but for Falken Motorsports the race day ended with an early closing time. After just the first hour of racing, both Porsche 911 GT3 R cars had to retire from the race.
Everything went according to plan in the morning qualifying session. The two Porsche 911 GT3 R cars went to the Nordschleife for their hot lap shortly before the end of the session. While Patrick Pilet and Marco Seefried (#3) finished fourth overall with a lap time of 7:52.457 minutes, Martin Ragginger landed in eighth place in the #4 sister car. The Austrian had to do without the support of Lars Kern, who tested positive for the corona virus on Saturday morning.
At the start of the race, Falken Motorsports still had every reason to cheer: Patrick Pilet enthused with a brilliant start and moved to the front of the field after just a few corners. The Frenchman used the performance of his fresh Falken tires to extend his lead. Meanwhile, Martin Ragginger held his position in the top 10 and dueled with the competitors.
But the joy did not last long. After just a few laps, Martin Ragginger came into the pits for an unscheduled stop. Consequential damage resulting from a contact in the early stages forced the Austrian to retire. A short time later, Marco Seefried, who had taken over the cockpit from starting driver Patrick Pilet shortly before, also announced the end of his race. While lapping, Seefried collided with another car and damaged the Porsche 911 GT3 R too badly to continue the race. However, both drivers were uninjured.
The task now is to repair the two Porsche 911 GT3 R cars and look ahead. Because fans, teams and drivers have to wait just two weeks for the next race in the Nürburgring Endurance Series. On April 9, 2022, the 46th NIMEX DMV 4h Race will be the second race of this year's Nordschleife season.