Spectacular opening for the second half of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup season at the Norisring: Leader of the standings Ola Nilsson celebrated a lights-to-flag victory in a turbulent race at the season’s pinnacle on the city street circuit in Nuremberg. In the end, the Swede, who had started from pole, had a 0.474-second advantage over Adam Gladysz. In the Legends classification, the 1993 DTM Champion, Nicola Larini, maintained the upper hand in front of ex-Formula One racer Pedro Lamy (16th place) and football star Karl-Heinz Riedle (20th). RTL expert Christian Danner retired after touching a wall while running on position six.
At the sixth of the total of ten rounds of the Volkswagen one-make cup’s season, Larini lost a position at the start and had to let Adam Gladysz, who made a lightning start, pass. Together with Nilsson, the top trio then fought a captivating battle in extreme track temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. Behind them the vanguard chasing the top entertained the crowd in the full stands of the Norisring with numerous overtaking manoeuvres – not least thanks to the innovative push-to-pass technology that makes 50 additional HP available to the racers several times per event at the push of a button.
A strong performance was delivered by Volkswagen Rally Junior Kevin Abbring who despite a botched start achieved a strong fourth-place finish in the end. Less fortunate was the race of ex-Formula One driver and 1995 Norisring winner Christian Danner who retired after contact with the wall on lap ten. As a result, the safety car was deployed for a few laps so that the marshals could collect the debris on the track.
After Ola Nilsson managed to defend his lead at the re-start, the race was stopped early on lap 18 after another accident. Jonas Giesler was the winner of the Junior classification in front of Kasper Jensen and Jakub Litwin.
Dr Ulrich Hackenberg
Member of the Volkswagen Management Board for Development: “That was a turbulent race of the kind you often experience at the Norisring. The barrier walls on the city street circuit don’t forgive any mistakes – not even by a former Formula One racer like Christian Danner. I think we delivered an entertaining Scirocco R-Cup race to the crowd in brilliant weather. The engines and brakes impressively proved their reliability in these extreme temperatures.”
#23 Ola Nilsson
Qualifying: 1 – race 1: “This was a hard-fought victory because Adam Gladysz put quite a bit of pressure on me over the whole race distance. I couldn’t afford to make the slightest mistake. Especially after the safety car re-start it was important to keep him at bay. Despite my five victories the season is still long. I’m going to continue to try and win races or mount the podium. A big compliment to the Abt squad who perfectly set up the cars for these extreme temperatures. Particularly the performance of the brakes enormously impressed me.”
#46 Nicola Larini
Qualifying: 2 – race 3: “My second race and my second victory in the Legends classification – you can’t expect more than that. And of course I’m absolutely happy with third place in the overall classification. When the lights went off I had no chance against Adam Gladysz, who delivered a phenomenal start. I tried to keep the gap from getting too large and saved my push-to-pass trials for the final laps. When the race was stopped four laps before the end I still had three push-to-pass uses, and the front runners had used up all of theirs. Who knows, maybe an even higher place would have been possible in the end…”
#44 Christian Danner
Qualifying: 8 – retirement in the race: “The race was huge fun for me and the fact that I retired after kissing the wall only lets me draw one conclusion: I think I’m going to run again. In any event, my desire for racing has been rekindled. The Cup Scirocco is agile, has a superb suspension and fantastic handling. I was also quite pleased with my race up until I retired. After all, I made up two places shortly after the start. The bio natural gas concept was a very positive surprise to me. The car is neither heavy nor are there any safety concerns due to the tank. The Scirocco R-Cup proves that motorsport can work superbly with an eco-friendly drive system.”
#49 Kevin Abbring
Qualifying: 4 – race 4: “Starting together with several other cars is exciting. Rally drivers normally don’t have this experience. I think my first circuit race couldn’t have gone much better. Fourth place is a great result. Naturally, I’d have liked to manage the leap onto the podium but Nicola Larini was a tiny bit faster. Before the race I’d firmly decided not to jeopardize the championship of any of the permanent drivers by making thoughtless attacks. But then I was a bit too much of a good guy at the start and lost at least four places.”
#45 Pedro Lamy
Qualifying: 7 – race 16: “My start was really poor. From the outside it looked as though I’d caught the reverse gear. While trying to recover I unfortunately hit Dennis Trebing’s car in the hairpin. I thought he’d be leaving some room for me – unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for both of us. But I assume responsibility for the accident. I very much enjoyed the weekend nonetheless and will definitely do better next time.”
#47 Karl-Heinz Riedle
Qualifying: 26 – race 20: “I’m pretty bushed. The cockpit temperatures were at least 50 degrees centigrade. That reminded me of the 1994 World Championship when we played at more than 40 degrees centigrade against South Korea in Dallas. My respect for racers has certainly risen quite a bit more. Overall, the weekend has been very enjoyable for me. I also would never have expected me to be on the Legends podium in third place here.”