EN: Successful double mission: season starts in the NLS and at the 24h Series for Car Collection.

EN: Successful double mission: season starts in the NLS and at the 24h Series for Car Collection.

Major deployment for Car Collection Motorsport: both the Nürburgring Endurance Series and the 12h race of the 24h Series at Mugello marked the start of the 2022 racing season for the German squad. A total of four Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II cars were in action.

At the first round of the NLS, Car Collection Motorsport brought three cars to the start. While the #23 and #24 competed under the Lionspeed by Car Collection entry, the #22 was entered under Audi Sport Team Car Collection.

In this car, the two Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase and Nico Müller took turns at the wheel. After heavy traffic in qualifying and sixth place on the grid, starting driver Haase was able to establish himself in the leading group at the start of the race. However, immediately after the first pit stop the team suffered a slow puncture, which necessitated an additional, time-consuming stop. Despite this, the two drivers were able to work their way back up to seventh place by the end of the race with a very good race pace, gaining valuable experience with the new car in the process.

Car #23 had the same goal. The experienced drivers Klaus Koch, Lorenzo Rocco and Jörg Viebahn started in the SP9 class with the aim of preparing for the major highlight of the season – the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. With the second class position in qualifying, the team could actually be very satisfied, but had to start from the very back due to a yellow violation. Unfortunately, starting driver Jörg Viebahn was involved in a fierce duel already on the first lap, which caused some damage to the Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II. Due to the necessary repairs, the #23 lost several laps, causing the team to fall behind without any chance. Despite this, all drivers were still able to do their stints and thus get to know the car and the track, which had been resurfaced in parts, better.

The four-hour race went more successfully for the #24 in the Pro classification of the highest class SP9. In qualifying the driver crew, consisting of Audi Sport driver Mattia Drudi, Dennis Fetzer, Patrick Kolb and Audi Sport driver Patric Niederhauser, had bad luck several times with the traffic on the Nordschleife, which was reflected in a starting position of 11th. Start driver Drudi then plowed through the field in the early stages and was able to advance to the leading group. Patrick Kolb then stayed in the top 10 and handed over the wheel to Dennis Fetzer, who completed his first race in the top class on the Nordschleife. Despite his youth and less experience in traffic, the youngster did a very good job so that Audi Sport driver Patric Niederhauser steered the Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II across the finish line in ninth place with another strong performance. However, like many other cars, the #24 received a time penalty for a Code 60 violation after the end of the race, which is why it dropped back to P11.

At the same time, the starting signal was given for the 2022 season of the 24h Series at Mugello. Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff, Elmer Grimm and Wiggo Dalmo competed in the white and blue #34 in the 12-hour race there, which was divided into two sections. In qualifying, the crew qualified for 10th on the grid, which meant fourth place in the GT3-AM class. In the race, all drivers stayed in the top group of the class for a long time until Elmer Grimm slid off the track during a duel and had to bring the Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II to the pits damaged. Due to the repairs, the team traded a few laps behind and was far behind at the start of the second half of the race on Sunday. Despite some further problems, however, the driver crew was still able to work its way up to fourth place in class, which corresponded to 14th overall.

Next weekend, Car Collection Motorsport will be back in action. Then the season of the GT World Challenge Europe starts in Imola with the first race in the Endurance Cup. The newly formed Team Tresor by Car Collection will field two Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II cars in the Silver Cup as well as in the PRO classification.