Further success for Muhlner Motorsport
Krumbach and Bermes win the Porsche Cup Class 2007
The tenth and final round of the German Endurance Championship 2007 at the Nurburgring ended with another podium and victory in the points standings for Porsche 997 Cup cars (VLN class Cup 4b) for Jochen Krumbach and Heinz-Josef Bermes driving for the Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport team.
The Muhlner Team once more had three cars running in this 4 hour race, the traditional "ham race" organised by the MSC Munster. The Moskovskaya Porsche with the blue design (number 695) was driven by Jonathan Baker (GB) and two Carrera Cup regulars, Florian Scholze (Leipzig) and Philipp Wlazik (Gladbeck). The Krimskoye Porsche with the red design (number 696) was driven by the regular pairing of Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler) and Heinz- Josef Bermes (Willich) . Wilfried Schmitz (Setterich) and Marcel Engels (Willich) once again drove the 697 car and were joined by a third refugee from the Honda ranks, Florian Fricke from Nienstadt.
Despite the strong competition from Porsche works drivers and other top drivers from the Supercup, Marcel Engels and Jochen Krumbach achieved almost identical qualifying times to lock up the second row of the grid. Only the Moskovskaya Porsche missed out on a good qualifying position after Florian Scholze crashed. This gave the Muhlner mechanics plenty to do to get the car repaired in time but they managed it and all 3 Muhlner cars made it to the grid to take the start.
On his charge through from the back, Baker spun on the 3rd lap and had to come in for new tyres. This unplanned stop dropped the 695 back to last in the class. Engels, the quickest Muhlner driver in qualifying, came into the pits at the end of his stint in 3rd to hand over to Schmitz for the middle turn. Next stop was by Krumbach, who once again was able to eke out an extra lap through economical driving and thus took over the lead prior to handing over to Bermes for a nine lap stint. Baker then handed over to Wlazik who went on the attack - he improved lap for lap and got back up to 4th place.
At the end of their 17th or 18th lap respectively, the 3 Muhlner Porsches came in for their final pitstops in 3 minute rhythm and were quickly refuelled; Scholze (695), Krumbach (696) and Fricke (697) taking over for the final stints. Scholze lost a certain 3rd place when on his 2nd lap he felt the handling to be strange whilst on the GP circuit and, suspecting a tyre problem, came into the pits at the end of the GP circuit rather than heading out onto the Nordschleife. This cost over 4 minutes and dropped them back to 5th at the chequered flag. Fricke did as had been agreed and used his stint to get used to the car. This he did in an excellent manner in his debut race in a Porsche and took the flag in a good 4th place. Krumbach chased down the works drivers ahead of him with a series of very fast laps, reducing the gap from over 5 to down to 2 minutes. The second place at the flag brought his points tally for the season to a class winning 65.8 points. His partner Bermes, who missed the first race, followed with 61.88 points to secure the runner-up position in the drivers points for the Porsche Cup class; third place was a driver from another team with 57.49 points.
"We can be very satisfied with our season in the German Endurance Championship. In ten races we have not once retired due to a technical problem. We won three races and apart from one single occasion were always on the podium. And last but no least, Jochen and Juppy won the drivers ranking in the Porsche Cup class. All of which we can be proud of. That our "novices" Wilfried Schmitz, Marcel Engels and now also Florian Fricke have got up to speed so quickly in the Porsche is excellent. The qualifying time from Marcel, the fourth place finish, getting a trophy at the prizegiving in their first Porsche race together, is a great result. Jonathan, Phillip and Florian could have expected a better result today but the switch from a 911 in Cup trim to one in endurance spec is not so easy. Phillip and Florian's laptimes were getting better and better - if they can start their next Nordschleife race at the level they reached at the end of this one, then they'll be able to contest the win in this competitive class" summarised Bernhard Muhlner the race and the season as a whole.