Mühlner Motorsport take one-two at the Nürburgring
Bermes/Karlsson/Venn take a group win
The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, based Mühlner Motorsport Team brought their pair of Porsche 997s from the Porsche Supercup to the eighth round of the German Long-distance championship run at the Nürburgring at the weekend. Following the season finale at Monza in early September the two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars were rebuilt for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the toughest race circuit in the world.
Heinz-Josef (Juppy) Bermes (Willich) double started, driving both of the Basler-Securitas Insurance supported Porsches. In the car with the blue- black design (number 9) he was supported by Ulf Karlsson (Sweden) and Peter Venn (England). He shared the red & black car, number 8, with professional race driver Christian Menzel (Kelberg).
In the at first damp qualifying sessions both Mühlner Porsche were immediately on the pace. Towards the end of the session, when it was almost fully dry and everyone had switched to slicks, it was still going well and the team took first and second places in both their class and indeed their group.
Menzel, starting from pole, was able to make maximum use of his new tyres and set a fabulous time of 8:46.257. No other car in Group H has ever lapped so quickly. Also Venn did a great job in his first ever race in a Porsche, never giving up his second place.
After the first pit stops (Menzel handed over the 8 to Bermes and Venn the 9 to Karlsson) the 8 car remained in P1 but the 9 dropped to P3 due to the pit stop. Through quick lap times Karlsson rapidly cut down the deficit and as the then 2nd placed man made his pit stop, Karlsson flew by to retake the position.
At the final stop, Menzel took over the still leading red-black Porsche from Bermes for the final stint. But on his first lap out of the pits he was involved in an accident "on the climb up to Carousel another car clipped my right rear - I nearly flew off into the barriers" reported Menzel later. He limped the car back to the pits on its wheel rim where the Mühlner mechanics make emergency repairs in double-quick time to get the car back out onto the track where it had meanwhile dropped to 3rd place.
Karlsson had in the meantime taken over the lead with the sister car and drove a strong race before handing over to double-starter Bermes for the final stint, who then brought the car home for the first class win for a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in the German Long-distance championship. Menzel managed, notwithstanding the damage resulting from the accident, to regain second place and thereby ensure a dream one-two result for the Mühlner Motorsport Team in their first race with the Porsche 997 GT3 at the Nürburgring.
"I am very satisfied with the result. We've achieved a one-two not just in our class but in our overall group category. Our "newcomer" Peter did a super job in his first race in a Porsche and Ulf drove a very strong middle stint. Juppy was, notwithstanding the pressure of doing two stints, actually quicker in his second stint than the first. And Christian demonstrated the potential in our Porsche with his super lap time. We didn't have a single technical problem and apart from the accident everything went perfectly" assessed team boss Bernhard Mühlner and continued "our two Porsches have proven their reliability and that gives us confidence for our entry in the 24 hour races in Bahrain and Dubai."