Frank Biela wins at the Nürburgring
18.09.2017 Schaeffler driver Frank Biela celebrated his second victory of the season and maintained his chances of winning the title in the “big small” racing series, which was hosted during the race weekend with the SimRacing EXPO and the Blancpain GT Series at the Nürburgring. Record champion Thomas Voigt (Audi) and Michael Niemas (KTM) completed the podium in the Eifel.
Premiere in the “big small” racing series: For the first time in RCCO history, eight cars were on track at the same time. In front of thousands of spectators at the SimRacing EXPO, the SUEDSCHLEIFE from OK Speed Marketing was a perfect location for the world premiere. The races were filled with action. The #VisionRCCO E sports cars provided close racing on the SUEDSCHLEIFE. In the end, Frank Biela was the one who had his nose in front of the rest, driving his Schaeffler Vision RCCO. The five-time Le Mans winner and ex-DTM champion had a lead of one lap ahead of Thomas Voigt (Audi) and Michael Niemas (KTM). However, Biela’s victory was not without controversy: Right at the beginning of the race on the same lap, he pushed both Kim Hauschild and Thomas Voigt off the track on the banked curve of the SUEDSCHLEIFE. “I did not notice the collision with Kim, and the one with Thomas was unintended,” said Biela, after his tenth RCCO victory.
Strong Audi appearance
At the eighth of eleven events this season, KTM, Volkswagen, Lamborghini and Schaeffler each have two wins in their accounts. ABT and Audi have not won a race so far, although the Audi R8 e-tron from tv racing made an extremely strong impression at the Nürburgring. Guest driver Axel Woltmann and Thomas Voigt started well with the first two places in free practice. Woltmann convincingly won his preliminary heat. Voigt was involved in a collision at the very beginning of his preliminary heat, after which he was part of a thrilling three-in-battle with the two KTMs of Michael Niemas and Björn Skottke for almost the entire race. As the third-place finisher in his preliminary heat, Voigt qualified for the semi-final, which he won convincingly. In the final, after a collision in the opening phase of the race, Voigt was only to be beaten by Frank Biela. By finishing second, Voigt is now equal on points with Kim Hauschild (Volkswagen) in third place of the drivers’ standings. Axel Woltmann fought for the lead with Frank Biela during the final, until the engine of the surprisingly fast guest driver gave up on track. “It was still a lot of fun,” said Woltmann.
KTM in trouble
The KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO cars were surprisingly not as strong as they usually are during the RCCO event on the SUEDSCHLEIFE. Björn Skottke lost his lead in the standings to Daniel Bäumler (Volkswagen), after only finishing in twelfth place. Michael Niemas again had a strong race and, after finishing third, still has a good chance to win the title. In both the semi-finals and final, Niemas delivered action-packed duels with record champion Thomas Voigt. Niemas prevailed in the semi-final, and then it was the turn of Voigt in the final. The Audi driver lost his second place to Niemas shortly before the end of the race, due to Voigt being involved in an accident. However, Voigt managed to pass Niemas and regained second place on the penultimate lap. “That was a great battle,” said Niemas. “I wanted to be fair and I did not defend too much.” “It is a lot of fun to drive against a guy like Michael,” said Voigt after the race. “We drove hard together and enjoyed the duel.”
Bäumler back on top
Daniel Bäumler finished fourth at the Nürburgring, ensuring that he regained the lead in the standings. However, the Volkswagen driver has taken part in all eight of the events so far, whereas his pursuers have each missed at least one event. As only eight of the eight of the eleven events are tallied, Bäumler’s opponents are still able to score points in Buxtehude in two weeks’ time. Whereas, Bäumler needs to forfeit eight points. The “net” standings at the top of the table are thus event closer than the current “gross” results.
Gary Hassler as the best “rookie”
The event of the “big small” racing series at the Nürburgring was presented by Liquid Ice. Gary Hassler joined teammate Frank Biela with a Schaeffler Vision RCCO and finished sixth, claiming his best RCCO result to date. Hassler also won the rookie ranking.
Pole position for Ossi Kragl
At his home race on the SUEDSCHLEIFE, Ossi Kragl secured pole position in front of his brand colleagues Frank Biela and Gary Hassler. The race itself did not go quite as well for Kragl. Nevertheless, he managed to finish it in the top ten.
More than 200 guests
More than 200 guests tried out the RCCO at the SimRacing EXPO. Marc Hennerici and Norman Simon from the RCCO organising team also had fun on the SUEDSCHLEIFE. The daily winners of the public races were allowed to participate in the RCCO race. The victory in the Schaeffler #VisionRCCO Cup was secured by Jan Fecker.