The ‘dress rehearsal’ race for next month’s 24h race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife was a success from Goodyear’s point of view. The Ferrari 488 GT3 from the Octane 126 team with Luca Ludwig and Björn Grossmann took a strong third place in the hotly contested NLS (Nürburgring Langstrecken Series) 6h race. The German-Swiss duo were part of the lead battle throughout and showed how well the latest Goodyear slicks fit the challenges of the Nordschleife.
“The field at the 6h race was incredibly strong. All the relevant works teams and, of course, the Octane 126 Ferrari team used the race to gather final information for the season highlight at the end of September”, explained Alexander Kühn, Goodyear Car Motorsport Product Manager EMEA.
The race, which was also the fifth round of the NLS series, was a hard fight at the front: a total of 16 changes in leadership show how tough the competition was and how Ludwig, Grossmann, the Ferrari and Goodyear had to be put to the test in order to be able to clinch a podium place.
Luca Ludwig: “The tyres are an extremely important factor on the Nordschleife, and our Goodyears harmonise really well with the Ferrari 488. We as a team can now use the tyres to the optimum – you can see that in our performance on the track. The steps in developing the tyres were really remarkable. We are very happy with this partnership.”
The team had to fight from a lowly start position. Ludwig: “From higher on the grid, there would have been an even stronger result. We had to choose a strategy with an early first stop in order to avoid the traffic. Moving up from 13th to 3rd shows how good our performance was.”
Class act at two famous circuits on one day
How well the Goodyear slicks suit the Ferrari 488 GT3 was also shown by a win in the SP9-AM class, the amateur class for GT3 cars. Here the Hella Pagid – Racing One team won, driven by Christian Kohlhaas, Nikolaj Rogivue and Mike Jäger.
The NLS takes place exclusively on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the famous 25km circuit in the Eifel mountains that was deemed too dangerous for Formula One in 1976. This class win was 46 years to the month since the last Ferrari-Goodyear win in F1 on that circuit, when Clay Regazzoni took his 312B3 to victory.
To complete the Goodyear-Ferrari story, on the same Saturday evening Matt Griffin, Aaron Scott and Duncan Cameron took victory in the all-Goodyear LMGTE class of the European Le Mans Series at Le Castellet.
Goodyear returned to international endurance racing this season and the first win in open tyre competition was with Jota Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Shanghai.
“Not only are the results positive for the climax of the Nordschleife season in four weeks, the experience we have gained with the teams in the various racing classes also shows that we are well prepared. We are ready for the 24h challenge” said Alexander Kühn.
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