A day of two-fold celebration for Ola Nilsson: In a heartbeat finale at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, the Swede continued his march down victory lane in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and secured an early win of the championship by taking his seventh victory in the eighth race. By winning the title Nilsson gave himself the nicest present as he is celebrating his 24th birthday on the same day.
The former DTM driver Klaus Niedzwiedz decided the Legends classification in his favor, ahead of ex-Formula 1 racer and Bugatti world record driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel. In the Juniors’ classification, the Pole Jakub Litwin won ahead of front runner Kasper H. Jensen from Denmark.
In the most spectacular and closest finish in the history of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, the new champion overtook Moritz Oestreich (D) out of the slipstream as late as on the finish straight. The podium was completed in third place by the Pole Adam Gladysz, who with two races to go before the season ends has perfect chances of finishing as the runner-up. After the start, Nilsson had initially lost his pole position, dropping to third place behind Oestreich and Gladysz. Afterwards, the trio was within one second of each other and fought a captivating battle for victory. On the final meters, Nilsson, not least thanks to having saved clearly more push-to-pass trials, proved to have more staying power. He first overtook Gladysz on the penultimate lap and shortly before the finish line intercepted Oestreich. On seeing the checkered flag, Nilsson had a razor-thin advantage of 0.021 seconds.
DTM legends thrill with spectacular overtaking maneuvers
At their only run in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup doubler-header round at Oschersleben, the legends experienced highs and lows. To secure victory in the Legends classification, the former DTM star Klaus Niedzwiedz merely had to finish in 15th place overall. Pierre-Henri Raphanel, who since his speed record of around 431 km/h in the Bugatti Veyron has been deemed the world’s fastest driver in a production sports car, was having a difficult time in the Cup Scirocco that has almost 900 hp less power than his company car and took 17th place. For the 1986 DTM champion Kurt Thiim, the race was over on lap 10 when he was forced to park the Cup Scirocco due to a puncture.
In the overall standings, Nilsson – with 120 points yet to be awarded – is out of reach by leading with a score of 410 points ahead of Gladysz (258 points) and the American Dennis Trebing (235). In the Juniors’ classification, the Pole Jakub Litwin was able to reduce his gap to front runner Kasper H. Jensen (DK, 314 points) by twelve to 32 points.
Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
“What Ola Nilsson, Moritz Oestreich, Adam Gladysz and the other drivers showed today was top-flight racing. This was without a doubt the most thrilling and dramatic finish in the history of the Scirocco R-Cup – and fine advertisement for motorsport. ‘Well done’ above all to our new champion Ola Nilsson for his impressive string of victories this year and sincere congratulations on winning the championship!”
#23 Ola Nilsson Qualifying 1 – race 1:
“Wow, what a race! That was the closest finish in my career! I’m overjoyed to have clinched the championship in the Scirocco R-Cup on my birthday of all times. I had a bad start with two much wheel spin at the front, so I had to let Moritz and Adam pass me. In addition, I obviously didn’t want to risk the championship because I knew that third place would be enough for me. My plan was to save as many push-to-pass trials as possible up to the end. That it actually worked out on the final metres is simply incredible."
#17 Moritz Oestreich Qualifying 2 – race 2:
“Well done’ to Ola – that was really a super-close decision. My start was great and I was able to directly overtake Ola with push-to-pass. During the race, I kept my eyes more on Adam and lost sight of Ola a bit. When he was behind me on the last lap I was hoping he didn’t have any push left because I knew it would be a close call otherwise. Still, I’m happy with second place and think that we showed a good race to the crowd…”
#21 Adam Gladysz Qualifying 4 – race 3:
“I knew that I’d be able to beat Ola at the start because he wouldn’t go for an all-out attack due to the championship. During the race I felt like a slice of salami in a sandwich – at the front, I had to stay on Moritz’s heels and behind me, Ola was lurking. Now I want to secure the runner-up’s position at all cost. After four podium finishes in the last two races it’s high time for the top spot on the podium.”
#54 Kurt Thiim Qualifying 15 – race retirement:
“In the turn at the entrance to the start-finish straight I had contact with another vehicle, which resulted in the tire puncture. That’s really a shame because I had a great race. At the start, I beat Klaus and then fought a few really fantastic duels with him on the following laps. It’s a shame that I wasn’t in front this time. After our Scirocco R-Cup duels, the score between Klaus and me is now level at 2, so we’ll continue our duels next year.”
#57 Klaus Niedzwiedz Qualifying 12 – race 15:
“My start was less than perfect. I suddenly noticed Kurt running alongside me. I tried to recover my lost position but Kurt’s a tough guy. We fought some fantastic duels and it was really good fun. I’m happy that I was able to level the score in our internal duel – with that; I’ve achieved my goal for the season. I’m already looking forward to the next duels with Kurt next year.”
#58 Pierre-Henri Raphanel Qualifying 19 – race 17:
“I really enjoyed this weekend. Sitting in a race car again after more than 14 years was huge fun. I also noticed, though, that my fortes are more in driving on a straight line at high speed (laughs). My start was okay; I tried to stay clear of all tussles. I messed up a better place as early as in qualifying. Still, it was a great pleasure to drive here at Oschersleben. For junior drivers, the Scirocco R-Cup is brilliant. The level surprised me – especially at the front.”