The six-hour race is the highlight of the NLS season and marks the final round before the famous Nürburgring 24 Hours, which KCMG will attempt in three weeks’ time.
Both cars unfortunately struggled to get a clear lap in during qualifying, as a number of incidents brought out Code 60 caution periods which affected several cars’ session, leaving the #19 Porsche 911 GT3 R 21st and the sister #18 car 29th.
However, a storming drive from the Porsche factory squad of Patrick Pilet, Romain Dumas, Dennis Olsen and Richard Lietz hauled the #18 up the order to eventually finish ninth and, for the third time this season, as the best-placed Porsche.
Alexandre Imperatori, Edoardo Liberati and Josh Burdon displayed similarly strong pace in the #19 car, but their race unfortunately ended early after making contact with another car.
With the final preparations complete, the next stop for KCMG will be the Nürburgring 24 Hours on 24-27 September.
Patrick Pilet, #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “It was a difficult weekend with no luck in qualifying, but that’s part of racing at the Nordschleife. I really enjoyed all my time on the track and we have a great attitude of never giving up. We pushed from lap one until the chequered flag with no mistakes, everything went smoothly and we came through the field well. I’m pretty optimistic for the 24 Hours. Every time the car is on track we improve in all areas, so we’re ready to try to win the big race again.”
Romain Dumas, #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “For sure our race was complicated by our starting position, but we had a good rhythm and we learnt a lot. The competition is so high that you need to be perfect, and we improved step-by-step. We have a lot to analyse to be ready for the 24 Hours but I expect us to be at the sharp end.”
Dennis Olsen, #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “Mixed feelings from the weekend. A difficult qualifying where we didn’t get a clear lap, which made everything a bit harder. But we can take solace in doing a clean race with zero mistakes and it all worked out pretty well. A great job by KCMG to keep improving and if we don’t lose so much time at the beginning then we can have a good 24 Hours.”
Richard Lietz, #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “These four NLS races we have competed in have been great preparation for the 24 Hours. We keep learning and it’s been great working with KCMG, Dennis, Patrick and Romain. Now we focus on the big one at the 24 Hours.”
Alexandre Imperatori, #19 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “It was good to be running at the front of the field in our last rehearsal before the 24 Hours, we can take a lot of positives from that. Still it was a shame to retire following contact that was out of our control. The entire team has made huge strides forward and even though we still have some areas to improve on, we are looking forward to the big one in a few weeks’ time.”
Josh Burdon, #19 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “NLS 5 was a positive weekend, our final preparation race before the 24 Hours. KCMG has made big steps forward and fighting towards the front was great. We still have some work to do but I’m confident heading into the main race.”
Edoardo Liberati, #19 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “I’m very happy with the overall performance we’ve shown. KCMG has done a great job over the last couple of months and at the weekend we proved we are podium contenders. Thanks to the whole team and I can’t wait to face the next challenge.”
Paul Ip, Team Founder: “Once again we have made progress with the car and are seeing a lot of positive signs ahead of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. This weekend’s result was perhaps not the best we could have achieved, but there were some uncontrollable factors involved and ultimately we have demonstrated strong pace. We have used these NLS races well in our preparations for the 24 Hours, which we look forward to tackling with Porsche for the first time.”
Source. KCMG/Photo. Swoosh Communications