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International Sports Racing Series Nürburgring 1998

5th - 6th September 1998

Event report

Friday - 4th September

The sixth round of ISRS 1998 season was held at Nürburgring in September 5th-6th.

Scrutineering

Friday afternoon was on the programme only scrutineering. There were present 25 cars in the paddock. This was two cars less than in provisional entry list because both SR1 teams from Great Britain stayed at home. Regular McNeil Engineering with Lola that did its best results in the last race at Anderstorp and Simpson Engineering which after promising debut at Donington announced second appearance of Matrix MXP but didn't arrive.

The entry led JB Ferrari, BMW entered and powered Riley & Scotts and other car of these two makes like usually. No Courage, no Porsche-Joest and no WR again. New entrants were URD and SMR (Stürtz) - both in same dark blue colors. This was the biggest field ever seen in short ISRS history yet.

Saturday - 5th September

1st free practice (8:45-9:40)

After rainy night the track was still very wet but all 25 cars ran in this first session. For most teams this rainy practice was without major problems. Only second Siliprandi Lucchini crashed and destroyed rear wing. Although had run into the pits itself, it was packed up and the team early went home. For this reason entry was reduced to 24 cars as was also at Mugello in the third race of the season.

Best time got like usually Collard/Sospiri in JB-Ferrari who were more than four seconds quicker than second Lavaggi-Ferrari followed by three R&S of which best was no.3 driven by Stuck/Soper. Surprising was URD in hands of former F1 driver Julian Bailey and Austria Euroseries champion Martin Krisam junior that achieved 7th time being quicker than Target-R&S and Lista-Ferrari. Best in SR2 category were DeCastelli/Jakubowski with Debora number 32 (10th) and in CN Mancini/Riccitelli (11th) in red Tampolli.

2nd free practice (11:30-12:20)

For the second free practice the track dried, so Collard with Sospiri improved about 12 seconds at 1:31.98 beaten no.3 R&S- BMW by one second. Best non-Riley or Ferrari was now Debora (no.32) followed by URD and best CN Centenari no.40 (Pompidou/Donovan/Thyrring). Kremer Porsche Repsol that stayed in the pits had engine problems. Also Taverna's Osella didn't run well being last with one lap completed.

Qualifying session (14:10-15:10)

In afternoon qualifying session ran Collard one lap in 1:30.49 and JB-Ferrari was the only car that ran over 180 km/h. Second Theys (Lista-Ferrari) and third Soper stayed at 1:32.25 and 1:33.18. Kremer Porsche Repsol was now OK but was only 16th (1:40.40). Problems were now with new SMR that was for all day much more seen in the pits than on the track. After one measured lap engine failed and mechanics had to work till night. URD and Debora were again 9th and 10th but changed their positions from 2nd practice. In CN dominated Pompidou (Centenari no.40) by 0.24 seconds ahead of Riccitelli (Tampolli no.45).

Shoot out (16:55-17:20)

Late in Saturday afternoon the program ended by ISRS Fina Pole Position Shoot Out. Debora stayed closed in the pits, so nine cars appeared trying improve their qualifying times on free track. Quickest was Collard but he achieves his time in the second lap but only the third is counted. And in this lap he perhaps tried to run under 1:30 but in the last turn his car went of the track, so Collard was classified 9th ahead of not starting Debora which driver Jakubowski has just won support race Ferrari Challenge. After retirement of JB-Ferrari, Stuck and Soper had their way to the third pole position in the season opened (1:32.00) closely followed by Lienhard/Theys (1:32.00) and Gache/Beltoise (1:32.54).

Sunday - 6th September

Warm Up (9:15-9:30)

Rain and fog - that was the weather all warm up and also first part of the race. Under hard conditions were fastest Stuck/Soper (1:550.71) ahead of Gache/Beltoise (1:54.78). URD was 6th (2:01.63), Lista-Ferrari 8th and JB-Ferrari 9th. That was after one measured lap pulled into pits. Both Deboras didn't take part in warm up and also Centenari no.40 stayed without measured time.

The Race (13:30-16:00)

In support races former group C team Obermaier did well when its Porsche 911 driven by Otto Altenbach won a wet Ferrari/Porsche Challenge race without problems overcoming championship leader Daniel Schrey in strong Porsche 935 Turbo. Jakubowski ran again Ferrari Challenge and finished second in a rain. After that it was all prepared for the start of ISRS 2.5-hour race, the start of which was scheduled at 13:30.

After the start both first row cars ran closely alongside on front. Their battle in the first lap won Lista-Ferrari but lead only one lap being early overtaken by Stuck/Soper Riley. From 9th starting position quickly improved JB-Ferrari running third and in the 3rd lap was already second. First car that retired was unfortunately all weekend nice running URD. Just after race was started URD driver took aim into pits and with broken cylinder didn't continue anymore. As it was still raining many cars had problems. In the first turn both Debora were pushed by other cars and did spin. Repsol Kremer Porsche left the track too. All these cars ran then in the back of the field. Worse it was with Lavaggi's Ferrari. After leaving the track and losing 8 laps didn't continue. In the meantime Collard/Sospiri took the lead in lap 8. For the third place there was a battle between Lista-Ferrari and second R&S-BMW. Surprising drive showed SMR running after Ferraris and R&S in 8th position and before it first went into pits was even 7th. But its pitstop was very long (4 laps), so returned to 18th position. In twelfth lap did R&S no.3 mistake and fell in 5th place. But five laps later he was again 2nd.

In CN ran well new Picchio driven by former Centenari driver Arturo Merzario and Gianni Giudici but early mechanical problems cost them CN lead. In SR2 Debora no.32 took the lead after a collision in the second lap ahead of MBR. Second Debora left the track twice again and ran with 7-lap loss.

Collard/Sospiri led all race with exception during their pitstop when three times appeared in the lead Stuck/Soper but always only for few laps. Other Ferraris had problems and ran behind all four Riley & Scotts and finally retired, Lista car with transmission problems and Auto Sport Racing (Calderari/Bryner/Zadra) after Zadra's mistake.

SR2 was still led by DeCastelli/Jakubowski in Debora. MBR had big problems and twice was for a long time repaired. But was still classified in the finish. So Debora did double win. In CN Centenaris were in problems too. Blue cars no.40 and 43 were long in the pits and the only front running new MAC3-003 that was still in white colors retired after 46 laps from 3rd position in CN category. By this time led Tampolli no.44 because their first car no.45 retired earlier. Second was Siliprandi Lucchini. Many times were in the pits also Taverna entered Osella but still finished 3rd in its class.

After the first pitstop SMR still ran well and reached 11th position but then it retired with front bodywork problems. During entire race both leading cars were running in the same lap but Stuck/Soper weren't able to catch up 15 seconds loss so Collard and Sospiri gained fifth consecutive victory in the series.