The Nurburgring F1 track hosted the second round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, where an action packed 6-Hour race had both Barwell Lamborghini Huracans embroiled in their respective battles for Silver Cup and Pro-Am Cup honours. The Black Bull Scotch Whisky-backed Silver Cup entry of Frederik Schandorff, Alex MacDowall and Patrick Kujala challenged for a spot in the overall top three during the opening hour, as both cars led their classes simultaneously during the first half of the race. At the end of six hours of intense racing the Silver Cup boys (who had won last time out at Imola) were in an incredible dog fight for the class victory, but were just unable to usurp their championship rivals in the Garage 59 Aston Martin as the two cars crossed the finish line separated by a mere 2/10ths of a second (even after we had suffered from a power-sapping engine misfire for much of the race). The Vimetco Extrusion/Asterus-backed Huracan of Leo Machitski, Rob Collard and Sandy Mitchell unfortunately had their challenge for a Pro-Am podium blunted mid-way through the race when their car was smashed into a spin by a stupid move from a Silver Cup Porsche. They still recovered to take sixth place however, and had shown again that they have the pace to challenge for Pro-Am victory. In the Silver Cup points standings, the Barwell boys are locked in a tight battle for supremacy lying just a point off the leading Garage 59 Aston crew.
At the race start there was chaos at the first corner as the front two rows of Pro cars collided with each other and caused a blockage on the outside of the corner, which in turn delayed some of the cars who had started on the outside line of the grid. The two Barwell Lambos had both started on the inside and Frederik and Rob both picked their way through the melee superbly to make up a chunk of the positions as they exited the corner. Indeed Schandorff had done an especially good job of anticipating the situation, having had a clear plan in his mind prior to the start to keep to the inside line, and this paid off handsomely as he emerged in fourth position overall and as the clear Silver Cup leader.
After a short Safety Car period to clear things up, we then enjoyed watching Frederik comfortably hold his own with the top three Pro cars as he showed that the Barwell Lambo had the pace to challenge for an overall podium result as well as Silver Cup honours. After three quarters of an hour, however, our joy and excitement was turned to dismay and anxiety as the young Dane came on the radio to report that the engine was not running cleanly and he was really struggling for top end speed down the straights. This was evident from the speed trap figures and soon he was powerless to resist a line of Pro cars that were now queuing up to pass him down the straights. This dropped Frederik down to outside the top 10 overall, but he still managed to hold onto the Silver class lead by the time his stint behind the wheel was over. Amazingly, despite losing the best part of a second a lap due to this extremely rare and strange engine issue, we were able to maintain a top three Silver Cup position throughout the race and still keep in the hunt for the class victory. With the demise of the Tech 1 Lexus, this left the final two hours featuring in incredibly tense and exciting nip-and-tuck fight between Patrick and ex-Barwell driver James Pull in the Aston. Kujala was crawling all over the back of him in the corners but our lack of speed at the end of the straights meant that he just couldn’t get close enough to get past under braking.
The Pro-Am car also suffered its fair share of misfortune, which firstly was being assaulted by the Porsche that dropped it from first down to third just as Collard was in a comfortable class lead. Then Leo was absolutely flying during his first stint and closed down the gap to the two class leaders as he attempted to regain the Pro-am top spot. He immediately pounced on the FFF Lamborghini of Hamaguchi (which eventually won Pro-Am) and was in the process of taking second place when the two Huracans made contact and the collision very unfortunately gave our car a puncture. This meant an extremely costly and unnecessary pit stop which ultimately restricted the Barwell Pro-Am entry to sixth place in class. This was a shame after they had shown class-winning form for much of the race, but shows the potential is there for a great result next time out at the series flagship event, the fantastic 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.