Linus Granfors nets NXT Gen Cup grand slam at the Nürburgring
15-year-old Swede Linus Granfors became historic as the first-ever driver in the 100% electric NXT Gen Cup to take a grand slam, with pole position and two wins, as the junior series raced along the prestigious DTM at Nürburgring in Germany.
Race 1 was the first time the 18-car strong field raced in wet conditions, as a chaotic race resulted in four cars having to retire.
Linus Granfors took the lead from pole position, as the safety car came out on lap four after Katie Turners car came to a halt. Granfors then avoided drama in the fully wet restart, where Louise Larsson and Sebastian Kinnmark slid off the track into the gravel trap.
The race finished under safety car, as Linus Granfors claimed his first win in NXT Gen Cup.
American Ellis Spiezia mastered the challenging conditions to take second from seventh on the grid.
It was really chaotic. During the safety car, the rain started to pour down, and we have never driven these cars in proper wet before. So to go into turn one unsighted, I advised against using push-to-pass and try to take the lead because it would be too risky. So really good points, really good for the championship, said Ellis Spiezia.
Enzo Hallman secured the last step of the podium in Race 1, after initially dropping down the field and then fighting his way back to the podium.
It was quite a dramatic race for me. I dropped a few of places in the beginning, and then fought back to third again. The champagne on the podium did not taste that great, I think I just use it to spray, said Enzo Hallman.
Elias Adestam, coming into the race weekend as second in the championship, spun in the restart and salvaged points in 12th.
Dane Victor Nielsen started Race 2 from the reversed grid pole position in another wet race. Nielsen fought hard with cross car-champion Alexander Gustafsson for the lead until the safety car was deployed on lap three as Louise Larsson got stuck in the gravel at Turn 1.
Linus Granfors made the most of the restart to climb to second after starting in eight. The Race 1 winner used his push-to-pass perfectly to pass race leader Victor Nielsen on lap five on his way to a back-to-back victory at the Nürburgring.
It feels super good to win all of the races here in Germany this weekend. It was well needed points to try to catch up in the championship. Now I need to have as many good races as possible and try to continue to win, said Linus Granfors.
Championship leader Ellis Spiezia once again climbed the order in the reversed grid race to take another second place from Granfors.
Elias Adestam got revenge after a tough race one, as the two-time-winner took third, just one tenth of a second ahead of Victor Nielsen.
This feels amazing. I have almost never been this happy this season, even though I won two races. Because this felt the most deserved, as I did an incredible race from my side. I am really grateful to get out there and do a good second race, said Elias Adestam.
With two podium finishes, Ellis Spiezia will leave the Nürburgring having extended his lead in the standings to a solid 34 points over Linus Granfors, who climbed to second after his grand slam.
This was exactly what we wanted to do at this German track, to extend the points lead as much as we could. Now we are going into the tracks that are unknown for us. It feels good knowing, depending on who we battle, that we can secure our positions to stay consistent and dont have to go all-in every time, said Ellis Spiezia.
NXT Gen Cup debutant Mats Overhoff had a strong premiere in the all-electric championship, finishing tenth and sixth.
The best female driver was another newcomer, as Dutch racer Benet Boer secured eleventh in both Nürburgring races.
NXT Gen Cup heads back to Sweden after back-to back races in Germany. Next up is the mid-season tests on August 16-17 at Gelleråsen ahead of round four of the championship at the same track on August 18-19.