Podium for Lidsey in Germany
Podium for Lidsey in Germany

Kent’s Brett Lidsey achieved his aim of securing a maiden podium finish in the Nurburgring Endurance Series during the blue riband fifth round of the season on Saturday with a fantastic performance at the latest round.

Northfleet-based Lidsey, who competes with the Sorg Rennsport squad, actually led the Cup 5 class briefly into the final 30 minutes of the six-hour contest but ultimately had to settle for third place at the flag along with regular team-mate Ivan Berets and Moran Gott, who joined the line-up on a one-off basis for the longer format race. 

Impacted by a traction control issue with the No.694 BMW M240i late in the last stint, Lidsey did a terrific job to overcome the problem and hold on to third place. Then, post-race, the winning No.650 car was penalised for not adhering to the rules during one of the pit-stops and so Lidsey, Berets and Gott were elevated into the runner-up position.

“This was the longest race of my career so I’m really happy to make the podium”, said the 28-year-old Liftout and Dornack supported racer, “It’s absolutely fantastic to finish in second place, we’ve challenged hard for the podium since the start of the season so to finally make it happen is a great result and a big reward for the Sorg Rennsport guys who have done an amazing job.”

Marking a change to the usual four-hour format for the Nurburgring-Nordschleife encounters, this weekend’s six-hour race brought additional challenges for the teams and drivers. With Lidsey and Berets having contested the previous round as a two-driver pairing, experienced Israeli driver Gott was drafted in by Sorg Rennsport to boost the line-up to a three-driver entry once again.

Berets qualified the Gerri Limonade liveried BMW third fastest early on Saturday morning, having been quickest of all in Cup5 for the bulk of the session, but at the start of the race the Russian made a fantastic launch to leap into the class lead into the first right-hander. Continuing to head the way as the cars headed out onto the vast Nordschleife section, Berets ultimately ended the first lap third.

Edged down to fourth before the end of the opening hour, Berets moved back into the top three prior to the first driver-change which came with around 70 minutes completed. During a good stop, Lidsey climbed behind the wheel and emerged in third position and he stayed well in touch with the second placed No.666 BMW as the end of the second hour of racing approached.

Lapping quickly and very consistently, Lidsey pressed on and kept the Sorg Rennsport entry firmly in contention for second position before handing over to Gott for the third hour of the race. With strong experience of the Nordschleife, Gott instantly got down to business and at the midway point of the race he was still second in Cup5.

Berets returned to the driving seat for hour four, still second in class after the squad’s third pit-stop but he then slipped back to fourth position. Climbing back into third, Berets eventually handed the BMW back to Gott who again performed strongly and consistently. 

Lidsey got back into the BMW for the final stint of the six-hour encounter and after holding second place in Cup5 with just over half an hour to go, running 12 seconds clear of his closest challenger in Cup5, he briefly moved into the class lead as late ‘splash and dash’ pit-stops played out.

With just 20 minutes remaining, the issue with traction control meant Lidsey had to fight hard to retain third rather than challenge for second. With the penalty for the No.650 BMW, though, the runner-up spot was deservingly achieved by Lidsey, Berets and Gott. 

“Ivan did a great job at the start, joining the Nordschleife in P1, and he was battling between the podium positions for most of his stint”, reflected Lidsey, “It was a long race and when I jumped back in the car for my last stint we were P3 and with only 10 seconds to P2 – the sister Sorg Rennsport car. They pitted as I closed up on them, then I pitted for a splash and dash a lap later.

“Unfortunately, the car developed a traction control fault after that and every time we had any slight wheelspin it would change gear, so I was losing time having to change back down the box. Luckily enough we were far enough away from fourth place to take third at the flag, and after the appeal against the winning 650 car we were promoted to P2. It’s been a great weekend, fantastic result.”