25.09.2011

Arno Klasen celebrates his 25th overall win

Bright sunshine all around the Nürburgring Nordschleife and happy winners on the podium; Arno Klasen (Karlshausen/ Germany) celebrates a historic victory at the 43rd ADAC Barbarossapreis race. Together with Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) and for the 25th time in his career, the 44 years old race driver occupied first position on the podium. At the eighth round of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring, the duo in the Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by Manthey-Racing took the chequered flag with an advance of 2:35.971 minutes ahead of Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel/ Germany) and Christopher Haase (Kulmbach/ Germany) in an Audi R8 LMS of the team Phoenix-Racing who followed into second place. The top three on the podium were completed by the team HARIBO Team Manthey with drivers Mike Stursberg (Wermelskirchen/ Germany), Hans Guido Riegel (Leubsdorf/ Germany) and René Rast (Stolzenau/ Germany) who joined the podium for their first time in this most popular club racing series in Europe. From the statistical point of view, the event organised by the MSC Sinzig also marked another highlight in the current season. Luhr and Klasen are the eighth new winners in the eighth race and the Porsche 911 GT3 R is the seventh different make winning a championship race. In the 35 years of history of the series, there had never been any similar variety in the list of winners. A 30 minutes summary of the race will be broadcasted in channel Sport 1 on 30th September at 17:30hrs.

“I am totally happy about the victory and I am also a little proud”, said Klasen after the race. “Such a success can only be achieved with the perfect team and the prefect team mates. Neither Lucas nor I made any mistake today and I in particular rather backed up a little during the race. Finally, this turned out to be the right strategy.” The man who dominated the race in the first part was Rast. “I enjoyed today’s race really very much“, said the 24 years old Rast. “As I am normally much more experienced in Cup races, it was a great feeling for me to have all these really true endurance specialists behind me.” In the further running of the race, the two ambitious hobby race drivers Stursberg and Riegel were able to defend their position in the top group. “The performance of the team was finally confirmed by a position on the podium”, said Stursberg who completed the last stint. “During my first metres on the track, I realized some gearbox problems. So I was really concerned whether we would make it to the finish. We are all the more happy that we still made it into third position finally.” Stippler and Haase were pretty close to the overall victory in the final phase of the race. Stippler then went off at the section Aremberg in the penultimate lap due to some oil on the track and crashed into the track barriers. “That was really disappointing, and this after all the bad luck which we’ve already had during the season”, said a disappointed Stippler. “Luckily I made it still to the finish with our R8 but we are of course not happy with position two.” Haase at least achieved his minimum target to score points for the German GT3 Championship. In addition to selected races of the endurance racing championship, the races of the ADAC GT Masters and the Nürburgring 24h Race are counting for this DMSB classification. The top three were followed three Porsche teams made up to Sabine Schmitz and Klaus Abbelen (both from Barweiler/ Germany), Michael Illbruck (Unterföhring/ Germany) and Marco Seefried (Wemding/ Germany) as well as Georg Weiss (Monschau/ Germany), Oliver Kainz (Kottenheim/ Germany) and Michael Jacobs (Roetgen-Rott/ Germany) into places four to six. The fastest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was driven by Michael Zehe (Floersheim/ Germany), Klaus Rader (Munich) and Marco Schelp (Berlin) entered by ROWE RACING and finishing into seventh place.

After eight of ten rounds, Thomas Kappeler (Bad Saulgau/ Germany), Harald Hennes (Eschweiler/ Germany) and Thomas Gerling (Uchte/ Germany) in a BMW M3 are now leading the championship. The trio scored their fifth win in the class of VLN Specials up to 3000 cc cylinder capacity. His first class victory in the endurance racing championship, in contrast, celebrated Christian Schmitz (Herresbach/ Germany). The member of the dmsj initiative in the promotion of young drivers and of the Motorsportakademie Nürburgring won class V6 (VLN series production cars up to 3500 cc cylinder capacity) together with Thomas Koll (Houverath/ Germany). Schmitz is also member of the VLN club ASC Adenau.

Fritzsche twins celebrate their 112th anniversary
Two long-time participants in the VLN endurance racing championship celebrated a special anniversary at the 43rd ADAC Barbarossapreis. The twins Heinz-Otto and Jürgen Fritzsche (both from Hückeswagen/ Germany) became 56 years old. VLN managing director Dietmar Busch (Radevormwald/ Germany) did not want to miss the opportunity to with them all the best. “We hope that you will continue to participate in our series for another long time”, said Busch. Heinz-Otto Fritzsche replied: “If it is up to us to decide, we will follow the series for many further years. The preparations for the 2012 season are under way and everything looks fine for the moment.” The brothers, together with team mate Nicole Müllenmeister (Ermelskirchen/ Germany), finished the eights round of the season eleventh in the class of VLN Specials up to 2000 cylinder capacity with turbo engines.

The ninth race of the year, the 35th DMV 250-Meilen-Rennen organised by the AC Monheim, will take place on 15th of October.