17.07.2016

Exciting showdown: Land wins ahead of Manthey

That was a race according to the taste of the VLN fans: In an exciting showdown and at the end of the final lap, Christopher Mies in the Audi R8 LMS of Land Motorsport succeeded against Jörg Bergmeister in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Manthey Racing. In a courageous manoeuvre, the Audi driver attacked his rival at the Döttinger Höhe and passed the leader with top speed at Tiergarten. His advance at the finish line was 0.602 seconds. There was great joy in the team of Land-Motorsport, in particular as this victory signified the 21st success in the history of the team from the Westerwald. Positions three and five were secured by the two BMW M6 GT3 of the Team Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop (Victor Bouveng, Jesse Krohn and Jörg Müller ahead of Matias Henkola and Michele Di Martino). Dominik and Mario Farnbach in a Lexus RC-F GT3 in fourth place as well as the sixth-placed Sebastian Asch and Luca Ludwig in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of the Zakspeed-Teams provided the impressive variety of makes in the top positions.

Christopher Mies is quietly and surely advancing to become the favourite of the fans at the Nordschleife. After his brilliant performance in the penultimate race when he completed fabulous lap times under those extremely wet weather and track conditions and left all of his competitors literally in the rain, he was today again the man of the race. Already in the timed practice of the morning, he scored a new, even though unofficial, record with a lap time of 7:57.161 minutes (official lap records can only be scored in a race).

Both Mies and his team mate Connor De Phillippi from the United States showed a huge fighting spirit throughout the four hours of racing. With a sound strategy, the driver duo of the Land team ranked always in the leading group. “Both of my stints today were great fun for me”, said Mies. “I had quite a number of overtaking manoeuvres with my direct rivals but all of them went off in a fair way.” Mies’ manoeuvre in the final lap will definitely always be remembered. The 17-year-old race driver tool full risk at the section Tiergarten and passed Jörg Bergmeister on the outside in the ultra-quick left corner. “All-or-nothing, that was what I thought”, he informs. “Today, I wanted to win under all circumstances.”

The defeated Bergemeister was quite disappointed at the finish even though, together with Michael Ammermüller, he had scored the first result on the podium for Manthey-Racing with the new Porsche 911 GT3-R. “I was hoping that my advance would be sufficient”, he admitted. In another fantastic overtaking manoeuvre, he had previously overtaken Mies at the beginning of the last lap after they had been separated by less than one second over many laps. “The Audi has quite an advantage regarding the top speed”, Bergmeister said. Mies replied: “In my opinion, the Porsche has a much better downforce; I was able to observe this for quite a few hours today.” They both are probably right. Different vehicle concepts with an absolutely similar performance, time differences of only tenth of a second after four hours race time (28 laps or 682.024 kilometres at the Nordschleife) – motorsport can hardly be more thrilling.

There were not only very close battles in the leading group, yet, at the 56th Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen. In class SP3 for example, Tim Schrick and Holger Spelsberg in their Subaru BRZ took the chequered flag with a gap of only 0.163 seconds ahead of Daniel and Tobias Overbeck who drove a Renault Clio RS. The crew in second place, however, still received a time penalty of 35 seconds for overtaking under yellow flags so that the result list does not reflect this close finish.

The competition in the Cayman GT4 Trophy powered by Mathey-Racing was similarly exciting. This series was dominated by Marc Hennerici and Moritz Oberheim (raceunion Teichmann Racing) who won 0.247 seconds ahead of Hamza Owega, Moritz Kranz and Daniel Mursch (GIGASPEED Team GetSpeed Performance).

With their fifth class win in a row in the BMW M235i Racing Cup, Alexander Mies and Michael Schrey defended their lead in the overall classification in the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring in a superior way. Their advance ahead of the second-placed team with Ivan Jacoma and Claudius Karch in the Porsche Cayman S of the Team Mathol Racing is now already 2.38 points. Tim Scheerbarth and Alexander Toril Boquoi had to retire with their Porsche 911 GT3 of the Black Falcon Team TDM Friction due to an accident in lap four and thus lost many positions in the championship table. They have nevertheless still a chance to win the title because, at the end of the year, two results out of the ten races will not be considered for the final championship classification.

The sixth round will take place on 20th August 2016. The 39th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen after the summer break of five weeks will run over the traditional distance of four hours.