Suspension rises: Dream start field at the start of the season
With the 57th ADAC Westfalenfahrt, the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring will be launched shortly. And the suspension rises. The feeling in the run-up of the 2010 season can hardly be described in a better way. There had been endless rumours and speculations during the winter break. The fans could get a first impression at the VLN test and set-up session last weekend on what they can expect this year regarding the highlights in the entry list. The organising ADAC Westfalen expects more than 180 cars to start the four hours lasting battle through the ‘Green Hell’ at 12 o’clock on 27th of March. The practice session is scheduled to take place before between 08:30 and 10:00 hrs. Entrance is free all around the Nordschleife and the family-friendly admission fee for the paddocks and the open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit is 12 Euro only (young people up to 14 years of age have free entry).
The magic formula for the most popular racing series in Europe is made up of Aston Martin Vantage V8, Audi R8 LMS, BMW M3 and Z4 GT3, Corvette C6, Dodge Viper, Ferrari F430 GTC, Ginetta G50 and Porsche 911 GT3 R. The magicians racing in these fascinating sports car up to their limits are none less than Walter Röhrl (St. Englmar/Germany), Mattias Ekström (Sweden), Andy Priaulx (Great Britain), Pedro Lamy (Portugal), Christian Abt (Kempten/Germany), Timo Bernhard (Dittweiler/Germany), Marcel Tiemann (Monaco), Dirk Adorf (Hennef/Germany) and Uwe Alzen (Betzdorf/Germany). Quality and quantity are likewise there and the spectators can thus look forward to a hot battle about the first overall win of the year.
The biggest step upwards compared to the season 2009 can be noticed in the Champion team Black Falcon. In the past two years, the crew from Kelberg nearby the Nürburgring had been extraordinary successful with close-to-production BMW models. The team won two championship titles in a row and Christer Jöns (Ingelheim/Germany) scored the title in the VLN Junior Trophy twice, too. This year, the emerging talent will start together with Sean Paul Breslin (Great Britain) in the brand new Audi A8 LMW with start number one. The trio is completed by Johannes Stuck (Liechtenstein), son of the legendary race driver Hans-Joachim Stuck. The sister car will be driven by Vimal Mehta, Sean Patrick Breslin (both from Great Britain) and Bona Ventura (Cologne). In addition to the two GT3 sports cars, the local heroes will abide by close-to-production cars. Apart from a BMW Z4 in the class of VLN Specials up to 3.000 cc cubic capacity, three additional BMW models will be entered in the classes of VLN standard production cars.
Speaking of standard production: After a long period of absence, Rally legend Walter Röhrl will return to the Nordschleife in a close-to-production works Porsche. Röhrl who is well-known for his spectacular driving style will be supported by Horst von Saurma (Stuttgart/Germany) and Chris Harris (Great Britain) in the Porsche 911 GT3 S. Although the race car is classified in the VLN Specials up to 4.000 cc cubic capacity – after fitting a registration plate and road legal tyres, the 450 HP strong vehicle could well be driven in normal traffic.
Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid to celebrate its world premiere in racing
The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid driven by Richard Lietz, Martin Ragginger (both from Austria) and Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld/Germany) will celebrate its world premiere in racing. The race car has a 480 HP flat-six engine at the rear and in addition two electric motors at the front axle. From a flywheel generator which is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes they deliver 60 kW (about 80 HP) each. The stored energy, under application of an intelligent electronic control, is normally used to reduce consumption. The driver, though, can also use the additional power at the push of a button for approximately six top eight seconds when overtaking.
Competitive classes to promise high suspense not only in the top
Even though the spectacular sports cars at the top of the field will be in the limelight, the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring is and remains a popular racing series – on a high level yet. The experienced fans know since long that there is exciting motor sport all over the complete list of participants. With not less than twelve Renault Clio Cup cars entered, the class of VLN Specials up to 2.000 cc cubic capacity with the total of 25 cars will be extremely strong. In addition to the sporty race cars from France, this class features models such as Opel Astra GTC, BMW Z4, Honda S2000 and Honda Civic to fight for a class win. In this endurance racing championship, the team which leaves the greatest number of cars behind in its class will collect the most points. For this reason, one must expect that one of the participants in this said class SP3 will be in the championship lead after the first round. As of today, similar numbers of entries have been received for classes SP9 (FIA GT-3, 15 cars) and SP3T (VLN-Specials up to 2.000 cc cubic capacity with turbo, 15 cars).