Porsche celebrates historic Hybrid victory
At the fourth round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, Porsche celebrated a victory which will go down in the history of motor sports. Marco Holzer (Lochau/ Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Richard Lietz (Austria) took the chequered flag in their Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid entered by the Porsche Team Manthey in the lead after a race time of 4:03:46.969 hours and scored the first win for a Hybrid race car at the Nordschleife. This was furthermore the first victory of a Porsche race car in the current season. With BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, three different manufacturers had been on top of the podium at the three previous races in the ‘Green Hell’. With a gap of only 7.063 seconds behind the winning trio, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Romain Dumas, Lucas Luhr (both from Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Ludwigsburg/ German) came in second. This second Manthey Porsche finished with a razor thin advance of 0.635 seconds ahead of Marc Basseng (Leutenbach/ Germany), Marcel Fässler und Mike Rockenfeller (both fro Switzerland) in the Audi R8 LMS of the team Phoenix-Racing. Three further GT3 sports cars from the Ingolstadt plant, amongst others with the two DTM stars Mattias Ekström (Sweden) and Timo Scheider (Austria), finished into positions four to six. A 30 minutes summary of the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup race will be broadcasted in channel Sport1 at 11:45hrs on 4th of June.
”If this is the future of motorsport, I am really very much looking forward to it”, said Lietz after the race. For all of the three drivers, this was their first win in the endurance racing championship. “This victory is a fantastic confirmation for Porsche and for just everyone involved in this project. The Nordschleife is considered to be the most challenging race track of the world, so our success is all the more important. I would be very happy to be back on top of the podium again in four weeks time.” With his statement, the Austrian refers to the participation of the Hybrid Porsche at the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. The innovative race car from the factory at Zuffenhausen now definitely ranks amongst the top candidates for a win in this race. Manthey Racing had also entered a Porsche 911 GT3 R as well as a 911 GT3 RSR. The decision on which car would to be given priority for this classical endurance race at the Eifel track should be taken after a direct comparison of the corresponding performances. Whilst the GT3 car dropped back after an accident in the fifth lap, the RSR crew again achieved a place on the podium for the second time in a row. “It has meanwhile become quite difficult to score an overall win here in the endurance racing series”, said Luhr. “The competition has become extremely close. We have pushed very hard, up to our limits, and were finally able to secure second place until the finish. We had lost about 20 seconds in the second stint when there was an accident happening right in front of me.” The Audi team, too, was pushing up to their limits. “That was the maximum today”, informed Rockenfeller. “We have not made any mistake today and had a good race. Nevertheless we missed the win. We are anyhow really happy with position three.” Basseng added: „That was a good test in view of the 24h Race; and last but not least, we scored a class win in GT3.“
The pole position was gained by Michael Illbruck (Munich) and Manuel Lauck (Lebach/ Germany) in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of the team Pinta Racing. After an exciting start, the duo had to stop the race in lap three after a collision in the section of Kallenhard. The Mamerow team, too, which had started the race with drivers Chris Mamerow (Castrop-Rauxel/ Germany) and Armin Hahne (Wimbach/ Germany) in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 from second position on the gird and was temporarily shown in the lead, retired in lap 14 after an accident. The fastest gullwing race car with drivers Lance David Arnold (Duisburg/ Germany), Christian Frankenhout (Netherlands), Christopher Brück (Cologne) and Alexandros Margaritis finally finished into place seven. The top eight were completed by Black Falcon with drivers Kenneth Heyer (Wegberg/ Germany), Jan Seyffarth (Querfurt-Leimbach/ Germany) and Ralf Schall (Dornstadt/ Germany). The fastest lap time in the race was set by Basseng/ Fässler/ Rockenfeller in the Audi R8 LMS and a time of 8:16.805 minutes.
Four victories gained by four different car manufacturers after the first four races of the season, this is an extraordinary provisional summary of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring so far. It was in the years 1982 and 2003 that four different car makes had already been successful in the series, but only after an analysis at the end of the complete season. And it is definitely not over yet, as Audi, Lamborghini and further makes are well able to still score a victory in the current season. In the timed practice, the first 14 cars were separated by only 10 seconds. This result demonstrates very clearly that the ‘balance of performance’ classification of the 24h Race and the VLN are very close to being perfect.
Black Falcon Juniors defend their lead in the championship
Event though Carsten Knechtges (Mayen/ Germany), Manuel Metzger (Rickenbach-Hütten/ Germany) and Tim Scheerbarth (Dormagen/ Germany) missed their fourth class win by a few seconds only, the Black Falcon trio with their BMW Z4 was able to defend their lead in the championship of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. The extremely competitive class V5 (VLN standard production cars up to 3000 cc cylinder capacity) was this time dominated by Mario Merten (Nürburg/ Germany) and Wolf Silvester (Nürnberg/ Germany) in the Z4 of the team Bonk-Motorsport. Into second championship position after four of ten races follow Wolfgang Weber (Vilshofen/ Germany), Norbert Bermes (Krefeld/ Germany) and Rickard Nilsson (Balduinstein/ Germany) after their fourth successive win in the class of GT4 cars.
The fifth round of the season, the 51st ADAC Reinoldus Langstreckenrennen organised by the MC Dortmund, will take place on 11th June. The race over four hours will be the last test possibility before the ADAC Zurich 24h Race at the Nürburgring on 25th and 26th June 2011.