Sensational win for the Raeder Audi TT RS
Whilst the VLN endurance racing championship is already celebrating its 35th anniversary this season it is still full of surprises. At the 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen organised by the MSC Ruhrblitz Bochum, Frank Biela (Monaco), Christian Hohenadel (Quierschied/ Germany) and Michael Ammermüller (Pocking/ Germany) scored the first win ever for a race car in the class of VLN Specials up to 2500 cc cubic capacity with turbo charged engines (SP4). In unsettled weather, the trio in the front-wheel driven Audi TT RS entered by Raeder-Motorsport dominated their competitors which were far superior regarding engine power. In the qualifying, the team had for the first time in the history of the championship gained pole position for a front-wheel driven car. The Audi triumph was completed by the Audi R8 LMS of the team Phoenix-Racing into second position and driven by Christopher Mies (Heiligenhaus/ Germany), Christopher Haase (Kulmbach/ Germany) and Luca Ludwig (Kempten/ Germany). Into third place finished Pedro Lamy (Portugal) and Marko Hartung (Wallroda/ Germany) who celebrated the first podium position in the 2011 season for the BMW Z4 GT3 entered by the Need for Speed Team Schubert. A 30 minutes summary of the turbulent and exciting race will be broadcasted on 2nd September at 16:00hrs in the channel Sport 1.
In the last part of the 6h race, the Raeder Team experienced how thin the line between pleasure and pain may be. The Audi TT RS was leading the race when it had to come to the pits after 35 laps due to vibrations on the left front wheel. Their lead ahead of the second placed team was about 1:20 minutes at that time. The team discovered some clearance in the wheel bearing. Despite this damage Ammermüller rejoined the race but had meanwhile lost his advance. At 17:53hrs, seven minutes before the scheduled end of the race, Race Control showed the red flag and stopped the race. Heavy rain had set in at the sections Aremberg, Aremberg, Wehrseifen, Breidscheid and Brünnchen and there was a lot of aquaplaning on the track. “The drivers lost control at speeds of only 30 km/h and the cars went off the track”, informed Clerk of the Course Horst Golombeck (Bochum/ Germany). “We felt compelled to intervene and stopped the race.” The Raeder Audi, too, was concerned by the sudden rain, the team finally benefited from the stopping of the race.
“Everything was going well for us till shortly before the end of the race when we got the problem with the wheel bearing. But the problem was fortunately settled little later”, said a smiling Biela. “We had a good performance all the time which was maybe a little surprise even for us. Finally, we have deserved this victory.” Peter Oberndorfer, co-initiator of the Audi TT RS customer sport project, added: “This was the absolutely perfect moment for a win. The first serious interested parties had tested the car last Friday and we have received a lot of positive feedback. The success demonstrates that the Audi TT is a genuine sports car.” Second placed Mies was also full of respect: “I contributed to the development of the TT last year. You can actually not complain if you are hoist by your own petard. Audi into positions one and two, a class win for us, I think we have done everything right.” Lamy was very happy with the position on the podium: “That was a very difficult race today. But we managed to stay on the track. Marco has done a fantastic job. We finished third finally, a very good result. Under these conditions you cannot expect to finish in a top position.”
The top three were followed by Michael Zehe (Floersheim/ Germany), Hubert Haupt, Klaus Rader (both from Munich) and Marco Schelp (Berlin) in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of the team ROWE-Racing. The second Schubert-Z4 was driven by Peter Posavac (Essen/ Germany), Anders Buchardt (Norway) and Dominik Schwager (Munich) who finished in fifth place. The fastest Cup Porsche with drivers Wolfgang Kohler (Aldingen/ Germany), Frank Kräling (Winterberg/ Germany) and Christian Menzel (Kelberg/ Germany) in sixth position was followed by former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong (Malaysia) who drove an Audi R8 LMS entered by Audi race experience together with Florian Gruber (Aham/ Germany) and Luca Cappellari (Monaco).
Thomas Kappeler (Bad Saulgau/ Germany), Harald Hennes (Eschweiler/ Germany) and Thomas Gerling (Uchte/ Germany) in the BMW M3 have now lost their lead in the championship classification and dropped back into second place. The new leaders are Wolfgang Weber (Vilshofen/ Germany), Norbert Bermes (Krefeld/ Germany) and Rickard Nilsson (Balduinstein/ Germany), who celebrated their sixth victory with their Aston Martin Vintace entered by Mathol-Racing in the category of GT3 cars.
The eighth round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, the 43rd ADAC Barbarossapreis, will take place on 24th September. The last phase of the countdown in the decision about the championship win will begin with this event run over the distance of four hours and organised by the MSC Sinzig.
Passion meets tradition: The Opel Corsa OPC ‚Nürburgring Edition’
During the 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennens for the cups supplied by the Bochum plant of Opel the new Opel Corsa OPC in the ‘Edition Nürburgring’ was presented in a corso. Once again, the Rüsselsheim plant underlines its traditional and close relationship with the Nürburgring; the limited special edition on basis of the recently updated Corsa of which about 500 units are planned combines a high level of power, performance and passion. After the Nürburgring edition of the Astra OPC which was presented in 2008, Opel now dedicates a second OPC model to the legendary Eifel track.