On Saturday, 4th April, the “Green Hell” will awake from its winter sleep. The BFGoodrich Langstreckenmeisterschaft will start into the new season with a true firework made up of spectacular race cars, top-class professional race drivers and prominent personalities. At the 56th ADAC Westfalenfahrt ‘old hand’ drivers such as Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria), Frank Biela (Bad Münstereifel) and Uwe Alzen (Betzdorf) will meet prominent youngsters such as professional cyclist Jan Ullrich (Switzerland) and entrepreneur son Sebastian Kamps (Düsseldorf). And on top of that –the new regulations which stand for fascinating racing action are an additional hot topic. All the top cars will now compete on an identical performance level and the fans can expect exciting position fights in the decision about the first daily victory. The starting signal for the race over the distance of four hours will be given at 12 o’clock.
With the new regulations, the FIA GT3 race cars have been introduced in the most popular racing series of Europe. The opening round will see the first fight with the popular competition touring cars which are prepared in compliance with the 24h-Special regulations and have caused a lot of excitement at the Nürburgring since years. At the introduction of the new category of race cars, there will already be three of the spectacular sports cars having their first racing appearance at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. With Alpina, a small piece of racing history returns to current motor sport activities. It was in the sixtieths and seventieths that the BMW tuner who was registered as official car manufacturer in 1983 celebrated so many successes in international touring car sport. At the opening round, Claudia Hürtgen (Aachen) and Andy Bovensiepen (Buchloe) will be the drivers of the newly developed BMW Alpina B6 GT3. The Audi R8 LMS will be driven by the three endurance race experienced drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria), Frank Biela (Bad Münstereifel) and Emanuele Pirro (Monaco) at its first race participation. The new customer sports project of the German car manufacturer from Ingolstadt earned the competitors’ respect already in advance – the on-site sporting performance of the R8 LMS at the Nordschleife remains to be seen live by the fans of the endurance race championship. The third Nordschleife newcomer is greed and aggressive: The Dodge Viper GT3 of the Vulkan-Racing-Team Mintgen-Motorsport, driven by the ambitious hobby racing drivers Dirk Riebensahm and Christian Kohlhaas (both from Andernach). A predecessor of the GT3-Viper celebrated impressive successes in the endurance race championship some years ago – in 1999 and 2000, the Zakspeed Viper scored eleven victories in a row.
The GT3 armada is well prepared for the races. The established teams, though, do not keep their heads down as they know very well that there is more than an impressive list of technical data which brings permanent success at the Nürburgring. Alzen-Motorsport, the Frikadelli-Racing-Team, Land-Motorsport and Manthey-Racing above all rely on their experience with their Porsche racing cars. Drivers Michael Bäder (Ofterdingen), Tobias Hagenmeyer (Cologne) and Markus Gedlich (Frankfurt) in their BMW Z4 M Coupé, Roland Rehfeld (Blankenfelde), Reinhold Renger (Rothenburg/Tbr) and Reinhold Mölig (Waldalgesheim) in the Kissling-Corvette or also Andreas und Ralf Schall (both from Dornstadt) in the Opel Astra V8 Coupé from the DTM can also benefit from an advance in knowledge ahead of the rookies.
The experienced fans of the endurance race championship, though, are not focused on the decision about the overall victory only. The action in the smaller classes, too, will attract attention as the future Champions are mostly born from the group of the fast private drivers. Alexander Böhm (Kelberg) will start the race with number 1. The team of the current Champion will be completed by Junior-Trophy winner Christer Jöns (Ingelheim) and Sean Paul Breslin (Great Britain) and they will drive the new BMW Z4 of the Sartorius Team Black Falcon. The trio will start in the strongest class of VLN series cars up to 3.000 cc capacity. Their strongest competitors should be Daniel Zils (Bendorf) and Uwe Ebertz (Fleisbach) who will be supported by Matthias Unger (Heusenstamm), champion in 2008 together with Böhm. They will drive the BMW Z4 of Dolate-Motorsport. The class below – with series cars up to 2.500 cc capacity – is marked by VIPs. Entrepreneur son Sebastian Kamps (Düsseldorf) will compete in the 56th ADAC Westfalenfahrt in another of the seven Black-Falcon-BMW in total, together with Kai Riebetz (Bochum) and Andrii Lebed (Ukraine). In the focus of the public will certainly also be the first race participation of the two professional cyclists Jan Ullrich (Switzerland) and Mike Kluge (Denzlingen) who will share the cockpit of the Diesel BMW 335d with the experienced endurance race driver Dr. Thomas Stoltz (Remscheid). The team intends to participate jointly at 24 Hour Races at the Nürburgring on two and on four wheels.
Cup classes of Honda, Renault and Seat complete the show
The cup classifications of Honda, Renault and Seat complete the high-quality show in the endurance race championship. Similar to the top field where the new regulations produce an equal level of performance, the participants in these cups compete in identical race cars. So it is the performance of the drivers which decides – and the teams’ efforts quite often can determine victory or defeat.