Marc Lieb (Ludwigsburg/ Germany) and Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) scored another fantastic victory after their first victory of the season just two weeks ago. The driver duo now also won this third round of the VLN endurance racing championship with their Porsche 911 GT3 entered by Manthey-Racing. After 26 laps on the 24.369 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring short version and the Nordschleife, they had gained an advance of one lap ahead of Christopher Mies (Heiligenhaus/ Germany) and Markus Winkelhock (Berglen-Steinach/ Germany) who followed in second place with the Audi R8 LMS of the team Phoenix-Racing. The top three on a podium with the maximum variety of car makes were completed by Uwe Alzen (Betzdorf/ Germany), Dirk and Jörg Müller (Switzerland/Monaco) in the BMW Z4 GT3 entered by Schubert-Motorsport. Nick Heidfeld (Mönchengladbach/ Germany) finished his first race participation at the Nordschleife in the McLaren MP4 GT3 together with Sascha Bert (Ober-Ramstadt/ Germany) into sixth place. A one hour summary of the race will be broadcasted in channel Sport1 on Wednesday, 2nd May, 17 17:30hrs.
The 54th ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup was stopped with the red flag five minutes before the scheduled race time had elapsed. There was a collision between the BMW of Dirk Müller in third place with the Ginetta G50 of David Knox and Clive Richards (both from Great Britain) in the section Tiergarten. Whilst Müller got away with a shock, Richard had to be brought to the Sankt-Josef-Hospital at Adenau for a medical check. Fortunately he did not suffer any serious injuries so that he could be released from the hospital on the same evening.
With the fastest time of 8:20.281 minutes, Alzen/ Müller/ Müller had gained pole position at the timed practice in the morning. At the beginning of the race, Jörg Müller first of all could not go the pace of the strong SLS AMG GT3 of the team ROWE RACING and the Hankook-Team Heico. The Heico-SLS with drivers Kenneth Heyer (Wegberg/ Germany), Christian Frankenhout (Netherlands), Pierre Kaffer (Schlieren/ Germany) and Andreas Simonsen (Sweden) then had to retire after an accident in lap seven. Klaus Graf (Dornahn/ Germany) experienced the same bad luck only one lap later. The driver trio of Bernd Schneider (Switzerland), Alexandros Margaritis (Cologne) and Lance David Arnold (Duisburg/ Germany) received a penalty after they had ignored flag signals which resulted in the cancellation of a race lap. They were thus also eliminated from today’s battle about the win. A fantastic fight then started amongst the later finishers in the top three positions, which was finally dominated by Manthey-Racing. “I could well get used to this feeling”, said Krumbach happily. “Two victories within only two weeks is absolutely fantastic. There is such a close battle in the top group. It may finally perhaps have been the positive fuel consumption of the Porsche which was decisive.” Jörg Müller agreed: „We will have to work on our fuel consumption. Otherwise, the Z4 was today once again running perfectly.” Mies was very happy about this best result of the season for Audi. “That was a good start with the new R8 Ultra also considering that the car completed the first kilometres at the Nordschleife only yesterday. Position two seems to be a good reward for the hard work which stands behind this project.” Winkelhock adds: “Compared to the predecessor model, the Ultra is much more comfortable to drive. So we are really very confident for the next races.”
Nick Heidfeld, too, who made his racing debut at the Nordschleife, was also very happy after the race. “I must admit that I felt still a little uncomfortable in my first stint”, informed the professional race driver. “But lap by lap, I was learning more and more about the McLaren. The second turn then already was much better. The atmosphere around the Nürburgring was absolutely unique and I am really very much looking forward to the 24h Race in the ‘Green Hell’”
Behind the top three finished Marc Basseng (Neusalza Spremberg/ Germany), Christopher Haase (Kulmbach/ Germany) and Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel/ Germany) in the second R8 LMS of the team Phoenix-Racing into place four, ahead of Christian Menzel (Kelberg/ Germany) and Wolfgang Kohler (Aldingen/ Germany) who celebrated their second group victory in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Into seventh place behind Heidfeld/ Bert finished the other ROWE-SLS. Behind the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of the team PZ Aschaffenburg and the BMW Z4 GT3 of Marc VDS Racing followed Stefan Mücke (Berlin), Darren Turner (Great Britain), Tomas Enge (Czech Republic) and Oliver Mathai (Hannover/ Germany) in the Aston Martin of the Team Young Driver AMR into the top ten.
The fastest VLN standard production car – the BMW M3 of the team Black Falcon – was driven by Carsten Knechtges (Mayen/ Germany) and Tim Scheerbarth (Dormagen/ Germany) together with Steve Jans from Luxembourg. The victory in group H went to Pavel Karmanov, Oleg Kvitka (both from Russia) and Venskunas Vytautas (Lithuania) with their Porsche 911 RSR.
At the end of the first third of the season, two teams are sharing the lead in the championship: The Renault Clio Cup drivers Jannik Olivo and Elmar Jurek (both from Berlin) into first place have the same points score as Stein Tveten (Norway) and Guido Strohe (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler/ Germany), driving a BMW 325i in the class for VLN standard production cars up to 2500 cc cylinder capacity.
Before the fourth round of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring, the 43rd Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy which will take place on 23rd June, many VLN teams will start at the 40th ADAC Zurich 24h Race from 17th to 20th May 2012.