The final of the 52nd ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen could hardly be exceeded in suspense. The last laps of the fifth VLN round were marked by a close battle between Alexander Roloff (Berlin) in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of the team ROWE RACING and Marc Lieb (Ludwigsburg/ Germany) in a Manthey-Porsche, fighting within a gap of less than one second. The race finished in a photo finish and an advance of 0.338 seconds in favour of Roloff who thus provided the second VLN victory for the team from Bubenheim/ Germany, together with his team mate Jan Seyffarth (Querfurt-Leimbach/ Germany), in the still young history of the team. The top three on the podium behind Lieb and Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) were completed by Frank Biela (Monaco), Christian Hohenadel (Quirschied/ Germany) and Thomas Mutsch (Bitburg/ Germany), driving an Audi R8 LMS entered by Raeder Motorsport. “Half-time champion” in the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring are Marcel Belka (Lehrte/ Germany) and Norbert Bermes (Krefeld/ Germany), who were celebrating their fourth win in class GT4 in an Aston Martin Vantage V8 prepared by Mathol-Racing. A one hour summary will be shown on channel Sport1 on Friday, 13th July, at 23:00hrs.
In the timed practice session, Lieb had achieved pole position with a lap time of 8:05.317 minutes. He lost some positions in the traffic after the start and entered the first corner in fifth place. The ROWE SLS went into the lead and defended the first position over long distances. In the final phase of the race, the showdown with the Manthey Porsche then started. “On the Nordschleife, I was always able to gain a small advance – just as in the last lap”, said Roloff. “I then closed up with a car to be lapped and saw Lieb close to me in my mirror – that was really tight.” His team mate Seyffart added: “A crazy fight at the end. To be honest, I had some doubts whether Alex would be able to cross the finish line first as Marc Lieb has meanwhile gained a huge experience at the Nordschleife. So it is great that he finally succeeded. A really cool race!” After two victories, Krumbach was happy with his third result on the podium this year. “We had a good race. To finish into second place in this highly competitive field is a fantastic result and I am really very happy.” After mishaps, missteps, and misfortune in the first races, the drivers in the Raeder team, too, were very happy. “Our target was to cross the finish line. We all proceeded therefore with care”, said Biela and admitted: “Our crew has always done a very good job, it was partly the fault of ourselves, the drivers, that it took so long until we now scored a good result.”
The top three were followed by Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler/ Germany), Christopher Brück (Cologne) and Patrick Huisman (Netherlands) in the Frikadelli-Porsche into fourth position, scoring their best result in the current season. Into fifth place came the second ROWE SLS, followed by the two Timbuli Porsche into places six and seven. For Marco Seefried (Wemding/ Germany), Andreas Gülden (Reifferscheid/ Germany) and Marc Busch (Bensheim/ Germany), the seventh overall position marked at the same time their first win in the class of VLN Specials up to 4000 cc cylinder capacity. The fastest Cup Porsche was driven by Maxime Martin (Belgium) and Markus Paltalla (Finland) and the team raceunion Teichmann Racing into eighth place. Andreas and Ralf Schall in the Mercedes Benz 190 of the Black Falcon Team TMD Friction scored their second group victory in a row and the third in the current year. The group of VLN standard production cars was won by Heiko Hedemann (Aachen/ Germany) and Kevin Warum (Schweitenkirchen/ Germany) in a BMW Z4, thus winning class V6. Fastest Renault Clio Cup drivers were Jannik Olivo and Elmar Jurek (Berlin).
With their fourth win in the class of GT4 cars (SP10), Norbert Bermes and Marcel Belka took the championship lead. Their advance ahead of second-placed Christian Krognes (Norweay), Dominik Brinkmann (Dortmund/ Germany) and Ullrich Andreé (Cologne) is 2.23 points. Into third championship position are Dominik Thiemann (Lemgo/ Germany), Guido Wirtz (Cologne) and Hajo-Franz Müller (Odenthal/ Germany) who scored their fourth victory in the class of VLN standard production cars up to 3000 cc..
The sixth round of the VLN endurance racing championship, the 35th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen, will take place on 21st July and run over the distance of four hours.