LMS-Engineering wins the title without having to fight

After a fantastic season without any capricious weather conditions, the weather gods finally upset the plans of the VLN endurance racing championship. A sudden and huge drop of the temperatures in the Eifel region compelled Race Control to cancel the 37th DMV Münsterlandpokal about noon. “We have personally checked the track conditions several times”, said clerk of the course Andreas Thamm (Wuppertal/ Germany). “Unfortunately, we had to realize that there was no chance for the conditions to improve.” Ullrich Andree (Cologne), Dominik Brinkmann (Dortmund/ Germany) and Christian Krognes (Norway) thus won the championship title without having to fight at the finale. Seven results (80 percent) of the nine races which have actually taken place will be taken into consideration for the final classification. During the 2012 season, the driver trio in the Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 of the team LMS-Engineering achieved seven wins in the class of VLN Specials up to 2000 cc cylinder capacity with turbo and scored the total of 67.87 points. A 60 minutes TV report on the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring will be broadcasted in channel Sport1 on 31st October at 17:30hrs.

Due to the temperatures below zero, the timed practice could not be started on Saturday morning. “Due to the sub-zero temperatures, there was some ice on the track, amongst others in the sections Fuchsröhre and Tiergarten”, explained Thamm. “Even though the weather was clearing off towards noon, it could not be anticipated that these areas would thaw.” VLN drivers’ representatives Johannes Scheid (Kottenborn/ Germany), Marc Hennerici (Mayen/ Germany), Opel Sports Director Volker Strycek (Dehrn/ Germany) and DMSB President Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria), too, checked the track conditions. “There was no other possibility than to cancel the race”, said Scheid. “Due to the low temperatures, there were no signs of improvement. The safety risk for the participants was too high as a consequence.”

When the cancellation of the race was pronounced, the new champion team started cheering. “We would of course have preferred to take the title on the circuit”, said Andree. “But the weather was not kind to us today. We are nonetheless totally happy to be proclaimed champion now. Throughout the whole season, we had a top car and formed a fantastic driver trio.” Team manager Andreas Lautner, who was significantly involved in the development of the Volkswagen Scirocco GT24, said: “That’s a fantastic feeling and the well-deserved reward for the great deal of work which we all have invested in the project.” Last year already, the team was pretty close to winning the title but it was finally beaten by Black Falcon. “We have learned the hard way in 2011. So this season, we focused on the reliability of our race car and also consequently pushed on the further development.” Doubts then came up after a retirement at the sixth round which was not the fault of the team. “When I was involved in a collision just after the start I thought we could now forget the title”, admitted Krognes. “According to the principle “now more than ever”, we nevertheless continued to push extremely hard.” With the win of the championship, a dream has become true for the Norwegian. “Since I had completed my very first lap at the Nordschleife, I have been dreaming of taking the title here one day. The competition in the VLN endurance racing championship is on a very high level. This makes me double proud to be on top of the podium at the end of this strong championship season.” Together with his team mate Brinkmann, Krognes also won the VLN Junior Trophy in addition to the drivers’ championship. “Of course I though that we would have some chances to compete for the title”, said Brinkmann. “And it is absolutely fantastic that this has come true now. I will definitely enjoy this moment.”

Into second championship place follows the driver duo from Berlin, Jannik Olivo and Elmar Jurek, who have scored six class victories with their Renault Clio. Black Falcon was not able to defend the title. The racing team which is based in Meuspath near the Nürburgring did however not go away empty-handed. Last year’s champions Carsten Knechtges (Mayen/ Germany) and Tim Scheerbarth (Dormagen/ Germany), together with Steve Jans from Luxembourg, won the classification of VLN series production cars with their BMW M3.

The official prizegiving ceremony of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring will take place on 24th November in the Rhein-Mosel-Halle in Koblenz. At the end of the year, the most popular national racing series in German will again be presented at the Essen Motor Show. The VLN will publish first information on the 2013 season between 1st and 9th December in hall 6, at stands 401 and 506.