The fifth round of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring will be kept in mind for long. In bright sunshine, the drivers provided motorsport at their best in the ‘Green Hell’. Three different makes on the podium and cars from four different classes in the top 6 – a result exactly according to the taste of the spectators. Moreover, the fifth VLN race again saw new winners with Uwe Alzen (Betzdorf/ Germany) and Dominik Schwager (Munich) who finished first at the 47th ADAC Barbarossapreis in their Ford GT. At its first participation in the current season, the black super sports car of Jürgen Alzen Motorsport entered by H&R Spezialfedern turned out to be the best of the best. Already at its previous participation at the Nordschleife, the final in 2014, the Ford GT had been unbeatable. Their advance ahead of the second-placed Dominik (Ansbach/ Germany) and Mario Farnbacher (Lichtenau/ Germany) when taking the chequered flag was 14.592 seconds. The brothers achieved the first result on the podium at the only second participation of the new Lexus RC-F GT3. Into third place followed Michela Cerruti (Italy), Jesse Krohn (Finland) and Felipe Fernándes Laser (Leipzig/ Germany) who thus demonstrated that they are not just a one-hit wonder. The driver trio was competing in a BMW Z4 GT3 of the team Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop. A 30 minutes summary of the race will be shown in channel Sport1 on 8th of August at 17:00 hrs.
Nordschleife expert Uwe Alzen who took the start from pole position went into the lead right away. In total, he and his team mate Schwager were leading the race throughout 17 out of 28 laps. There were six changes in the lead during the four hour race. The victory had never been in danger out on the track. However, due to two penalties inflicted by Race Control, the competition became quite tight again towards the end. As a consequence of not having complied with the minimum stopping time at their first pit stop, Alzen received a stop-and-go penalty; following a speeding in a slow zone, 95 seconds were moreover added to their total driving time. So the comfortable advance of the duo in the Ford was extremely important, also with Schwager going to his limits in a double stint. After the finish, the race driver from Munich first of all had to sit down for a few minutes to breathe deeply. “I was ok in the car”, he said. “But I was really happy that I was not involved in a battle about our position and that I could finish the race in rather a relaxed way.” Uwe Alzen, too, was very happy with his eleventh win: “Nobody would have anticipated this – we are absolutely happy.”
The Farnbacher team scored a fantastic success – the first result on the podium for an Asian car manufacturer since the season final in 1979. “We as well are a little surprised, but we are really happy”, said Mario Farnbacher. “After we made our debut with this car in the last race, we gave a comprehensive feedback to Lexus and the technical staff has fulfilled all our requests and proposals. We will compete in all of the remaining five VLN races and, who knows, we may still improve.”
After their first victory at the fourth VLN race, the Walkenhorst team was delighted about another result on the podium achieved today. “We had no chances today against the Ford GT”, informed Laser. “After an accident at the section Kesselchen, I had to complete the last part of the race with a damaged front and was thus not able to fully attack the Lexus in front of me. We are nevertheless happy. We have worked out a very good setup and we are further developing.”
Behind the top three followed Dominik Baumann (Austria), Anders Burchardt (Norway) and Maximilian Sandritter (Raublingen/ Germany) in another BMW Z4 GT3 entered by the BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert in fourth place. The top five were completed by Christoph Breuer (Nettersheim/ Germany) and Le-Mans winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain) in an SP7-Porsche entered by Manthey-Racing, followed by the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey with drivers Georg Weiss (Monschau/ Germany), Oliver Kainz (Mayen/ Germany) and Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany). So the list of the top six cars in the overall classification came from the four different classes SP-X, SP9, SP7 and SP-PRO.
The unofficial title as half-time champions went to Dirk and Tim Groneck (both from Melle/ Germany), the champions of the year 2013. With their Renault Clio, they celebrated the fourth win in the class of VLN Specials up to 2,000 cc cylinder capacity (SP3). The gap to the team in second championship position, Arne Hoffmeister (Niederdorfelden/ Germany) and Fabian Wrabetz (Bad Soden/ Germany) who also scored their fourth victory in the TMG Cup class, is 0.65 points. Even though they had more competitors in their class – the more competitors a class figures in the endurance racing championship, the more points are awarded in the corresponding class – the Toyota driver duo was not able to move up into the lead. In the lead of the VLN Junior Trophy is Timo Hilgert (Rheinböllen/ Germany) who was competing together with Christian Büllesbach (Königswinter/ Germany) and Andreas Schettler (Baden-Baden/ Germany) in a BMW Z4 entered by Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport and finishing second in class V5. Stefan van Campenhoudt from the Netherlands who celebrated his third victory as solo driver in class V4 is holding first position in the VLN Production Car Trophy.
The sixth round of the year, the 38th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen will take place on 22nd of August.