Thrilling motorsport action in the Green Hell. The decision about the overall win at the second race of the season was characterised by suspense and in the end Phoenix-Racing won for the second time in a row. After their victory at the season opener, Frank Stippler and Anders Fjordbach again dominated the great number of very strong rivals. At the finish, the German-Danish driver duo finally had an advance of 57,839 seconds ahead of second placed Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou and Manuel Metzger in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Black Falcon. The top three were completed by Uwe Alzen, Lance David Arnold, Maximilian Götz and Jan Seyffarth in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Haribo Racing.
The advance of the winning team does hereby not fully reflect the spectacular running of the race as the top three had so close battles, bumper to bumper, over long distances on the 24.358 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring short version and the Nordschleife. With a lap time of 8:07.327 minutes, the pole position was gained by Black Falcon, but with the Phoenix-Audi following with a razor-thin gap of only 0.210 seconds behind in the timed practice.
The selection of the tyres at the start turned out to be a lottery. As it had started to rain before the start of the race, almost all of the competitors decided to go safe and fitted rain tyres. The track, however, was drying much quicker than it was expected so that the teams changed back to slick tyres in the first laps. A thrilling duel then started in the lead which the committed fans of the Nordschleife will keep in mind for a long time. Stippler in the Audi and Engel in the Mercedes-AMG put up an exciting fight which, though, was always fair.
“We are delighted about this second victory”, said Stippler who considered the fact that there were only two drivers to change the steering wheel in the Phoenix-Audi as the main key to success. “We were able to complete the race with one stop less than most of the other teams with four drivers. I think this was the reason for our advance in the end. Regarding the performance, we are at an absolutely equal level with our Mercedes. The first stint in particular was very thrilling.”
Engel also was very satisfied: “We are absolutely happy with our second place. First the pole and then a clean race.” The final part of the race then again became very close due to another rain shower. “Already in dry conditions, the Nordschleife is a really tricky course”, admitted Engel. “But to drive there with slicks in the rain, that is particularly exciting.”
The third-placed team had a moment of shock right at the beginning of the race when a competitor hit the Haribo-Mercedes. “The diffusor was slightly damaged thereafter but that was more a visual defect”, explained Alzen. “The handling was not really compromised. In fact, we lost the time which spoiled our victory in two yellow flag sectors.”
Behind the top three, Darren Turner and Nicki Thiim finished fourth at the VLN debut of the works Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the season 2016, still ahead of the two works Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by Manthey-Racing. Kévin Estre and Sven Müller finished fifth and Michael Christensen together with Richard Lietz became sixth. The fastest BMW M6 GT3 – entered by the Team Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop – was driven by Christian Krognes, Victor Bouveng and Tom Blomqvist who finished in eleventh place.
Constant performances and premieres in the Cup classes
For the second time in a row, Bonk-Motorsport dominated the BMW M235i Racing Cup. Alexander Mies and Michael Schrey quickly moved away from their rivals. After 25 laps, the driver duo finished with a gap of 1:09.456 minutes ahead of Thomas Jäger and Rudi Adams who competed for the Team Scheid – Honert Motorsport. The second-placed of the opening round, solo driver Stefan van Campenhoudt from Belgium, finished third.
The victory in the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing again went to raceunion Teichmann Racing. This time, it was however not Marc Hennerici and the current VLN Junior Trophy Champion Moritz Oberheim who became first as their race was over after 18 laps due to an accident. The winners were Marcel Hoppe and Moritz Gusenbauer who asserted themselves against the driver duo of GetSpeed Performance-Duo driving under the pseudonyms ‚Max’ and ‚Jens’. Into third position finished Kai Riemer and Arnd Meier of the Team Arkenau Motorsport.
In the Opel Astra OPC Cup, Lena, Robing and Volker Strycek scored their first win. The family from Dehrn/ Germany clearly dominated their class ahead of the Bonk Motorsport trio with Raphael Hundeborn, Marc Legel and Roman Löhnert. The victory in the Toyota GT86-Cup went to Manuel Amweg and Thomas Lampert of the Toyota Swiss Racing Team and the fastest Porsche 911 GT3 in class Cup2 was driven by the three experienced drivers Harald Hennes, Thomas Kappeler and Thomas Gerling.
Series winner dominate the championship classification
With their second win in class GT3 (SP9) which, with 26 cars, once again figured an impressive number of competitors, Stippler and Fjordbach defended their championship lead ahead of the BMW Cup drivers Mies and Schrey. Other teams which celebrated their second class win were Hajo Müller, Jens Riemer and Dominik Thiemann (BMW M3, class V5, championship position 3), Tim Scheerbarth and Alexander Toril Boquoi (Porsche 911 GT3, class SP7, championship position 4), Mike Jäger, Stephan Köhler and Christian Kohlhaas (Ferrari 458, class SP8, championship position 5) and finally Claudius Karch and Ivan Jacoma (Porsche Cayman, class V6, championship position 6).
The third round of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring will take place already in two weeks’ time. On 14th of May, the 58th ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup will run over the traditional duration of four hours.
A 30 minutes’ summary of the second race will be shown in channel Sport 1 on 8th of May 2016 at 00:00hrs.