Huge cheers in the Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport: At the fourth round of the VLN series, Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi celebrated the 20th VLN victory for the traditional racing team of Wolfgang Land with the Audi R8 LMS. The race of the 47th Adenauer ADAC Deutsche Payment-Trophy was characterized by extremely difficult weather conditions with partly heavy rain and fog.
In the final part of the race, Mies was able to demonstrate the huge experience he has in racing at the Nordschleife and went into the lead in the last 30 minutes of the four hour race after setting absolutely fastest lap times on the wet track. Sebastian Asch and Kenneth Heyer were left behind even though they had dominated the greatest part of the race in their Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Zakspeed-Team. At the finish, the two sons of the well-known former race drivers Roland Asch and Hans Heyer were nevertheless very happy about their first result on the podium. The top three were completed by Wolf Henzler and Martin Ragginger in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Falken Motorsports.
And Alexander, the younger brother of Christopher, even provided a second reason for the Mies family to celebrate. Together with Michael Schrey, the 24-years-old succeeded in scoring a fourth successive class win in the BMW M235i Racing Cup and they thus defended the lead in the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring 2016.
„When everything fits together, it is not a problem“, was Christopher Mies’ comment on his marvellous lap times in the final part of the race. For many laps, Mies was up to 30 seconds faster than all the other competitors. “Our Audi R8 LMS was fitted with a rigorous rain set-up and maximum downforce. So I felt very comfortable in the car and could push very hard. And this was absolutely imperative as it was not quite clear whether we would still have to come to the pits for refuelling before the end.” Their advance at the finish before the second-placed team was 2:18.231 minutes – so an additional refuel stop would have been possible without losing their lead.
The foundation for the success was laid by Connor De Phillippi who had gained pole-position for the Land-Audi with a fastest lap of 9:51.026 minutes. In the first part of the race, the race driver from the United States was able to defend his position in the leading group but he also experienced two moments of shock: “I went off the track at Metzgersfeld, this was my fault, no question”, he said. “Some laps later, I was hit by another competitor in the Brünnchen area and collided slightly into the Armco barriers. Fortunately, the Audi is a very solidly designed car so that we did not suffer any damage.” The 23-years-old Californian coped well with the conditions: “The conditions were not at all easy today, they varied from lap to lap and in almost every corner. But I felt quite comfortable in the rain.”
Kenneth Heyer admitted their defeat but he was on the other hand also very happy with their second place. “This is my first result in the podium in the VLN – I am really delighted about that.” It was probably the missing experience on a wet track at the Nordschleife which spoiled their victory. “Never before had I competed in a wet race at the Nordschleife, so I completed my first lap in the final stint very cautiously. Christopher then passed me in the 20th lap at Adenauer Forst – a very strong manoeuvre and I was unable to do anything about it.” With position two, Asch is highly motivated to continue attacking in the VLN. “Last year already, we had been very close to a podium position at one occasion. Now, we finally succeeded. What we are now still missing is a first place and gaining our first victory, but there are still some races on the calendar this year.”
Behind the top three finished Patrick Huisman, Norbert Siedler and Sabine Schmitz in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Frikadelli-Racing in fourth place, ahead of the best-placed BMW M6 GT3 of the Team Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop with Jörg Müller, Jesse Krohn and Victor Bouveng behind the steering wheel. The fastest SP7-Porsche was driven by Tim Scheerbarth and Alexander Toril Boquoi for the Team Black Falcon who finished sixth. The local heroes of the organising club MSC Adenau, „Alex Autumn“ and Christian Menzel, became seventh in the group H Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of raceunion Teichmann Racing.
Race Control relied upon the drivers’ expertise
Heavy fog in the early hours of Saturday morning resulted in a significant delay in the timetable of the fourth VLN race. The timed practice was started 70 minutes later than scheduled, but over the original duration of 90 minutes. Before the race start, Race Control requested the expertise of drivers in various classes. In an information lap, Rudi Adams, „Alex Autumn“, Christopher Brück, Rolf Derscheid, Dirk Groneck and Marcel Mannheller inspected the conditions on the track and supported the decision to start the race. After the completion of two formation laps, Race Control then finally decided to show the green lights at 13:17 hrs.
Mies/Schrey defend their championship lead
At this fourth round of the season, once again nobody could stop Alexander Mies and Michael Schrey. The driver duo of Bonk Motorsport finished in the BMW M235i Racing Cup with an advance of almost one minute ahead of solo driver Michael Funke (Team Schirmer). After four races, the gap of Mies and Schrey (39.01 points in total) ahead of Claudius Karch and Ivan Jacoma (total of 37.34 points) in the championship table is 1.67 points, the latter having scored their fourth win in class V6 with the Porsche Cayman S of Mathol-Racing. In third championship position are Scheerbarth and Toril Boquoi (36.61 points).
The first half of the season in the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring 2016 will be concluded on 16th July with the ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen. This fifth round will run over the traditional four hours.
A 30 minute summary of the 47th Adenauer ADAC Deutsche Payment-Trophy will be shown on channel Sport1 on 2nd July.