The ROWE 6 Hour ADAC Ruhr-Pokal Race really lived up to its reputation at the season’s highlight in the VLN endurance racing this time again. The race organised by the MSC Ruhr-Blitz Bochum is the longest one in the VLN season and its final part saw an extremely thrilling fight about the first position. In brilliant sunshine at the Nürburgring and its legendary Nordschleife, Patrick Pilet and Jörg Bergmeister driving a Porsche 911 GT3 R of Manthey-Racing finally scored the first Porsche victory of the season. The Frenchman and the German hereby set a new distance record for the 6h race in completing 43 laps and 1,047.394 kilometres.
Into second place finished Uwe Alzen, Lance David Arnold and Jan Seyffarth, the winners of the previous race, who thus once again demonstrated the strong performance of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Haribo Racing. The top three were completed by Jörg Müller, Jesse Krohn, Victor Bouveng and Felipe Fernández Laser in the BMW M6 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop. The fastest Audi R8 LMS was driven by Frank Stippler, Anders Fjordbach and Markus Winkelhock of the Team Phoenix-Racing, they finished fourth. In the end, four GT3 sports cars of four different German car manufacturers thus ranked in the top four positions.
The final part of the race was thrilling as rarely before. Shortly before the end of the scheduled distance, Manthey-Racing started its final lap with a gap of 8.5 seconds ahead of the Land-Audi. Whilst Pilet managed to make it to the finish with a sufficient quantity of fuel, Mies ran out of fuel and had to stop at the Döttinger Höhe – the Land-Team had miscalculated the necessary fuel amount. “We absolutely wanted to stay ahead of the Haribo-AMG at our last refuel stop, so our fuel calculation was too tight”, team manager Wolfgang Land admitted. “This misfortune was my fault. The team has made everything right and the crew set fantastic lap times. We’ll be back next time.” For safety reasons, the Phoenix-Audi came to a short refuel stop for the final two laps and thus lost its position in the top three.
“The longer distance of 6 hours this weekend was definitely good for us”, Bergmeister explained at the finish. “We may be not the fastest in a single lap but, over the distance, the consistency in our performance plays the decisive role. Moreover, a perfect strategy and very good pit stops laid the foundation for this victory.”
Arnold, too, will definitely remember the dramatic final of the race for a while. “If I experience such situations more frequently, it will certainly make my hair turn grey”, he said. “We have tried make life difficult for Mies but in the end, we had no chance out on the track. Today, luck was on our side but we, on our part, have also experienced bad luck many times before.”
Laser, who made his debut in the BMW M6 GT3, was also happy with his race. “I am really delighted to finish on the podium right at my first participation in the M6”, the man from Spain said. “I instantly felt very comfortable in the car so that I was able to do my pace very quickly.” After his team mate had already performed very well, Müller was able to secure their top three result relatively relaxed and with all of his experience. “I didn’t have to push any longer, my team mates had been really perfect”, he said.
Into fifth place behind the top teams finished ROWE RACING at its „home game“ – the motor-oil manufacturer is the title sponsor of the 6 Hour ADAC Ruhr-Pokal Race. Philipp Eng, Stef Dusseldorp and „Iain Wright“ in a BMW M6 GT finished with an advance of almost three minutes ahead of their competitors „Gerwin“, Yelmer Buurman, Hubert Haupt and Manuel Metzger in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Black Falcon who occupied sixth place. The Frikadelli Racing Team with Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman and Norbert Siedler who made their debut in a BMW M6 GT3 became seventh overall.
A record which could be held for eternity: Opel Manta goes down in the history of motorsport
Olaf Beckmann, Peter Hass, Volker Strycek and Jürgen Schulten completed a legendary race at the season’s highlight. At the 111th participation of the Opel Manta, which is already well advanced in years, and after 22 laps, they broke through the barrier of 50,000 racing kilometres at the Nordschleife – a record that will probably never be beaten by any other race car in the future. After 35 race laps, they moreover crossed the finish line as winners in class H2. And this was not enough yet for double starter Strycek: Together with his children Lena and Robin, the experienced driver at the Nordschleife also dominated the class in the Opel Astra OPC Cup. “A superb race day – more is not possible”, he said at the prizegiving ceremony.
The championship leaders continue their winning run: Mies/Schrey succeed also over the six hour distance
A preliminary decision has been taken at the ROWE 6 Hour ADAC Ruhr-Pokal Race in terms of the championship. What nobody would have dared to anticipate at the beginning of the season, a walkover in the always strong field of the BMW M235i Racing Cup is about to become a reality. Alexander Mies and Michael Schrey scored the seventh class win for Bonk-Motorsport in the seventh race. Their closest rivals in the drivers’ championship meanwhile had to suffer again. One addition top result in one of the remaining three races will be sufficient for Mies/Schrey to secure the VLN title this year.
The eighth round of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring will take place on 24th September. The 48th ADAC Barbarossapreis will run over the traditional four hour distance. A 30 minutes summary of the seventh race will be broadcasted in channel SPORT1 on 10th September at 12:30h.