For the last time this year, the protagonists of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring will meet again at the most beautiful and longest race track of the world. The final of the series at the 24.358 kilometres long combination of the Grand Prix Circuit short version and the Nordschleife, the 41st DMSB Münsterlandpokal, will take place on Saturday this week. At the tenth round of the season, it is not only about prestigious victories in the race and in the classes, but also about a ham which the organiser traditionally presents to the winners on top.
Once again, the teams and drivers will have to take up the difficult challenge of racing four hours through the Adenauer Forst, Schwedenkreuz, Karussell, Brünnchen and Pflanzgarten and to achieve top speeds at the Döttinger Höhe. No one of the so successful VLN teams of course wants to miss this opportunity. Almost all of the winners of the previous races will be at the start. They will be joined by the designated title holders in the various classifications, by meanwhile very popular exotic race cars and less frequent guests and also by a couple of newcomers with famous names who wish to test their skills at the “Green hell” for their first time.
Show driving of the champions
For the coming season, their BMW M235i Racing Cup will display start number one while at the final in a few days it will be with number 691 for the last time. A start number which brought Michael Schrey and Alexander Mies really good luck as they have already secured the title in the VLN 2016. They both wish to make us forget the small blemish of the last race when, for the first time, they did not make it to the finish and to complete their almost perfect Cup5 records with a good result. The same applies for the also already crowned title holders of the new Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing, Marc Hennerici and Moritz Oberheim (raceunion Teichmann Racing), and for the new Champions in the Opel Astra OPC Cup, David Griessner, Marcel Hartl and Glib Kutepov (Lubner Motorsport).
Aiming at third overall win
The spectators may enjoy spectacular racing in the battle about the last overall win of the year. The two Audi R8 LMS crews with Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi (Land-Motorsport) as well as Anders Fjordbach and Frank Stippler (Phoenix Racing) know very well how to do it. Stippler and Fjordbach won the first two rounds of the season, Mies and De Phillippi finished first overall in races four and five.
With the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Haribo-Racing, another car will be involved in the fight about scoring a third overall win of the year. The car which won races six and eight in the current season will be driven by Uwe Alzen and Lance David Arnold for the season finale.
Possible “repeat offenders”
With another victory, start number 911 of Manthey-Racing would be able to draw level with the three double winners. At the 6h Race, Patrick Pilet and Jörg Bergmeister scored a win for the Porsche 911 GT3 R which will this time be driven by Nick Tandy and Michael Christensen. The fans are already curious to see the performance of the two Farnbacher brothers, Mario and Dominik, who provided the first victory ever in the VLN for a manufacturer from Asia in the last race with the Lexus RC-F GT Prototype. The brothers will, however, start the last race in the predecessor model again, the RC-F GT3.
More than just looking nice
The fact that the SCG003C of the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, the self-made design from the United States, can do more than just look nice was demonstrated by the team with a fourth place at the eights round of the year. Thomas Mutsch and Felipe Fernàndez would now like to finish in the top three and on the podium for the first time in the season.
With the Bentley Team Abt, another team missed a position on the podium at the season opener. Christer Jöns, Chris Brück and Steven Kane drove their Bentley Continental GT3 into sixth place. At the final, Jöns will share the cockpit with Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek. They both completed their obligatory laps last year in a Honda Civic Type-R in order to obtain their DMSB Permit A and will now make their debut at the Nordschleife in a GT3 race car.
DTM drivers to make their debut
A step which is still lying ahead of DTM drivers Lucas Auer, Daniel Juncadella, António Félix da Costa, Felix Rosenqvist and Bruno Spengler. As far as Juncadella, Félix da Costa and Spengler are concerned, they have already competed in one VLN race this year and intend to complete the minimum requirements for the renewal of the Permit A – 18 laps in at least two races.
Rosenqvist and Auer will make their debut at the Nordschleife on Saturday. “I have been dreaming of racing at the Nordschleife since long – and now I’m there”, says Auer. “I have made a test last week in my private car and I am more than impressed by the Nordschleife. I have a very big respect of some sections – and I can tell you that it is not so often that I say so. I will now first of all have to learn about the track and get it into my head.”
While the DTM colleagues will first of all take some „driving lessons at the Nordschleife“ in smaller cars, Tom Blomqvist will start in a BMW M6 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport. The British race driver has already got his Nordschleife licence at the beginning of the season, he celebrated a third place at his second GT3 race in the third round and would like to repeat this good result now together with Christian Krognes and Victor Bouveng.