How the last titles were awarded at the finale

Three titles remained to be awarded on the 22nd of October at the finale of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring. Even though for example the VLN Champions, the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing winners and the winners of the Opel Astra OPC-Cups could start the race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife without any major pressure, they did not at all back off – the VLN Champions Michael Schrey and Alexander Mies once again won the Cup5 class in the BMW M235i Racing-Cup. The situation in the VLN Production Car Trophy, the VLN Speed Trophy and the TMG GT86 Cup, yet, came to a head again. In two of these championships, the names at the top of the classifications still changed in this final round.

VLN Speed Trophy
Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi were fourth in the Trophy classification when they came to this last VLN race of the year 2016. The crew in the Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS already won rounds four and five and had now, in the first part of the finale, a very close and exciting battle with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Team Haribo Racing. The ‘gold bears’ team with drivers Uwe Alzen, Lance David Arnold and Renger van der Zande started the race as leaders in the Trophy. When Arnold passed the race leader – pole-setter Jörg Müller in a BMW M6 GT3 (BMW-Team RMG) – in the third lap, it looked very much that they would succeed in gaining the Trophy. However, Alzen retired in lap 15 after a collision and all the hopes were destroyed.

Before, Mies in the Land-Motorsport-Audi had caught up from his fourth starting position. First, he passed his make colleague Frank Stippler (in the Phoenix-Audi, together with Niklas Moller Madsen) and little later he went also ahead of Müller to move in second place. The Phoenix-Audi, too, still had the chance to win the Speed Trophy classification but also had to stop the race due to a collision. As a consequence and also due to the earlier stop of the Haribo-Mercedes, the road was clear for Mies and De Phillippi. They crossed the finish line with an advance of almost three minutes ahead of the BMW-Team RMG-M6, celebrated their third overall win of the year and clinched the victory in the VLN Speed Trophy for Land-Motorsport. With a lead of six points, they pushed the BMW M6 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport, driven by Christian Krognes, Victor Bouveng and Jesse Krohn who finished the race in third place, down to second place. Despite their retirement, the Haribo crew still finished third in the Speed Trophy.

VLN Production Car Trophy
At the start of the finale, Ivan Jacoma and Claudius Karch were 0.2 points behind the Trophy leaders, at the finish of the finale, they had an advance of 0.22 points. They won class V6 with a huge advantage in the Porsche Cayman S of the Team Mathol Racing after they had already been victorious seven times in the year 2016. In the Production Car Trophy the two lowest scores are not considered for the final classification, so exclusively first places are used to draw up Karch and Jacome’s final position.

A result that Hajo Müller, Jens Riemer and Dominik Thiemann were not able to match. They were still in the lead of the Trophy classification when they started the finale but finished only second in class V5 which was not enough to secure the Trophy.

TMG GT86 Cup
In fact, it was nothing but a mere formality for the Team Toyota Swiss Racing. Only a retirement could have spoiled the Cup victory for Manuel Amweg and Thomas Lampert. They were, however, quite relaxed and finished second in their class, still ahead of their closest rivals Nils Jung and Florian Wolf who finished the season in second Cup position with a gap of 20 points behind.