The highlight of the VLN endurance championship season at the Nürburgring – the ROWE 6 Hour ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen – has gone down in history. All those, though, who think that it’s over now for the 2017 season, will have to change their mind for the sixth race of the year. On 2nd September 2017, the 40th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen will not only launch the second half of the season and thus the exciting stage in the fight about the Championship, it will also provide a number of highlights. New teams with fascinating projects will ensure that no one will suffer from boredom.
The top group will be mixed up by two new teams which will make their debut in the VLN: Mücke Motorsport and Octane 126. The first one is not unknown in the German racing scene. The Berlin racing team around Peter Mücke has entered a Mercedes-AMG GT3 with DTM driver Edoardo Mortara and Christian Hohenadel. For the time being, they keep their ambitions however on a realistic level. The challenges in the VLN are huge and the competition is very close. So the top priority for newcomers is to learn. For their first participation in the VLN, the Team Octane 126 from Switzerland has chosen a Ferrari 488 GT3. They had their first cautious contact with the Nordschleife at the 24h Qualification Race before Björn Grossmann and Alexander Müller will now compete in the worldwide biggest grassroots series.
At the coming Grenzlandrennen, the two newcomers will be meeting the concentrated power of the VLN teams, with Manthey Racing as the spearhead. The team from Meuspath near the Nürburgring has already scored five victories in the current season. And the French driver duo with Romain Dumas and Patrick Pilet is absolutely ready to come up with more. Frikadelli-Racing with the two well-known nine eleven in class GT3 as well as Falken Motorsport, too, rely on Porsche race cars. Audi will be prominently represented by the Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport – the most successful top team of last year – and by Phoenix-Racing. Walkenhorst Motorsport will keep up the flags for BMW and Mercedes-AMG is represented by Black Falcon, the Haribo Racing Team and Landgraf Motorsport.
The BMW Team Schnitzer has entered a BMW M6 GT3 in class SP-X for VLN race 6. The car is fitted with parts of the Evo-package which is currently developed and tested by BMW Motorsport for customers’ use in the season 2018. The only purpose of the participations is to put the new components through another endurance test. This is to ensure that the customers may look forward to a fully-developed Evo-package that has already stood the test in the “Green Hell”.
More newcomers: New cars and new drivers
There will also be more newcomers beyond the top group. The Italian team Lanza Motorsport for example will for the first time in 2017 bring its BMW 325 Ci to the starting grid of class SP4 and the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Thailand an Altis in class SP3. Two new cars can be announced in class V3 which is open for a group of cars of lower performances: a Honda Civic Type-R of the VLN club MSC Münster and an Opel Astra G OPC of WS-Racing.
There is also some news on drivers. One of those is for example Christian Heuchemer from Bad Ems. In adverse weather conditions, the 30-years-old, together with team mate Thomas Roth, recently managed to take his first overall victory in a production-based BMW at the Nürburgring Rundstrecken-Challenge. A small sensation as the driver duo hereby left behind a number of much more powerful cars. On the back of this success, Heuchemer is now well prepared for higher targets and moves up into the endurance championship. He will share the cockpit of the BMW 330i C entered by the Team Schirmer with Roth who competed for the first time in the VLN at the final race of the season 2016.
The 40th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen organised by the Rheydter Club für Motorsport will run over the traditional VLN distance of four hours. The start signal will be given at 12 o’clock. The positions on the starting grid will be based on the result achieved in the timed practice taking place on the same morning between 08:30hrs and 10:00hrs. Between practice and race, the holders of a ticket will have the opportunity to get very close to the diverse categories of VLN cars and drivers during the pitwalk in the pit lane and on the starting grid. Access to the open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit will be provided for the family-friendly price of 15 euro. Entrance around the Nordschleife is free.
The provisional entry list of the sixth VLN race comprises 158 cars and 22 different car manufacturers. The 362 registered drivers – amongst them seven lady drivers – come from 24 different countries. The division of the cars in the various classes is very well balanced: 46 VLN production cars, 53 VLN Specials and likewise 53 Cup vehicles. The icing on the cake will be six group H cars.