They defied the infamous Eifel weather, took high risks and were finally celebrated as winners: Fabian Schiller and Dominik Baumann took the first VLN victory in the history of the Team GetSpeed Performance. This is only the second year for the team which is based in the business park at the Nürburgring to compete in the GT3 top class of the series. In 2019, they changed from Porsche to Mercedes-AMG. They had to wait seven races until they could celebrate their first success with the Mercedes. Into second place finished the Team Mann Filter with Tim Scheerbarth, VLN Champion of the year 2011, together with Lance David Arnold and Edoardo Mortara, the latter making his debut in the Mercedes-AMG GT3. The top three were completed by Nicky Catsburg, David Pittard and Jody Fannin in a BMW M6 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport.
GetSpeed was already dominating the qualifying. Behind double starter Schiller, who had gained pole position in the sister car with start number 23, Baumann secured second place on the grid for the afterwards winning Mercedes-AMG GT3 #2. The first part of the four hour race was marked by a true tyre poker. Baumann passed Schiller in lap six and went into the lead which he had to give up for one lap two laps later. As the track was drying off, other teams changed to slick tyres whilst GetSpeed decided to switch to Intermediates. They recaptured the lead and would not relinquish it up to the finish.
“Everything simply fit together perfectly today”, said Schiller with a broad smile in his face as regards his first VLN victory. “I will remember this moment for a long time. The conditions today were really tricky again. As a team, we have greatly improved since the beginning of the season. This is not about the big picture, but much more about small details.” Team mate Baumann comments the typical weather in the Eifel: “We all know this already too well”, said the Austrian. “The conditions were quite similar to the ones prevailing during my comeback at VLN6. But that was not at all a problem today. If you feel comfortable as a driver in the car, it is much easier out on the track.”
The second-placed Scheerbarth was more than happy with his comeback in the GT3 race car – he was last driving an SLS GT3 in the year 2015. “Just awesome”, he said happily. “I was able to go the pace in the leading group, the car was brilliant. I would actually not say No if I got another chance to drive a GT3.” Apart from the HTP Mercedes, Scheerbarth contested the race also in his familiar GT4 counterpart of the Black Falcon Team Identica. The class win seemed to be within reach. On the very last metres, team mate Tobias Müller, though, was in the end beaten by the duo Heiko Eichenberg and Erik Johansson in the BMW M4 GT4 of AVIA Sorg Rennsport– by just 0.019 seconds.
IIn the opening laps of the 4 Hour Race, Fannin who started from 10th grid position performed true fireworks in the Walkenhorst-BMW. The team changed to slick tyres one lap earlier than their competitors. First of all, the decision seemed to be absolutely right. Famin continued to make up ground and closed the gap to the leading group. Yet, when it then started to rain again, he dropped back. “Easy come, easy go”, he said. “It was particularly on the wet track that I had gained a lot of confidence into the car. From lap to lap, I observed precisely how the track conditions changed. So I was able to push. Then we thought that the track would dry off and gambled with the slicks, but unfortunately we lost. But forget, we can nevertheless be very happy with third position.”
Behind the Falken-BMW with Peter Dumbreck and Stef Dusseldorp in fourth place, Vincent Kolb and Steve Jans became the fastest Pro-Am team and finished fifth in the Audi R8 LMS of Phoenix Racing. “That was a good race for us”, said Jans. The fastest AM-drivers, Michael Heimrich and Arno Klasen of the Team équipe Vitesse were also driving an Audi R8 LMS.
The victory in the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing went to Moritz Kranz, Thorsten Jung and Nico Menzel for the Team Mühlner Motorsport SPRL. The fastest TCR car, the Cupra TCR of mathilda racing, was driven by Matthias Wasel, Frederic Yerly and Roland Schmidt.
Thrilling fight for the Championship
The decision in the fight about the title in the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring remains thrilling. With their fifth win in the BMW M240i Racing Cup class, Yannick Fübrich and David Griessner defended their lead in the standings. The one-two lead for the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport was secured by Norbert Fischer, Oskar Sandberg and Daniel Zils, s they have meanwhile collected six victories in class V5. However, as this class normally figures less cars than the BMW Cup class, they get less points and are currently left behind in the championship. Two favourites for the title, the V4 team of Adrenalin and AVIA Sorg Rennsport, once again fought a thrilling duel in the strongest class – this time with the better end for the Adrenalin title defenders Philipp Leisen, Danny Brink and Christopher Rink, who finished one lap ahead of the trio Thorsten Kratz, Oliver Frisse and Moran Gott.
Things will be happening really fast now with the VLN endurance championship entering the finishing straight of the series. In two weeks already, the eighth round will take place. The 51st ADAC Barbarossapreis organised by the MSC Sinzig will take place on 12 October and run over the traditional four hour distance.