Bright sunshine, beaming winners – Maximilian Buhk and Raffaele Marciello celebrated the first VLN victory for the Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter at the eighth round of the season 2019. The duo dominated the 51st ADAC Barbarossapreis in superior manner over the distance of four hours. Walkenhorst Motorsport with drivers Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Jody Fannin crossed the finish line in second place with their BMW M6 GT3. However, the car was disqualified after the race as it was not in compliance with its homologation. As a result, Philip Ellis and Maximilian Götz in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of GetSpeed Performance moved up into second place. The top three were completed by Patrick Assenheimer and Manuel Metzger in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Black Falcon Team AutoArena Motorsport.
“I am incredibly happy about my first VLN victory. And the HTP team has definitely deserved taking this success after we’ve had so much bad luck at the Nordschleife this year”, said Buhl. “Raffaele made the race an easy job for me. He completed two fantastic stints at the beginning so that I just had to bring home victory. I am now very much looking forward to my first race in the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 in two weeks time.“ His anticipation is justified as Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz had a trouble-free debut in the new GT3 race car from Affalterbach. The car is right now in its final test phase before its delivery next year and has not been granted yet the GT3 homologation. This is also the reason why Buurman and Stolz currently start in class SPX. Pursuant to the applicable regulations, the minimum pit stop time was each time 30 seconds longer than for the other teams and the race had to be started from the last grid position of the first start group. Black Falcon was running the team at its second participation, at the VLN finale in two weeks, the Team HTP-Motorsport will then be in charge.
At final scrutineering, it was ascertained that the car of the originally second placed Walkenhorst drivers did not comply with the regulations and was disqualified. The Stewards stated in their decision: “During final scrutineering, it was established that the tightening torque of the spring plate safety bolts did not comply with the requirements and it was possible to loosen them manually. This represents an infringement of Article 1.6 of the Class SP9 Technical Regulations. This article stipulates that it is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that his car complies with the FIA GT3 homologation as well as with the technical data sheet applicable for the specific model at all times during the event.” The team declared that they would not appeal that decision.
Happy with their performance were the two GetSpeed drivers Ellis and Götz who took fourth place in a row for the racing team from the business park at the Nürburgring. “We can be more than happy with our result”, said Ellis. “We had a damaged tyre and also a damaged underfloor due to slight a collision after the start so that we had to fight against vibrations. Especially in the fast passages, it was quite difficult to evaluate whether the aerodynamics would work like normal.” In a thrilling finale, Ellis succeeded in staying in front of the six times VLN winner Manuel Metzger over many laps, the latter finally taking the chequered flag with a gap of 0.412 seconds behind. “I was completely aware that Manual was so close to me”, said Ellis with a smile in his face. “But he cannot perform any miracles, so I was not particularly nervous and rather concentrated on remaining in the front at the few locations where overtaking is possible at the Nordschleife.”
250th class win for Peugeot
The Team Euro Repar Car Service Germany celebrated the 250th class win for Peugeot in the history of the VLN. Together with Bradley Philpot from the United Kingdom, Jürgen and Joachim Nett won class SP2T with the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup TCR. The first class victory for Peugeot was achieved by Dieter Radecki and Dieter Jakob on 21st May 1983 with a Peugeot 104 ZS in class 17, group B up to 1,150 cc.
The battle in class SP10 was once again very close. Together with Marc Ehret, returnee Michael Schrey took the class win in the BMW M4 GT4 for Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport. Behind them, their team mates Michael Fischer and Thomas Jäger were fighting for second place against the Black-Falcon trio Tobias Müller, Tim Scheerbarth and Tristan Viidas. The latter were finally ahead by a nose. Their Mercedes-AMG GT4 crossed the finish line only 1.291 seconds ahead of the BMW. The victory in the TCR class went to Mathilda racing, for the fifth time in the current season. Matthias Wasel, Frederic Yerly and Roland Schmid in the Cupra TCR secured first place against the Team Møller Bil Motorsport with the Norwegians Håkon Schjærin, Kenneth Østvold and Anders Lindstad behind the wheel of the Audi RS3.
Preliminary decision in the championship made
Two cars of the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport are this year fighting a battle for the title. Yannick Fübrich and David Griessner scored their sixth class win in the BMW M240i Racing Cup, thus defending their championship lead and securing best position for the finale. In the adjusted standings with two void results, their paper-thin advantage ahead of the team mates and title defenders Danny Brink, Philipp Leisen and Christopher Rink is only 0.25 points. The trio fought their way to victory in the very competitive V4 class with 26 starters. Oliver Frisse, Moran Gott and Torsten Kratz in the BMW 325i of the Team Avia Sorg REnnsport were left behind in the race and thus lost their chances to still clinch the championship title this year.
The season final of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring will take place in two weeks on October 26th.