The challengers seeking revenge

The VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring had a splendid start of the season 2010. The first victory of the year was gained by Manthey-Racing – a team which has found its home in the most popular endurance racing championship since many years and which has celebrated many successes. The challengers, in particular Audi and BMW, were hereby beaten below their potential and seek revenge now. The fans of this unique racing series at the Nordschleife can look forward to an exciting continuation. The 35th DMV 4 Hours Race organised by the Renngemeinschaft Düren comes up with a spectacular and full grid. More than 190 cars will take the start of the race over four hours on 10th of April at 12 o’clock exactly. The timed practice session between 08:30 and 10 a.m. on Saturday morning will decide the positions on the starting grid. The prizegiving ceremony to which all the fans and friends of the endurance racing championship are cordially invited will start at 6 p.m. in the ‘Eifel Stadl’, the big discotheque in the Eifel village ‘Green Hell’.

The places on the podium at the start of the season were occupied by Porsche, Audi and BMW. With the Manthey spearhead, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, Porsche seems to be well-positioned again. The steering wheel will be shared by Marcel Tiemann (Monaco), Timo Bernhard (Dittweiler/Germany) and Romain Dumas (Switzerland). In the absence of the two Audi A8 of Abt-Sportsline, Phoenix-Racing is going to assume the role as chaser. The sports cars of the local heroes from Meuspath at the Nürburging showed their potential at the opening round already but, already facing the victory, had to retire just before the race end due to technical problems. To forget this disappointment – this is the target now of Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria), Frank Biela (Monaco) and Dennis Rosteck (Porta Westfalica/ Germany) and of Frank Stipppler (Bad Münstereifel/Germany), Marcel Fässler (Switzerland) and Mike Rockenfeller (Austria) in the sister car. In the group of BMW race cars, the Schnitzer-Team will concentrate onto a BMW M3 for this second championship race and rely onto the international and first class drivers’ crew with Andy Priaulx (Great Britain), Pedro Lamy (Portugal) and Augusto Farfus (Brazil). Another top team which has attracted a lot of attention in the long distance championship during the last years had to give in early at the first race of the season after an off in practice. The team of Mamerow-Racing, which bets on the 911 GT3 R like Manthey this year, has some catching up to do and driver Chris Mamerow (Castrop-Rauxel/Germany) has without any doubts the chance to win.

Not less than six Aston Martin Vantage will fully attack at the second round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring in classes SP10 (GT4 cars) and SP8 (VLN Specials up to 6.250 cc cubic capacity). Amongst the drivers will for the first time this year be Dr. Ulrich Bez, in his capacity chief of the British sports car manufacturer. The race driver from Düsseldorf will be supported by Wolfgang Schuhbauer (Brilon/Germany) and Peter Cate from Great Britain. Lexus, too, has extended its participation. The two Nordschleife experienced Armin Hahne (Monaco) and Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/Germany) will now start in a second LF-A together with Takayuki Kinoshita from Japan.

Volkswagen-Motorsport has entered two natural gas Sciroccos as a preparation of the 24h Race at the Nürburgring. For one of their drivers, Nasser Al Attiyah, this will definitely be quite a change from the desert sand to the ‘Green Hell’. The specialist in rally sports from Qatar will have his first participation at the Nordschleife on occasion of the 35th DMV 4-Hours-Rennen. Al Attiyah finished into an excellent second position overall at this year’s Dakar Rally behind his team mate Carlos Sainz (Spain). He will be supported at the Nordschleife by Peter Terting (Kempten/Germany) and Nicki Thiim (Rinteln/Germany). The second Scirocco will be driven by Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (Wettstetten/Germany) and Bernd Ostmann (Gerlingen/Germany).

With their win in class SP3 (VLN Specials up to 2.000 cc cubic capacity), Mario Merten (Nürburg/Germany) and Wolf Silvester (Nürnberg/Germany) in the BMW Z4 entered by Bonk Motorsport have collected full championship points. At the 35th DMV 4-Hours-Race, this class will again be the key to score maximum points as with 28 entered cars, it is the strongest class in the field. As many as 16 Renault Clio Cup cars are entered in this class SP3 and enrich the starting grid of the endurance racing championship. In addition to championship points, the Clio crews are also fighting for points in the Renault Sport Speed Trophy which shows Jannik Olivio and Elmar Jurek (both from Berlin/Germany) in the lead after their second place in the class achieved in the last race. The battles in class SP3T (VLN Specials up to 2.000 cc cubic capacity with turbo) which faces a superior entry of 19 cars will also be exciting. The last winners in this category were Elmar Deegener (Stelzenberg/Germany), Jürgen Wohlfarth (Murrhardt/Germany) and Christoph Breuer (Nettersheim/Germany) in the new Audi TTS entered by the Raeder-Team.