Celebrity chef Mario Kotaska (Cologne), who was taking care of the catering for the BMW Team Schubert, really brought Dirk Adorf (Michelbach/ Germany), Dirk Müller (Switzerland) and Jörg Müller (Monaco) good luck. The driver trio won the first race of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring with their BMW Z4 GT3. Under difficult weather conditions, the crew from Oschersleben/ Germany won with an advance of 2:01,736 minutes ahead of second placed Marc Hennerici (Mayen/ Germany), Norbert Siedler (Austria) and Dennis Busch (Bensheim/ Germany) who made their debut with the team Timbuli Racing in the Porsche 911 GT3 R and celebrated their first success. The top three were completed by Wolfgang Kohler (Aldingen/ Germany) and Christian Menzel (Kelberg/ Germany) with the Cup Porsche of the Manthey Team, which was a little surprise. The race was stopped with the red flag at 14:43hrs due to heavy fog around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. “All of a sudden, there was no sight at all”, said Peter Bröcher (Olpe/ Germany), Clerk of the Course. “And as the weather did not appear to improve, we have decided not to resume the race. At the moment when the race was suspended, more than 160 minutes had been covered so that full championship points will be awarded.” A summary of this opening round will be shown in ‘Sport1’ on Wednesday, 4th April, at 17:30hrs.
“There is no more adrenalin left in my body”, Jörg Müller was joking after the prizegiving ceremony. “It was more than tricky on the track when it started to rain, which was later accompanied by the fog. Fortunately, the team called me to the pits quite early to change to rain tyres.” Dirk Müller explains why quite a lot will have to be expected from the BMW Z4 GT3 for the current season: “We had a really good race, our car was running perfectly under all conditions. Only at the beginning of the race, we had no chance against the strong Porsche.” The sports cars from the Stuttgart factory had clearly dominated the timed practice in the morning and also the first laps of the race. The pole position was gained by Peter Dumbreck (Great Britain) and Wolf Henzler (Nürtingen/ Germany) with the GT3-Porsche entered by Falken-Motorsports with the fastest lap time of 8:20,891 minutes. At the beginning of the race, the driver duo had a fantastic and close battle with the two Manthey Porsche driven by Oliver Kainz (Kottenheim/ Germany), Marco Holzer (Lochau/ Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) as well as by Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) and Romain Dumas (Switzerland). All of the three 911 Porsche, though, lost time during the race due to technical problems. So the track was clear for the team Timbuli Racing which was more than happy with their second place at their first race participation in the endurance racing championship. “We have taken the right decisions at the right moments and thus shown our potential”, said Hennerici. “We have nevertheless not yet come to a hundred percent with the car.” Siedler confirmed: “You must not expect too much now. The project has shown its potential but we need to gain more experience as well.” To finish on the podium and into third place with the fastest Cup Porsche was even a surprise for driver and team member Menzel: “We did not at all expect this result. But we showed a clean and constant performance during the race and the conditions have also contributed to our success.”
Celebrity chef Mario Kotaska had come to the Nürburgring upon invitation of the Schubert Team and took care of the team with his sophisticated fast food delicacies. He took part in the information lap at the side of VLN Managing Director Dietmar Busch (Radevormwald/ Germany) who insisted on driving the prominent guest himself around the Nürburgring in the pace car ahead of the first starting group. “That was a fantastic experience, my debut at the Nürburgring”, said the enthusiastic motor sport fan. “The atmosphere at the endurance racing championship feels really, really well. This is a big motor sport family with racing action close by and it is great fun. The victory of the Schubert Team in the end was of course the cream on the cake.”
The winner and first championship leader of the season 2012 in the Renault Clio Cup class, the strongest class with 22 cars, is Karl Brinker (Herne/ Germany) of the Team Vulkan-Racing Mintgen Motorsport. A brilliant performance showed also Jörg Viebahn (Engelskirchen/ Germany). The solo driver of the club MSC Adenau finished with his Porsche Cayman on top of the group of VLN series production cars. The victory in group H was gained by Olaf Beckmann (Oststeinbek/ Germany) and Peter Hass (Hofheim/ Germany), who again demonstrated that their aged Opel Manta is by far not yet out-of-date.
The second round of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring, the 37th DMV 4-Hour-Race, will take place on 14th April and cover the distance of four hours.