It was worth waiting for the launch of the VLN season!

The first race of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring is now very close. Fans and drivers both are equally and excitedly looking forward to the kick-off at the Nordschleife. The winter break just seemed not to end and to have been much too long and too exhausting. The 38th DMV 4 Hour Race organised by the RG Düren appears to fulfil – and in some areas even to exceed – all the expectations. The provisional list of entries already figures more than 200 race cars ready to start the 2013 motor sport season at the ‘Green Hell’ on 13 April at 12 o’clock exactly. The field includes sporting dream cars as well as the new race cars in the VLN Cup classes and the close-to-production touring cars. In addition to the great number of ambitious private race drivers which contribute to the very special flair in the VLN, there will also be many top stars experienced in international motor sports. Entry is free all around the Nordschleife. Admission to the paddocks and to the open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit will be granted upon payment of the family-friendly amount of 15 euros per person. Children up to 14 years of age have free access. The value received is to experience living motorsport extremely close which no other racing series in Europe offers to their fans: The open paddocks, access to the starting grind and to the pit lane as long as the engines are stopped and fascinating racing action on the most demanding asphalt track of the world.

Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, BMW Z4 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette C6, Ferrari F458, Ford GT, Ginetta G50 GT4, McLaren MP4, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 GT3 R and RSR – the list of the sporting dream cars which make the launch of the season so special is long. The list of entries furthermore figures a number of famous drivers. The BMW Z4 GT3 of Uwe Alzen (Bendorf/ Germany) will be driven by a strong driver team. The Nordschleife experienced race driver will be supported by Philipp Wlazik (Gladbeck/ Germany) and Alexandros Margaritis (Cologne) in the Bavarian GT3 race car. The two Z4 of the BMW Team Schubert will be driven by none less than Dirk and Jörg Müller (both from Switzerland), Augusto Farfus (Brazil), Claudia Hürtgen (Munich), Martin Tomczyk (Switzerland) and Jens Klingmann (Leimen/ Germany). A strong performance will definitely also be shown by the Mercedes-Benz crews in the SLS AMG GT3. In addition to the gullwing race car with the four ambitious race drivers Michael Zehe (Flörsheim-Dalsheim/ Germany), Marko Hartung (Wallroda/ Germany), Marc Bullit (USA) and Reinhold Renger (Rothenburg/Germany) , ROWE RACING has entered two further SLS AMG GT3, driven by the sports cars aces Thomas Jäger (Munich), Jan Seyffarth (Querfurt-Leimbach/ Germany), Kenneth Heyer (Wegberg/ Germany), Alexander Roloff (Berlin) and Lance-David Arnold (Duisburg/ Germany). The car with start number 21 will come up with a very special surprise. It will be driven by former ski-jump star Sven Hannawald (Munich), who will make his debut at the Nordschleife, together with TV partner Thorsten Drewes (Bispingen/ Germany) from the German documentary row “Turbo – Die Reportage: Ziel Grüne Hölle”. The crew in the Audi R8 LMS entered by Phoenix-Racing also includes some famous names. The steering wheel in this car will be shared by the brothers Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck (both from Munich) and Michael Ammermüller (Pocking/ Germany). Christian Mamerow (Waltrop/ Germany) and Oliver Jarvis (Great Britain) in the R8 of the team Prosperia-C. Abt Team Mamerow will rely on the same make. The make of Porsche race cars will in 2013 however be separated. Whilst Frikadelli-Racing, Timbuli-Racing and the Pinta Team Manthey will start in the GT3 class with Porsche 911 GT3 R, the two RSR entered by Manthey-Racing will fight for points in class SP7 (VLN Specials up to 4000 cc cylinder capacity). The spearhead in the well-known yellow-green livery will be shared amongst Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) and Marco Holzer (Lochau/ Germany) and the Wochenspiegel-Porsche will be driven by Georg Weiss (Monschau/ Germany), Oliver Kainz (Kottenheim/ Germany) and Michael Jacobs (Roetgen-Rott/ Germany).

The 38th DMV 4 Hour Race will figure several debuts at the same time. Dr. Ulrich Bez (Great Britain) and Wolfgang Schuhbauer (Brilon/ Germany) will for example for the first time bring an Aston Martin Rapide S to the race track, and which circuit could be better suited than the ‘Green Hell’? Another newcomer at the Nordschleife will be the Lotus Evora, driven by Cor Euser (Netherlands), Vic Rice and Hal Prewitt (both from the USA) in the GT4 class. A true debut will also be made by the Hyundai Veloster Turbo with the driver team made of the four privateers Paul Englert (Cologne), Martin Zondler (Graben-Neudorf/ Germany), Sebastian Koch (Müsch/ Germany) and Peter Schumann (Saarbrücken/ Germany). The group of newcomers will be completed by the cars of the team of Peugeot 208 GTI Race Experience – and, not to forget, by the considerable number of 18 Opel Astra OPC in the new Cup version. The make cup of the automobile manufacturer from Rüsselsheim has hit the mark with the customers. Even before the Cup was officially announced last year, all of the cars had already been distributed to well-known teams. And the list of drivers in this class will promise great excitement as they include names such as Jürgen and Heinz-Otto Fritzsche (both from Hückeswagen/ Germany), Mario Merten (Kelberg/ Germany) and Wolf Silvester (Nürnberg/ Germany) as well as Jannik Olivo and Elmar Jurek (both from Berlin) to fight for points in class Cup 1 as they all had been involved in the fights for the title in the recent history of the endurance racing championship. So not only the fans of the make Opel may look forward to top-class motor sport.

There will be more than 500 drivers from 30 different nations and with cars of 28 different automobile manufacturers at the start of the VLN endurance racing championship opening round. And almost one fourth of them will compete in the group of VLN production cars – the former series cars. With 20 entries, the class up to 3500 cc cylinder capacity will figure the greatest number of cars. Two newcomers will here be particular eye-catchers, those being the cars with number 405 and 432. The cars of Helmut Weber (Königsfeld/ Germany), Ivan Jacoma (Switzerland) and Christian Schmitz (Herresbach/ Germany) entered by the MSC Adenau as well as Dieter Weidenbrück (Wesseling/ Germany) and Markus Schmickler (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler/ Germany) will celebrate the first race participation of a Porsche of model range 991 at the Nürburgring, in a version which is close to production, understood, but which makes them not less attractive. The group of VLN production cars also includes the second new Cup in the 2013 VLN season: the TMG GT 86 Cup. The race cars from Japan, also close to production, are promising plenty of driving fun which can be achieved with a reasonable budget. And, as usual in the Cup classes, there will be very close fights as all of the teams will have identical material.

More than 200 spectacular touring cars and GT cars at the VLN opening round, no motor sport fan should miss this show. The positions on the starting grid will be decided in the practice session on Saturday morning between 08:30 and 10:00hrs. The green light will be switched on at 12 o’clock exactly. The race time at the first race of the season on the 24.358 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring short version and the Nordschleife will be four hours.