The fourth round of the VLN endurance racing championship turned out to become a true festival for the privateers. The action at the 53rd ADAC Reinoldus endurance race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife held in bright sunshine was dominated by born and bred grassroots race drivers, to the great delight of the many fans at the track. Klaus Abbelen (Barweiler/ Germany), Patrick Huisman (Netherlands) and Patrick Pilet (France) scored their first highly celebrated first victory in the Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by the MSC Adenau e.V. im ADAC. The driver trio took the chequered flat after 28 race laps with an advance of 4:44.065 minutes ahead of second placed Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Max Sandritter (Raubling/ Germany) and Dominik Baumann (Austria) in the BMW Z3 GT3 of the PIXUM Team Schubert. Delighted about their third place were Georg Weiss (Monschau/ Germany), Oliver Kainz (Kottenheim/ Germany), Michael Jacobs (Roetgen-Rott/ Germany) and Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) driving a Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey. A 30 minutes summary of the race will be broadcasted in channel Sport1 on 27 July at 14:30 hrs.
“It is a fantastic feeling to celebrate the first win here finally after eight years”, said Abbelen who was visibly impressed. “ “As always, out team has done a brilliant job and provided us a fantastic car. Both our ‘Patricks’ had been extremely quick in the race and the strategy, too, was perfect. We have deserved this win.” For the first time since 50 races, regular driver Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler/ Germany) was not able to join the team in the Frikadelli-Porsche, as the 911 is fondly called by the fans, due to a knee injury. “What a pity but I am convinced that Sabine as a true sportswoman will share our joy”, says Abbelen. “Also, now finally we know how it works – this was not our last victory.” To finish for the first time on the podium right at his only third race in the endurance racing championship was not what All Faisal had expected. “I must admit that I am a little surprised because our target at the start was to get more familiar with the track and with the car”, he says. “But in the end, we managed everything perfectly. I definitely want to go for more now.” Weiss, too, was very happy with their third place. “Our strategy worked well and we had a race free of any mistakes. I am finally happy that we can celebrate this success in the same configuration as at the 24h Race.”
With a lap time of 8:02.418 minutes in qualifying, the Nordschleife expert Uwe Alzen marked a new record in practice. The team in the BMW Z4 GT3 entered by H&R Spezialfedern took the start from pole position and dominated the race over long sections in the race lead. 70 minutes before the end of the race, Alexandros Margaritis (Cologne) had an accident in the sectin Schwalbenschwanz and had to retire. Bad luck also for Ferdinand and Johannes Stuck (both from Munich) and Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel/ Germany) in the Audi R8 LMS of the team Phoenix-Racing. Two laps before the race end, a damaged tyre stopped them from catching up to the later winners and the driver trio was finally shown in fourth overall position.
The fastest Cup Porsche was driven by Adam Osieka (Bonn/ Germany), Kévin Estre (France) and Christopher Mies (Heiligenhaus/ Germany) finishing fifth overall. The Opel Astra OPC Cup was won by Michael Bohrer (Merzig/ Germany) and Peter Kreuer (Cologne) ein. The sensation of a win as solo driver, however, remained denied to Mario Merten (Kelberg/ Germany) in the Bonk-Astra as he stopped on the track a few minutes before the end of the race due to vibrations on the front axle. The Renault Clio Cup class was won by Holger Goedicke (Weinsberg/ Germany) and Mathias Schläppi (Switzerland) and Rudi Adams (Ahütte/ Germany), Arno Klasen (Karlshausen/ Germany) and Arne Hoffmeister (Lutter/ Germany) won the TMG GT86-Cup. The fastest group H car was driven by the two Porsche drivers Ralf H. Weiner (Hilden/ Germany) and Michael Schrey (Wallenhorst/ Germany); Dieter Weidenbrück (Wesseling/ Germany) and Markus Schmickler (Bad Neuenahr Ahrweiler/ Germany) finished first in their Porsche 911 in the category of VLN series production cars.
With their fourth win in the class of VLN Specials up to 2000 cc cylinder capacity with turbo (SP3T), Elmar Deegener (Stelzenberg/ Germany), Dieter Schmidtmann (Mechernich/ Germany) and Christoph Breuer (Nettersheim/ Germany) defended their lead in the championship with the Audi TT-RS entered by Raeder Motorsport.
New title for the 6h Race on 24 August 2013
The highlight of the Nürburgring VLN endurance racing championship season has a new title. The 6h Race organised by the MSC Ruhr Blitz Bochum will from now be called ‚OPEL 6 Hours ADAC Ruhr Pokal Rennen’. The long year VLN partner from Rüsselsheim Germany thus marks another milestone in its motor sports engagement. “The VLN is very happy that our long year partner Opel is this year engaged in the Nürburgring endurance racing championship to this great extend. In addition to the Opel Astra OPC Cup, which has gained so many friends in its first year at the Nordschleife, we have now a complete event under the brand of the most traditional German car manufacturer from Rüsselheim Germany with the ‘Opel 6 Hours ADAC Ruhr-Pokal Race’. I am convinced that we will experience a fantastic highlight of the season on 24 August and wish to invite all the fans to come to the paddocks. Opel and other partners will provide quite some surprises”, adds VLN Chairman Rolf Krimpmann.