The Nürburgring 24 Hour Race is a thing of the past. Victories have been celebrated and defeats long overcome. It is now the time to provide top racing action again for all the motorsport fans. And this will be presented by the participants in the VLN endurance racing championship at the Nürburgring. The ‘Green Hell’ will be shaking again this Saturday, 20 June, when the starting signal for the third VLN round will be given exactly at 12 o’clock. After the two months break, most of the race drivers can no longer wait for jumping in their race cars to take up the challenge of the four hour race at the 24.358 kilometres long track, a combination of the Nürburgring Grand-Prix-Circuit short version and the legendary Nordschleife. “It is high time that the action continues”, says VLN expert Jürgen Fritzsche who will be fighting for the victory together with his twin brother Heinz-Otto (both from Hückeswagen/ Germany) in the Opel Astra OPC Cup and thus hitting the nail on the head. When all the drivers start the adventure Nürburgring again at the 57th ADAC ACAS H&R Cup race, the fans will have another really great time. The VLN season gets really started only now with still eight out of the ten races on the calendar. Moreover, a historical benchmark can be beaten on Saturday, the 200th VLN win scored by a Porsche. The chances have probably never been better than at this third race of the 2015 season.
The best prospects for achieving this jubilee success will probably have the Team Frikadelli Racing with drivers Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz (both from Barweiler/ Germany) and Patrick Huismann (Netherlands). Their Porsche GT3 R also marked the so far latest win of this manufacturer at a VLN race, which was in August 2014. “We had already been so close once and we hope that now it will happen. As always, our motto will be win or defeat”, says Schmitz, who will start together with her team mates in a completely updated race car, resolutely. Due to accidents and technical problems, the 46 years old race driver did so far not have too many opportunities to drive the car. “This is why I will now take over the first stint on Saturday.”
Other contenders for the historical victory are the two teams in class SP Pro. Both Georg Weiss (Monschau/ Germany), Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) and Oliver Kainz (Kottenheim/ Germany) in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey as well as Eberhard Baunach (Cologne), Wolfgang Kaufmann (Molsberg/ Germany) and Maik Rönnefarth (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler/ Germany) in the Porsche 911 GT3 KR of the team Kremer Racing have good chances to win the third VLN race. Should none of the said teams have the necessary bit of luck on their side, there is another huge armada of cars to step into the breach for the manufacturer. Seventeen participants are entered in class SP7 – all in Porsche, all with the basic potential to win the race.
The grid on Saturday will also include other drivers who have left a lasting impression at the Nürburgring 24h Race. There is for example Adam Christodoulou (Great Britain) who attracted a lot of attention at the marathon race on the Eifel race track when he achieved second time in the Top 30 Qualifying with his Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The fact that Christodoulou will now compete together with Nico Verdonk (Belgium) for the team Prosport-Performance GmbH in a Porsche Cayman in class V5 demonstrates that he does not mind to compete also in less powerful cars. The British sportsman is a highly dedicated race driver and thus stands symbolically for the guiding motif of the endurance racing championship Nürburgring. The same applies for the Team Scheid – Honert Motorsport which, after an accident with their BMW M235i Racing, carried out a repair beside the track under most adverse conditions and rejoined the 24h race after four hours, cheered by all the enthusiastic fans. Jörg Weidinger (Schaftlach/ Germany), Michael Schrey (Wallenhorst/ Germany) and Uwe Ebertz (Sinn-Fleisbach/ Germany) will fight in the same car for the win and for points against the other 16 competitors in the BMW M235i Racing Cup.
It is amongst others the single-make cups that provide this unique character of the VLN races. The motorsport fans will thus probably look forward to the performances amongst the Toyota GT 86 teams in the TMG GT86 Cup as well as to those in the Opel Astra OPC Cup. In the latter Cup, the Fritzsche twins, Jürgen and Heinz-Otto, demonstrate in an impressive manner that age is not an obstacle to success. They both won the title last year and, together with their team mate Hannu Luostarinen from Finland, left another clear mark at the second VLN race of the current season 2015 in finishing first. In addition to the title defence in the popular Opel single-make cup, another target is within reach for Heinz-Otto Fritzsche. The race driver from Hückeswagen/ Germany is missing another four victories to beat the 81 class wins of Ralf Schall (Dornstadt/ Germany) and thus to move up into first position in the list of the most successful drivers in the history of the VLN.
Those who do not want to miss this show will not have to dig deep into their pockets. Family-friendliness is of paramount importance in this popular grassroots series. Tickets for the open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit, for a visit into the paddocks, the pit lane and the starting grid are available at the cash boxes upon payment of 15 euros. Entrance is free of charge for young people up to an including 17 years. The experience ‘Green Hell’ is free of charge all around the Nordschleife.
The start of the race over four hours will be given on Saturday at 12 o’clock. The positions on the starting grid will be based on the results achieved previously between 08h30 and 10h00 in the timed practice.