Oktoberfest in the Eifel

Now, the time has come for all the teams to play their last trump cards in the battle about the VLN trophies. On 17th of October, the start signal for the VLN race will be given for the penultimate time in the current season at the Nürburgring. It will be really cold when the over 350 drivers will get into their race cars at the ninth round of the VLN endurance racing championship. The ROWE DMV 250-Miles Race concludes at the same time the first half of the Oktoberfest in the Eifel. After an eventful race on the German Unity Day, it is now a matter of scoring as many points as possible at the season finish straight in the fight to gain the VLN overall victory and in order to preserve all the title chances for the big final on 31st of October. Two teams and one single driver still have good cause to hope that they will be awarded the VLN overall winner’s cup. The standing in the Opel Astra OPC Cup as well as in the BMW M325i Racing Cup is similarly close. And the power struggles of the ultra-fast GT3 race cars has likewise every time been extremely exciting throughout the year. Looking into the first-class field of the coming event, it will definitely be the same at the ROWE DMV-250-Miles Race. Especially as the VLN will once again come up with a world premiere. The new Porsche 911 GT3 R will for the first time competitively participate at the Nordschleife and is definitely a candidate to score a second race win in the season for the manufacturer from Zuffenhausen. There is yet a host of competitors who equally put their great hopes on winning the race. The spectators at the most beautiful and longest race track of the world may look forward to lots of action and a colourful, fascinating mixture of extravagant sports cars.

One of those is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of ROWE-Racing. Klaus Graf and Christian Hohenadel know perfectly well how to drive the race car from Stuttgart over the 24.358 kilometres long combination of the Nordschleife and the short version of the Grand Prix Circuit. The driver duo managed this best at the fifth classified race of the season and celebrated the first success of the year for Mercedes on 22nd August. The team would definitely like to repeat that result. ROWE team manager Hans-Peter Naundorf: “We always feel at home at the Nürburgring but if the name of the race is similar to our own name, as it will be now, the motivation is of course even higher. We will try our very best again to finish on the podium and to conclude the VLN season 2015 with another enjoyable result.” Jan Seyffarth, Adam Christodoulou, Maro Engel and Thomas Jäger on their part will also try their best to be able to climb up on top of the winners’ podium. Seyffarth and Jäger were close to this target already at the last race with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 but they had finally to be satisfied with second position due to a time penalty. With an amended team of drivers – Christodoulou and Engel will for the first time join them in the cockpit of the latest GT3 creation from Stuttgart – the team will now try to leave all the other competitors behind at this third participation after the world premiere which took place at the VLN race on 4th July 2015.

Whether the brand new Porsche 911 GT3 will be able to achieve a similar aim at its first international race participation remains to be seen. This first participation of the new customer race car shall above all serve for testing purposes, the endurance testing of brakes, suspension and body components is the prior target. Manthey Racing shall furthermore be provided with the opportunity to get familiar with the car and its handling at an early stage. Nick Tandy and Fred Makowiecki will have the honour to drive the 911 for the first time over a race track. Tandy has quite some experience at the Nordschleife and his team mate, too, knows pretty well how to perform at the Nordschleife. He thus celebrated already a second place with his Porsche in the GT-Pro class at the Nürburgring WEC race.

Audi, too, will proceed to an upgrade for the penultimate VLN race of the year. The winners of the previous race, Marc and Dennis Busch, will for example take the start with the new Audi R8 LMS. The twins will this time again be supported by Marc Basseng who joins the twin Busch team for the third time this year. The new Audi shall undergo an intensive testing by the driver trio before the 585 HP strong sports car will be delivered to the customer teams at the end of this month. The SCG003C is currently not really interesting for most of these teams. The creation of the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is too expensive and too extravagant. On the other hand, this is exactly the reason for which these two extraordinary cars will again be some of the eye-catchers at the ninth VLN round. Until today, team manager James Glickenhaus is however still waiting in vain to score a victory.

This year, the same applies also for the driver trio Jari Nuoramo, Juha Hannonen and Daniel Bohr in the Opel Astra OPC Cup. On account of their top results on the podium, they are nevertheless the major challengers for the Cup leaders Hannu Luostarinen, Heinz-Otto and Jürgen Fritzsche. The two competitors are separated by only ten points – the Cup classification is more exciting than ever. The battle in the BMW 235i Racing Cup is also very close. In the always very strong field, Ralf Schall and Mario Merten of the Team Bonk Motorsport currently still have the best chances to win the overall classification of the Cup. However, they have an advance of only six points ahead of Michele Di Martino and Moritz Oberheim of the Team TKS-Motorsport.

The first trophy in the VLN season has already been awarded on the 3rd of October. There was simply no way to overcome the predominance of Arne Hoffmeister and Fabian Wrabetz in the TMG GT86 Cup. They won their class in all of the races of the year and secured the Cup win in advance. But it is about much more again in the coming race for the duo of Dörr-Motorsport. They are in the end amongst the hot favourites for the victory of the VLN championship. They are currently shown in third place in the overall classification, with a gap of 1.18 points behind the brothers Dirk and Tim Groneck who also won their class SP3 in their Renault Clio at each round. As the team which dominates the greatest number of competitors in its class also receives the greatest number of points in the VLN, Stefan van Campenhoudt in the BMW 325i of the team Schirmer is getting closer and closer to the leaders. The Belgian has won class V4 already six times. As the number of cars in this class is normally higher than in the classes of his competitors, Campenhoudt has good chances to make up the difference of currently 0.44 points until the final of the season.

So the fans can once again look forward to an absolute highlight in the Eifel when the ninth VLN race will begin with the timed practice at 08h30 on 17th of October. The four hour race will then be started at 12 o’clock.