VLN season’s highlight: Six hours full speed

The six weeks summer break will finish next Saturday with the fifth round of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring. The fans of this biggest grassroots series in the world may look forward to some additional two hours of racing action at the ROWE 6 Hour ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen which will take place on 18th of August 2018. The highlight of the season will come up with a true sensation when the successful VLN teams which recently celebrated a successful 24h Race at Spa-Francorchamps will be there to contest the race.

Walkenhorst Motorsport, ROWE Racing, Black Falcon and others will travel from the Belgian classical long-distance race directly to the mother of all race tracks, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Christian Krognes will be behind the steering wheel of the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 at the race in the Eifel region. The Norwegian will be supported by Hunter Abbott, Jordan Tresson and David Pittard. Krognes’ team mates in Spa, Philipp Eng and Tom Blomqvist, will change cars. The DTM driver and the Formula E driver will enter the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3 of ROWE-Racing, who finished second in Spa.

The 6 hour race has so far been a truly successful story for the ROWE team. From 2012 until 2015, they were able to win the season highlight four times in a row. Team Principle Hans-Peter Naundorf hopes that they will be able to continue this series: “This is the highlight of the season for us, first of all because it is our “own” race, and then also because we are able to race around this fantastic circuit for a much longer time than usual in the VLN. We are specifically delighted about our high-class driver quad in BMW M6 GT3 at the Nordschleife. Last year, we had to retire due to an accident after holding the race lead, we certainly wish to do better this year and fight about a top-three position. Any maybe we will manage to score the first victory since, in a way, the 6h race is our “own” race.”

The winners of the fourth VLN race, the 49th Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, will also take part again. At their “home game”, Lance-David Arnold and Norbert Siedler celebrated the second win in a row for the Frikadelli Racing Team which is based nearby the Nürburgring. This time, Siedler’s team mate will be Alexander Müller whilst Arnold will take turns with Klaus Abbelen and Sabine Schmitz in the sister car. “After two VLN wins in a row, we are now the ones which are chased”, informs Team Principle Abbelen. “Of course, we wish to keep the lead despite the additional weight of 20 kilograms that we will have to carry for the six-hour race. We will try to make the job as difficult as possible for the others – including the new 911 GT3 R, we will keep a close eye on its performance.”

The nine-eleven mentioned by Abbelen is the successor of the current GT3 race car from the Zuffenhausen factory. Manthey-Racing will make the racing debut at the Nordschleife with the 2019 version of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The car will be driven by Frederic Makowiecki, Marco Seefried and Lars Kern. The updated 911 GT3 R of model range 991.2 finished already second overall at the Portimão 24 Hours with drivers Alfred Renauer, Robert Renauer, Ralf Bohn and Mathieu Jaminet.

With Romain Dumas, Kevin Estre and Mathieu Jaminet, Manthey Racing won the fifth round of last year’s VLN endurance championship Nürburgring. That will, however, rather not happen this year. Due to the restrictions introduced for class SPX, the Porsche will have to stop every six laps. “Nonetheless, we wish to test all components and the setup in racing conditions,” says Olaf Manthey. “Our target is to find out where we are compared to the other competitors. That is only possible in a direct duel.”

After four successive class wins, Norbert Fischer, Christian Konnerth and Daniel Zils are coming to the Eifel track as the championship leaders. In the class of VLN production cars up to 3,000 cc cylinder capacity, the trio in the Porsche Cayman of the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport so far left all the competitors behind. The same applies for Mike Jäger, Stephan Köhler and Christian Kohlhaas who have taken already four victories with their racing one Ferrari 458 in the class of VLN Specials over 4,000 cc cylinder capacity. The championship standings show the Ferrari drivers in second place with a gap of only 0.17 points.

Exciting motorsport action will moreover be provided by the more than 170 participants in the smaller classes. 28 race cars are entered in class V4 (VLN production cars up to 2,500 cc capacity). In the GT4 class SP10 with, amongst others, Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche, the total of twelve sports cars will fight for the victory. Rapper “Smudo” will again participate in the class of alternative fuels as guest driver for the team Care for Climate. Another strong class is the Cup 5 with 18 cars (BMW M235i Racing Cup) in which Fabian Vettel, the younger brother of Formula 1 star Sebastian Vettel, will make his debut at the legendary Eifel circuit for the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport. Vettel will share the cockpit of a BMW M235i Racing with Georg Bellof and Andre Duve. The 62 years old brother of the fatally injured Stefan Bellof competed in 2015 already in two VLN rounds.

The race will start at 12 o’clock on Saturday. The start of the race will be given at 12 o’clock precisely. The grid positions will be decided previously in the timed practice which will take place between 08.30 and 10 am. Tickets are available on the official website VLN.de and at the box-offices on-site. At a price of family-friendly 15 euros per person – young people up to the age of 14 years will have free entrance – the fans may experience motor-racing at close range. The tickets include access to all open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit as well as to the paddocks. There is a lot to discover during the pitwalk between the qualifying and the race and the spectators have the opportunity to meet the stars of the VLN first-hand on the starting grid which is accessible for everyone. The complete live broadcast of the race will be available in the free stream on VLN.de from 8.15 am.