Round 4 of this year’s VLN Championship, named 48. Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, was held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife today.
Sven Müller had driven the Manthey Racing Porsche #59 to Pole Position for the 4-hours race, ahead of Falken Motorsports BMW #3, and Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW #100.
Barely 20 minutes into the race, we saw Falken Motorsports Porsche #4 hit the rear of Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW #100 and spin. Several other cars got involved too, among others, the Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari #22 who then got stuck in the gravel. The Porsche got some damage to the front of the car, while the Ferrari was dragged into the pits to get the gravel cleaned out and get some new, clean tires.
25 minutes into the race, we had race leader Manthey Racing Porsche #59 going in for their first fuel stop, and thereby gave up the lead. After just doing a lap on the Grand Prix circuit, it dived back in again, and was pushed into the garage. The mechanics instantly started looking at the rear of the car, and could quickly assess that the gearbox had failed, and they had to retire from the race.
That gave Falken Motorsports BMW #3 the lead, where Jörg Müller gave the car to Stef Dusseldorp after exactly an hour of the race.
Just short of two hours into the race, it was a BMW 1-2-3 with #3 leading #100 and the other Walkenhorst Motorsport #35. They were followed by Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche #31 and Manthey Racing Porsche #911.
There was drama halfway through the race, when Renault R.S. 01 #55 got a puncture, and had to park the car at the side of the road and retire.
Stef Dusseldorp got into the Falken Motorsports BMW #3 again with 40 minutes left of the race, where he then could start chasing the leading Frikadelli Porsche #31 with Norbert Siedler behind the wheel.
During the last 45 minutes of the race, we had a very close battle between Manthey Porsche #911 with Romain Dumas behind the wheel, and Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW #100 concerning the third place of the race. Spread across many laps, they were battling bumper to bumper, where the bungee cord was stretched and pulled back together, depending on who the two managed to get through traffic.
With 22 minutes left of the race we had Porsche #31 dive into the pits, to get a final splash of fuel. That meant that they had to give up the lead to BMW #3 and dropped down to fourth themselves.
On the very final lap of the race the #100 tried to drive inside #911 into turn 1. There was a slight bit of contact between the cars, but the positions remained the same, and nothing more happend between the two.
The Falken Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 #3 with Jörg Müller and Stef Dusseldorp took the victory ahead of Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #911 and Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 #100.
Best Mercedes was Landgraf Motorsport #44 with their Mercedes-AMG GT3 in fifth before another two Walkenhorst Motorsport cars with BMW M6 GT3 #35 #36 in the shape of a BMW Z4 GT3 closed off top 7 and the SP9 category.
The victory is the first overall victory for the team in their 18 year long history at the Nordschleife. They started out with a Nissan Skyline, which was their preferred choice of material for many years, before going for a split strategy with a BMW and a Porsche this year. BMW was the right answer to their question – at least for today.
The next VLN race will be run on August 19th as the ROWE 6 Stunden ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen. Hopefully there will be a few more cars in the SP9 category, even though BMW and Porsche delivered some great battles for the podium positions today