[Words: vln.de / Photos: Roger Mecking for aryatara.info]
Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany), Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld/ Germany) and Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) mark a historic victory at the 36th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen. With their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the driver duo took the 500th group win for Porsche in the 37 years of history in the endurance racing championship. In addition, this was the first victory for Manthey in this most popular grassroots series in Europe since 504 days. “I am particular proud of this win and I am very happy that this result will go down in the history of the VLN series”, said team manager Olaf Manthey. “The series has always been my home, here are my roots.” Into second position finished Christian Menzel (Kelberg/ Germany) and Wolfgang Kohler (Aldingen/ Germany) in another Manthey Porsche, with a gap of 1:37.398 minutes behind. The top three were completed by Adam Osieka (Bonn/ Germany), Steve Jans (Luxembourg) and Dominik Brinkmann (Dortmund/ Germany) with a Cup Porsche entered by GetSpeed Performance and the team thus made the hat trick for the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen perfect.
“The race was anything else but boring“, said Luhr who celebrated his tenth victory in the endurance racing series. “The track surface was changing permanently and the conditions were different in each corner. You had to take utmost care.” Krumbach added: “We have taken the risk to start on slick tyres and were able to move ahead from position 20 up into fourth place in the first part of the race. We then managed to get a comfortable advance. It is imperative for you to always keep cool under these difficult conditions.” Menzel who gained the victory in the Porsche Cup class together with Kohler had to struggle with the weather, too. “You have to be completely alert all times. Even for me as quite an experienced driver, these conditions are really exciting. You need to be fully concentrated as you have to drive at your limits at almost all times.” Osieka was very delighted about the first podium position in the young history of the team. There was only one point that spoiled the success a little. “We are of course more than happy, but considering the championship standing, a second place in the Porsche Cup class is not really perfect.”
The famous weather in the Eifel region again affected the sixth VLN round considerably. The timed practice in the morning had to be postponed due to heavy fog. The pole position was then gained by Uwe Alzen (Betzdorf/ Germany) and Philipp Wlazik (Gladbeck/ Germany) in a BMW Z4 GT3 who scored a lap time of 9:32.913 minutes. At the end of the first hour in the race, it started to rain heavily and the field was considerably mixed up. Amongst others, the two ROWE-SLS, one of those driven by Nico Bastian (Frankfurt/ Germany) and Jan Seyffarth (Querfurt-Leimbach/ Germany) with start number seven who had meanwhile gone into the lead, had to stop on the track after some accidents. Ullrich Andree (Cologne) and Christian Krognes (Norway) in the Audi TTRS2 of the champion team LMS-Engineering in contrast made the best out of the adverse conditions. Due to the right choice of tyres and the strong front wheel drive, the driver duo went into the lead on the wet track. The high-capacity race cars then displayed their power when the track became dry. The Manthey Porsche went into first place at mid-race and defended this position until the finish. Heavy rain set in again just before the four race distance was over whereupon Race Control decided to show the red flag and stop the race for safety reasons.
Behind the top three, Henry Walkenhorst (Melle/ Germany), Ralf Overhaus (Osnabrück/ Germany) and Daniela Schmid (Austria) in the BMW Z3 GT3 of the team Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop celebrated their best result in the season and finished fourth. In addition, they finally scored a win in the class for GT3 cars. Into fifth place finished Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) and Mike Stursberg (Wermelskirchen/ Germany) in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Haribo Racing Team.
The winner in the Opel Astra OPC Cup class was Mario Merten (Kelberg/ Germany) who competed in the race as solo driver. The fastest Renault Clio was driven by Dirk and Tim Groneck (both from Melle/ Germany) who also went into the lead of the VLN championship after this victory in the Renault Clio cup class. The class win in the Toyota TMG GT86 Cup was gained by Stefan Kenntemich (Wettenberg/ Germany), Dirk Heldmann (Rockenhausen/ Germany), Kristian Vetter (Geroldzhofen/ Germany) and Arne Hoffmeister (Lutter/ Germany).
The seventh round of the Nürburgring VLN endurance racing championship, the 45th ADAC Barbarossapreis, will take place on 28 September and run over the traditional distance of four hours.