A first for the Busch twins
Rain and cold temperatures on Friday ensured that the Qualifying for the eight VLN round of the 2013 season had to be postponed because of heavy fog around the Nürburgring. When the session finally got going, cut from the usual 90 minutes to just an hour, it was a very surprising pole sitter. The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 of Dörr Motorsport claimed its first ever VLN pole position, with a time of 8:20.883 minutes ahead of the Black Falcon Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Andreas Simonsen and Marc Basseng were sharing the driving duties aboard the winning car from this years Nürburgring 24 Hours. Starting from third it was the Audi R8 LMS ultra of TwinBusch Motorsport, the team was hit heavy at the last round when the ran out of fuel less than a kilometre from the chequered flag. Fourth was the Rowe-SLS of Jan Seyffarth and Nico Bastan, ahead of the Schubert BMW Z4 GTS of Dominik Baumann, Peter Posavac and Anders Buchardt. The Z4 GTS is an SP8 car using the engine from the M3 GTS in a stock version, in contrast to the GT3 car where the same engine is in race trim. It is based on the 2010 GT3 version but also uses some elements from the recent past. Many teams missed out on their chance for a flying lap towards the end of Qualifying because of a crash pile up on the Döttinger Höhe, among those involved was the Pinta Team Manthey Porsche 911 GT3 R and the Haribo 911. After extensive repair work the Haribo racer was able to take up the race, but with a considerable loss of time and so the team only used it to fine tune their Nordschleife set up.
When the lights went green it was Arno Klasen using his pole position to take the lead, behind the black and white McLaren it was Dennis Busch aboard the family run Audi taking second place. Settling down in third in fourth it was the SLS-driver Marc Basseng (Black Falcon) and Jan Seyffarth (Rowe-Racing). Dominik Schwager coming from eigth on the grid moved himself up to fifth on the opening lap, but the biggest mover was Frank Stippler in the lone Phoenix-Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra who got by 13 cars to get into Position six. But Stippler had to pay a price for that when he dove into the pitlane after the second lap, as did Jörg Bergmeister in the Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. During that lap Marc Basseng was able to get by Dennis Busch to take back second place. Also doing an early pit visit were Jan Seyffarth (Rowe-SLS) and Martin Ragginger (Falken-911).
When all the teams had completed their first round of pit stop it was the Manthey-RSR of Jochen Krumbach, Jörg Bergmeister and Lucas Luhr in the lead. Already over a minute back it was Sebastian Asch and Martin Ragginger in second, while Marc Basseng and Andreas Simonsen were trying to hunt down the two Porsches in front of them. Fourth and fifth went to the Alzen Brothers, with Uwe’s Z4 GT3 in front of Jürgen’s Ford GT. The trio that made up the early lead pack, Dörr-Mclaren, Rowe SLS and Busch- Audi, found themselves in positions six through eight.
After 17 laps disaster struck the championship hopeful Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey, when they had to park their 911 in the pit for a drive shaft repair. This partnered with the bad luck of the contending Audi TT-RS of Raeder-Motorsport and another class win of Tim and Dirk Groneck, means that the brother Duo is the championship favourite heading into the season finale. Their Renault Clio is not even forced to win its class in order to win the championship. It was a bad day for the other Manthey RSR as well, when Lucas Luhr also suffered a drive shaft failure in the final hour.
With about half an hour left on the clock it was the twin line up of Marc and Dennis Busch in the lead, about 1:45 minutes ahead of Marc Basseng and Andreas Simonsen. While Rudi Adams and Arno Klasen put in another fine run, finding themselfes in third one place ahead of the Frikadelli-Racing Porsche. While most of the cars in the top 10 had done all their pit stops the Twin Busch Audi still had to make a short splash and dash stop, and the team made sure when the blue and yellow R8 was fuelled up that it had enough gas to make it to the chequered flag. Their gap to the Black-Falcon SLS shrunk to just under 30 seconds but Dennis Busch kept his head cool and drove the first victory home. The Dörr McLaren stranded on the final meters with no drive, taking them out of the running for a podium finish.
Drama struck the second placed Black-Falcon SLS on the final lap, when Marc Basseng was hit by tire problems resulting in the gullwinged sportscar falling back into fourth place. The Frikadelli-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R finished second, with Henri Moser scoring a podium finish on his debut in the 911 alongside Klaus Abbelen, Patrick Huisman and Sabine Schmitz. Finally the Uwe Alzen run BMW Z4 GT3 scored a third place finish. For Uwe Alzen, Niclas Kentenich and Philipp Wlazik it was a well deserved podium visit after they’ve been hit by a lot of problems during the season. Rounding out the top five were Sebastian Asch and Martin Ragginger in the Falken-911.
The Porsche-Cup class went once again to Wolfgang Kohler and Christian Menzel in the Manthey-Racing run 911, beating out the GetSpeed line-up of Adam Osieka, Steve Jans and Christopher Mies. Best GT4 car was the Bonk Motorsport BMW M3 GT4 of Adam Christodoulou, Alexander Mies and Jens Moetefindt.
The next VLN round takes place on October 26th, the 38. DMV Münsterlandpokal also marks the final race of the season.