The fourth VLN round of the 2016 season saw tension right until the final minutes of the race, in the final half hour of the four-hour race Christopher Mies was able to retake the lead and give Land Motorsport its first overall victory since 2008.
Raceday for the 47th Adenauer ADAC Deutsche Payment Trophy didn’t start to good, heavy fog gathered around the Nürburg, resulting in a 70 minute delay of qualifying. The rainy session saw di Phillippi put the Land Audi R8 LMS on the pole position, next to the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Falken Motorsports.
Due to the still adverse weather conditions, race control decided in consultation with the driver representatives to undertake two formation laps. Connor di Phillippi, started the Land Audi and was able to use his pole position to take the lead.
The young American was put under intense pressure from Sebastian Asch. Aquaplaning at the end of the start finish straight forced di Phillippi to take the paved run off area at the start of his third lap, which enabled Asch to take the lead.
The MANN-Filter Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 then held the lead for much of the race, which was repeatedly plagued by fog and rain.
In the final hour it came to the showdown between Kenneth Heyer , now behind the wheel of the MANN-Filter Mercedes-AMG, and Christopher Mies. Mies in the Land Audi. Mies closed in fast on Heyer and retake the lead with about 30 minutes to go, from the on he never looked back and scored a victory with a final margin of over 2 minutes. It was also the 20th overall victory for the Land squad.
“Connor did a great job today, he was nearly three hours behind the wheel, and then passed me the car in good starting position. I am happy for the team Land Motorsport, especially after the disappointment of the 24-hour race, “said Mies after the race.
With second place Kenneth Heyer and Sebastian Asch were very satisfied, having continued the upward trend of its Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the Nordschleife. “During my outlap I lost quite some time, because I had to adapt to the conditions. This then enabled Christopher to catch back up to me and I couldn’t really hold him back. This is my first VLN podium and I’m extremely happy for the whole crew,” said Kenneth Heyer.
Third were Wolf Henzler and Martin Ragginger Porsche 911 GT3 R of Falken Motorsport. “For our team the podium ist definitely a very good result. Today was a very wet race, so you had to be alert every second. I was surprised at how few accidents there were and am really pleased with that, ” said a pracing Wolf Henzler.
Fourth went to Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman and Norbert Siedler in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Frikadelli Racing Team, behind them placed the BMW trio Jesse Krohn, Jörg Müller and Victor Bouveng.
With sixth place Alex Toril and Tim Scheerbarth secured the win in the SP7 class and the duo Christian Menzel and “Alex Autumn” finished seventh, also taking the Group H win with them. The next two places went to the two Audis of CarCollection Motorsport, the Porsche Cayman of Lars Kern and Christoph Breuer rounded out the top 10 from.
The Corvette C7 GT3 had a very difficult debut during qualifying Daniel Keilwitz crashed the car in the Adenauer Forst section. With the damage proving to be unrepairable on site the team had to pack up early and head home.
The next VLN round takes place on July 16, the 56th ADAC Reinoldus Langstreckenrennen concludes the first half of the season.