VLN 2 is set to take place this weekend, and features another stellar entry, as the top teams and drivers continue their preparation work ahead of the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
At the head of the field, the SP9 class for GT3 runners is once again strong, with 30 cars. There are a few key omissions though, including the second Abt Bentley, Konrad’s Lamborghini Huracan and the Zakspeed Nissan GT-R which has reduced the variety. Zakspeed’s announcement in particular is notable; the team announcing on twitter that it will not take part in the N24, waiting until later in the year to rejoin the VLN series.
— Zakspeed Motorsport (@Zakspeed_eu) April 6, 2017
The teams and drivers that are present though, should make for a stellar race.
Once again BMW’s customer base is the largest in the class, with nine M6 GT3s and a single Z4 GT3. After struggling to feature in the race for the win in the opener, the BMW runners will hope to have a better run this time around, with elite driver lineups across Falken Motorsports, Schubert, Schnitzer and ROWE’s cars.
Mercedes meanwhile, has eight AMG GT3s once again, with the main change being Max Götz taking Renger Van Der Zande’s seat in the Haribo Mercedes due to a clash with IMSA. HTP has also had a shuffle in its roster, with Christian Hohenadel and Dominik Baumann joined by Stefan Mucke and Sebastian Asch in the #46 this time around. For the MANN-Fliter crew, Bernd Schneider is taking the weekend off and Kenneth Heyer is racing at Red Bull Ring in the 24H Series, leaving Indy Dontje and Patrick Assenheimer to race as a duo.
At Porsche, it will be hoping for a repeat of VLN 1, in which the 911 GT3 RSR was clearly the strongest car. While Falken was unlucky not to score its maiden win – following Laurens Vanthoor’s incident on the penultimate lap – Manthey Racing was waiting in the wings to ensure the German brand was able to cross the line first.
For VLN 2 Falken will use a fresh lineup of Klaus Bacheler and Michael Ammermüller. Of the team’s N24 drivers, Martin Ragginger will sit the race out while Vanthoor, Jorg Bergmiester and Dirk Werner race at Long Beach. In addition to that, VLN regular Frikadelli Racing has entered a second Porsche, with Norbert Siedler and Lucas Luhr confirmed as a driver thus far.
Of the other GT3 brands represented, Audi will have Phoenix, Land Motorsport and WRT all bringing formidable drivers across the five R8s in the race, Ferrari will once again be present with Rinaldi Racing’s Wochenspiegel effort and Abt will bring a single Bentley for Jordan Pepper, Christian Mamerow and Nico Verdonck after the team scored the brand its first VLN podium last month.
Further down the entry list, SPX will be four cars strong, with the new car here the addition of a second Traum Motorsport Glickenhaus for Jeff Westphal, Franck Mailloux and Andreas Simonsen.
The Cup 5 class for BMW M235is is also a hotbed for talented drivers once again, as its one of the fastest cars you can race in without a permit. Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport will field ex-LMP1 driver Simon Trummer and Alex Lynn is once again in for Walkenhorst – though without Will Stevens this time, who is racing out in Blancpain GT Asia. Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonnson are also back for their second VLN race together in LMS Engineering’s car.
V5 also holds interest for this one, with new Porsche junior drivers Thomas Preining and Matt Campbell driving a Cayman, and in V3, DTM racer Lucas Auer is set for an outing in a Toyota GT86 with Mathol Racing.