The second round of the VLN long-distance championship offered pure excitement all the way to the checkered flag, with Manthey-Racing securing its second win of the 2017 VLN season with its Porsche 911 GT3 R and drivers Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.
There was major drama was at the end. Makowiecki started the final lap in the lead, but soon thereafter was passed by Christopher Mies, who moved his Audi Sport Team Land Audi R8 LMS into the top spot while still on the GP loop. But his lead didn’t last long, as Mies started to experience fuel pickup problems and by the time he hit the Schwalbenschwanz, was moving at a snails pace.
“In order to keep up with the Porsche, we had cut the last pit stop to the minimum and unfortunately took up too little fuel,” explained team boss Wolfgang Land after the race.
Fred Makowiecki, who was part of the VLN 1-winning lineup, admitted: “Obviously we are quite happy with our second victory in a row, but to be fair we were aided by the fuel pick up problems of the Audi, I’m not sure if I would have been able to catch him.
“We had a flawless race today, our pit stops and strategy were near perfect. But to be fair I think today we showed our ultimate pace.”
In the end, second place went to Uwe Alzen, Lance-David Arnold and Maximilian Götz aboard the Haribo Racing Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3, who crossed the line just four seconds adrift of the winning Porsche.
“We gave 110 percent today and the second place was the maximum for us. To be fair we had some frustrating moments, with some competitors flying past us on the Döttinger Höhe”, said Uwe Alzen.
Third went Nico Müller, Marcel Fässler and Robin Frijns in the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS.
“This was my first race in 2017 and a podium is a great good start, of course,” said Nico Müller after the race. “In view of the preparation for the 24 hour race, we now know what areas we need to work on in order to tickle the final speed out of our Audi.”
Chris Mamerow, Nico Verdonck and Jordan Lee Pepper aboard the Bentley Continental GT3 of the Bentley Team Abt netted a fourth place finish, making another strong finish for the German team, which finished second in the opener. During the opening phase of the race the trio were in contention for the overall lead fighting among the Porsche’s, Audi’s and Mercedes-AMG’s and BMW’s.
In the end Christopher Mies limped his Audi home to a fifth place in the standings. Dennis Busch, Mike Rockenfeller, Frank Stippler and Nicolay Moller Madsen in the Phoenix Racing Audi finished sixth.
A place further back Norbert Siedler and Lucas Luhr crossed the line in the new Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Frikadelli Racing Team, while the next two places went to the Mercedes-AMG GT3s from Black Falcon and HTP Motorsport.
Timo Scheider and Antonio Felix da Costa rounded out the top ten in one of the two BMW M6 GT3’s of the BMW Team Schnitzer.