The 49th Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy ended with a second straight win for the Frikadelli Racing team in VLN competition this year, the team’s #31 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Lance-David Arnold and Norbert Siedler taking the spoils.
In the sunshine, the duo were masterful, winning the race from pole position, proving to be no match for the challenging from the Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferraris which eventually completed the podium, finishing over a minute and a half behind.
At the end it was the father-son duo of Georg and Leonard Weiss fighting in the two Ferraris for the remaining podium places. And after the scrap it was the junior in the #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 who finished second, 23 seconds ahead of the sister #22 car of Weiss, Oliver Kainz and Jochen Krumbach which crossed the line third.
“I am incredibly proud”, said Georg Weiss after the race. “It took me so many years to finish in the top three at the VLN for the first time. Leonard made it after only one and a half years. That is an absolutely fantastic achievement.”
The secret of the success of Leonard Weiss is the intensive work of the whole Wochenspiegel Team Monschau crew, specifically together with mentor Christian Menzel.
“We have worked very hard in the set-up session on the Friday, in the morning on the Grand Prix Circuit and in the afternoon at the Nordschleife”, explained Leonard Weiss. “So I was able to make a big step forward.”
His teammates Christian and Nico Menzel, too, celebrated a first. It was the first time that they both were together on the podium. “That was a very special moment when we climbed up on the podium together”, said Nico.
Christian added: “It will certainly take me some more days to really understand what has happened.”
Behind the top three, there was a close fight for fourth place. At the finish, the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi of Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler ended up crossing the line just 0.130 ahead of the #30 sister Frikadelli Racing Porsche of Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz and Felipe Fernandez Laser.
Sixth place after the four hours meanwhile was the first of the Mercedes teams, Patrick Assenheimer and Christian Hohenadel the #13 AutoArena Motorsport example, finishing ahead of the GTRonix 360 Renault R.S.01, which was the fastest of the GT3 race car. Rudi Adams, Andreas Ziegler and David Pittard took the chequered flag in the BMW M6 GT3 in eighth place.
Meanwhile, further down the order, driver Ralf Schall celebrated a historic result. Together with Christopher Gerhard, he took his 100th VLN class win, winningf the H4 category in a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car. The 48-years old became the first driver to claim 100 class wins in VLN history.
“A lot of things went through my head in the last two laps”, says Schall. “I remembered my first class win when I won my first race in 1994 together with my father with a Mercedes 190 in the snow. I gained a lot of victories together with him. And I am specifically proud that our team still comprises staff members who supported us with great passion already at that time. Fantastic.”
As it stands, the full result remains provisional, as just before the end of the first half of the race there was a strange occurrence at the Döttinger Höhe.
The official line is as follows:
“There was a group of almost 30 cars and it appears that some of them may have ignored the ban on overtaking.
“Due to the ongoing race, it was impossible for Race Control to clarify the situation straight away. They referred the matter, as is usually the case, to the DMSB Stewards to investigate the issue after the race.
“After the race, the latter studied various video footage to get a clear picture. It is target of the panel of Stewards to clarify the facts as far as possible and to impose penalties for infringements.
“As this procedure could not be concluded on-site, the results of the fourth round were declared provisional and suspended.”
The head of VLN sport Michael Bork explained that it is: “A completely normal procedure under sporting law will not be initiated, just like it is common practice for Stewards’ decisions taken on the spot. The various cases will have to be evaluated by the Stewards, parties involved will have to be heard and decisions to be taken – including the possibility to appeal.
“That will take some time. We hope of course that the procedure will not take too long so that the results can be declared final in due course.”
Photo courtesy of VLN