In the 2018 ROWE 6 hour ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen, Black Falcon emerged victorious, scoring its first win of the 2018 VLN season for Mercedes in the process.
The team’s AMG GT3 of Hubert Haupt, Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger and Gabriele Piana started the race from pole position and kept on pushing throughout the race to score the win.
It was a dominant performance, after 42 laps and 1023.036 kilometres of driving, Black Falcon’s AMG GT3 crossed the line almost two minutes ahead of the competition.
“It was a fantastic race”, said Haupt happily. “We made no mistake in the six hours and we had a perfect car. Adam, however, formed the basis for our win with his fantastic time in the qualifying and with gaining pole position.”
With a time of 7:55.723 minutes, Christodoulou took pole, in what he said after practice was his “fastest lap ever at the Nordschleife.”
Behind the winners, it was a tight race for second which went down to the wire, with ROWE RACING’s BMW M6 of Philipp Eng and Tom Blomqvist beating Falken Motorsport’s BMW of Stef Dusseldorp and Alexandre Imperatori, who finished third, 11.136 seconds behind.
From 2012 to 2015, ROWE Racing won the 6 Hour Race four times in a row. This year, the team was unable to return to the top step, after a puncture cost the team’s lead BMW dearly.
“A flat tyre after 17 laps, unfortunately, spoiled our result today”, said Eng after what was his first race on the Nordschleife this year. “That was annoying and we quickly realised that we would no longer have a chance to win the race under normal circumstances. We are nevertheless happy with our second place.”
That meant that to score second, ROWE’s BMW had to fend off the challenge from Falken in the last half hour of the race.
“We went full attack and made up 13 seconds in one lap”, said Falken’s Imperatori. “But then we realised quite quickly that our competitors were just administrating their advance. We are nevertheless quite happy with our third place. A good result for a great team.”
Completing Falken’s strong performance, its Porsche with Sven Muller and Dirk Werner driving finished just off the podium in fourth, ahead of the #12 Manthey Porsche in fifth.
In sixth, Wochenspiegel Team Monschau won the SP9 Premium class, Georg Weiss, Oliver Kainz and Jochen Krumbach enjoying a comfortable win of more than a lap over the Konrad Lamborghini Huracan.
The sixth round of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring will take place in two weeks time on the 1st of September. The 41st RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen, organised by the Rheydter Club für Motorsport, is the fifth traditional VLN four-hour race of the year.