VLN4, the 50th Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy saw three teams battling for the win from a 149 car field over three and a half hours, and a result that was in doubt right to the line.
The win, by just 2 seconds, went to the #6 Black Falcon/ AutoArena Mercedes AMG GT3 of Patrick Assenheimer and 2011 VLN Champion Manuel Metzger from the #2 GetSpeed Performance AMG GT3 of Marek Böckmann and Philip Ellis, the pair exchanging a little paint in a no holds barred battle that included the eventually third-place finishing #34 Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 of Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Jody Fannin until the final pit stops where the BMW squad lost valuable time.
“We’ve had a run of bad luck at the 24h Race, so the VLN victory now was the well-deserved reward”, said Manuel Metzger who took his fifth win in the VLN, whilst Assenheimer celebrated a second victory.
“Patrick completed a very good double stint at the beginning of the race. In the final phase then, I had a tough but always fair battle with Philip (Ellis).”
“I concentrated onto what I can do best, to keep focused onto racing safely,” said Metzger. “I think that Philip took more risks, but in the end, I was in the front.”
“That was a mega battle at the end,” said Ellis. “We were fighting a hard duel. We had small contacts, but it was always fair and respectful. I tried everything but couldn’t resist in the end. Second place is nevertheless a marvellous result for me and the whole team. You should not forget that it was only this year that GetSpeed changed to Mercedes-AMG and that the team is competing in the GT3 class only in its second season.”
“It is a big achievement to finish in the top three at the VLN. Even if the victory or second place might have been possible, I am not unhappy”, said Pittard who had gained pole position with a qualifying time of 7:59.711 minutes.
“Our pace was perfect and the tyres were working very well, we are fighting in the leading group. In three weeks’ time, we will attack with the same line-up. Let’s see what we can do then.”
Frank Stippler followed up his win at last month’s Nürburgring 24 Hours with a 4th place alongside Vincent Kolb in the #5 Phoenix Audi R8 LMS.
The #7 Konrad Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Axcil Jefferies and Michele Di Martino took fifth.
“We were facing various problems in the first races, so that is a brilliant success for Franz Konrad and his team”, said Di Martino. “We were finally able to demonstrate the possibilities of the Lambo. We are working in the right direction.”
Second in Pro-Am was the similar #20 Lamborghini of Dieter Schmidtmann and Heiko Hammel, some four minutes back on the road.
Seventh place went to the Cup 2-class winning #123 Mühlner-Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Marcel Hoppe, Moritz Kranz and Peter Terting, the best finish thus far in 2019 for a Cup class car, the Porsche edging the best finishing SP9 Am car, this the #36 Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 of Henry Walkenhorst, Andreas Ziegler and Jörn Schmidt-Staade.
The overall top 10 was completed by the SP7 class winning #80 Huber Motorsport Porsche of Lorenzo Rocco Di Torrepadula, Andreas Simonsen and Patrick and the second in SP9-Am #50 Team équipe vitesse Audi of Michael Heimrich and Arno Klasen
SP10 (GT4) saw another result that went down to the line, the #162 Black Falcon Team Identica Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Tobias Müller, Tim Scheerbarth and Tristan Viidas crossing the line in 15th position overall just 12.550 seconds ahead of the #181 Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 of Heiko Eichenberg and Erik Johansson who drove a BMW M4 GT4 of the Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport.
Third class position in SP10 went to the 20th placed finishing #191 Walkenhorst-BMW of Ben Tuck, Jörg Breuer and Will Tregurtha.
Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport took the lead in the overall VLN standings courtesy of yet another closely fought class win, the #650 BMW M240i Racing Cup of Yannick Fübrich and David Griessner taking their third class win, overhauling prior Championship leaders Torsten Kratz, Oliver Frisse and Moran Gott in the standings after the trio could only finish second in V4.
The results remain provisional due to a routine doping control carried out by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
Next up for the VLN is the ROWE 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen on 3 August.
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