Mercedes customer team Black Falcon won the annual ROWE 6 Hours ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen VLN race over the weekend. Patrick Assenheimer and Maro Engel, who started the race from pole, went on to take a second win in a row for Assenheimer and the team in their #6 AMG GT3 by 35 seconds.
The duo led home its sister #16 car driven by Hubert Haupt, Adam Christodoulou and Luca Stolz in the tricky conditions. The top three was completed by Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler in the #5 Audi R8 LMS of Phoenix Racing.
“Perfect”, said a delighted Assenheimer after taking his third VLN overall victory. “Maro and I knew perfectly well that the competition would be very close, specifically within our own team. That was an extraordinary thrilling race, with the better end for us.”
Haupt added: “For me, to be beaten by the teammate was twice as bad. We would have liked to repeat last year’s success.”
“Typical Eifel weather, fortunately, I like racing in wet conditions”, said pole setter Engel, remembering his timed practice session. The Monaco resident set the fastest time early on in the session and the times couldn’t get any better in the following due to fog and increasing rain.
The first hour of the race, which saw 110 cars finish, was also held in wet conditions. Engel called upon all of his long-term experience in the battle with Fabian Schiller in the GetSpeed-Mercedes-AMG and Stippler in the Phoenix-Audi.
“That was a very tough race with cool duels. I am more than happy”, he said. The two Black Falcon teams were in the race lead for a total of 34 laps, with the winners dominating over 16 laps and the second-placed over 18 laps.
Kolb was really happy about his second top-three finish in the VLN for Phoenix. “Had anyone told me yesterday that I would be on the podium today, I would have signed that right away”, he said.
“Stippi was very strong at the beginning. I had an exciting fight then with Patrik Assenheimer in my stint, we went side by side around the Nordschleife for many laps. It was great fun and the battle was finally rewarded with a top three trophy.”
Behind the top three positions, the two BMW M6 GT3s of ROWE RACING and Walkenhorst Motorsport finished in fourth and fifth positions. The ROWE example of Nicky Catsburg and Philipp Eng finished 35 seconds behind the Phoenix Audi and almost two minutes ahead of the Walkenhorst BMW driven by Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Jody Fannin.
The leading Porsche was Falken’s #4 911 GT3 R, which crossed the line sixth ahead of the team’s sister car, its BMW M6, that finished seventh overall.
The victory in the Pro-Am class of SP9 went to Michele Beretta, Steve Jans and Nicolay Møller Madsen in the second Phoenix-R8. After 40 laps, they managed to finish eighth overall.
“It was a difficult start. We completed three laps until we finally changed to slick tyres. By then, we were already so much behind that there was no more chance to make it into the top three and on the podium. So we are not one 100% satisfied”, said Jans.
The first of the other class winners finished just outside the top 10, the @123 Muhlner Motorsport Porsche taking the win in CUP 2 with an 11th place finish.
The Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing (CUP 3) class produced an exciting race. Ivan Jacoma, Claudius Karch and Kai Riemer driving Schmickler Performance’s #917 Cayman GT4 CS celebrated their first win of the season ahead of Moritz Kranz, Thorsten Jung, Nico Menzel and Fidel Leib in the Mühlner-Porsche. The winners’ advantage at the finish was merely 15.488 seconds.
Yannick Fübrich and David Griessner took the victory in the BMW M240i Racing Cup for the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport, followed by Sindre Setsaas, Inge Hanseaetre and Moritz Oberheim of the Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport.
First in the KTM-X-Bow GT4 class was eventually Georg Griesemann, Florian Bodin and Reinhard Kofler. The winners in the GT4 class SP10 were Heiko Eichenberg and Erik Johansson in the #181 BMW M4 GT4 of AVIA Sorg Rennsport and the TCR class was dominated by Matthias Wasel, Frederic Yerly and Roland Schmid in the Seat Cupra of Mathilda racing.
BMW Motorsport’s new M2 Competition also finished the race. The new customer car, which will make its race debut in customer hands next year, finished 109th overall after 28 laps and fourth in the four-car SP8T class won by a Mercedes AMG GT4 run by Black Falcon.
After five of nine rounds in the VLN endurance championship, the aforementioned duo of Yannick Fübrich and David Griessner are in the championship lead with 38.85 points. 1.03 points behind are Norbert Fischer, Oskar Sandberg and Daniel Zils, who also drive for Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport. Third in the current standings are Nico Otto and Lars Peucker. Griessner, who lead of the VLN Junior Trophy.
After two victories in a row, the Black Falcon Team AutoArena Motorsport holds first place in the ROWE Speed Trophy.
The sixth round of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring will take place on 7th September. The 42nd RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen will run again over the traditional distance of four hours.
Featured image courtesy of VLN