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VLN, 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen - Race Report
Record Breaking Rowe Racing Run

At the 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen, the highlight of the VLN endurance racing season at the Nürburgring, Rowe Racing demonstrated in an impressive way the performance of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and of the team’s driver trio. After 6:01:29.541 hours race time, Thomas Jäger, Alexander Roloff and Jan Seyffarth took the chequered flag with a clear lead over their pursuers. The team completed 42 laps and thus tied the current record in distance at the 6h race achieved in 2012; they did, however, complete the 1023 kilometres 5:26.550 quicker, so they will go down in the record books as winners of the fastest 6h Race.

Their advantage over the second placed team of Raeder Motorsport with drivers Frank Biela, Christian Hohenadel and Thomas Mutsch in the Audi R8 LMS ultra was 54.451 seconds. The top three and the podium were completed by another Audi team with drivers Christopher Haase, Luca Ludwig and Christer Jöns with a gap of 1:40.577 minutes to the leaders.

Jäger had earlier taken pole position for Rowe Racing with a time of 8:07.736 minutes, and right after the race start, Seyffart managed to stay in the lead. It was only during the pitstops that their competitors were able to get a feeling on how it is to be in the lead. “I succeeded in setting a perfect lap in qualifying”, said Jäger. “The temperatures were absolutely perfect for our tyres and there was almost no traffic on my fast lap. Our package was also perfect during the race.”

The final stage of the race then became exiting again for all the teams. A gentle rainfall set in around the Grand Prix Circuit and made the last part extremely exciting so that the winning team could only be certain of victory when they finally crossed the finish line. “We had a good feeling and a lot of confidence in Alex who was driving the car at that moment. But a lot of things can happen under these conditions.”

The Raeder Team was not able to repeat their win from last year. In 2011, Biela and Hohenadel had won the highlight of the season in their Audi TT-RS which was clearly inferior in performance compared to the other race cars. “We are absolutely happy with our second place – a fantastic race”, commented Biela. “That was a battle at the limits even though you probably are a little more cautious when you fight with a make colleague in order not to take too big risks.” And Jöns confirmed: “We did not do anything to leave the field victorious for the other. But we couldn’t get closer to the lead with our Raeder-R8. Position three is nevertheless a good result for us. Even though I have already won the championship, I never made it on the podium in the overall classification so far but succeeded today.”

Behind the top three came Norbert Siedler, Marco Seefried and Dennis Busch in fourth place in their Porsche 911 GT3 R of Timbuli Racing, becoming the fastest of the Zuffenhausen cars. In fifth place came Rudi Adams, Arno Klasen, Henri Moser and Kai Riemer in the McLaren MP4 entered by Dörr-Motorsport. Behind the second Phoenix-Audi-R8, which was struggling with technical problems at the beginning of the race, finished Uwe Alzen, Philipp Wlazik and Niclas Kentenich in the fastest Cup-Porsche in place seven.

Finishing ninth overall and first in SP7 was the Kremer Porsche of Wolfgang Kauffmann, Dieter Schornstein and Florian Fricke, which started in 21st place.

Kauffman began his last stint a minute in arrears to the #78 Manthey Porsche, but managed to convert this into a small lead before a last-lap gamble saw the Kremer car foregoing a splash 'n dash; "Of course we then did not use maximum revs, short-shifted, and were significantly slower over this last lap," said Piranha. "But this time, we had the little bit of luck we've been missing on some occasions in the past." The Manthey car did take on fuel and so the winning margin was some three minutes.

The comeback of Timo Bernhard, who had to take a break from the beginning of the season due to his injury after a test accident, ended after just a few laps. The engine of the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Manthey-Racing, driven by the Porsche works driver together with Jochen Krumbach and Romain Dumas, failed on lap twelve.

The results of the 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennens are suspended and subject to a protest decision to be taken in class SP10 (GT4 vehicles) so the championship classification, too, remains provisional for the moment.