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VLN, 38th DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen - Race Report

BMW Team Schubert Takes Home The Crown

The win in the VLN season opening race went to the BMW Team Schubert trio of Dirk Müller, Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus, but let’s play back the whole race and bring you a more detailed report on the happenings in the Green Hell.

In Qualifying, the Frikadelli Racing Team got their 2013 campaign off to a great start when Patrick Huismann put the all-new Porsche 911 GT3 R on pole position. Starting alongside Huismann on the front row was the BMW Team Schubert Z4 GT3 of Martin Tomczyk, Claudia Hürtgen and Jens Klingmann. A surprising third was the Jürgen Alzen Motorsport Ford GT; the American sportscar seeming to work well with its new tires provided by Dunlop. The second row on the grid was actually an all-Alzen row, with Jürgen’s brother Uwe lining up alongside the Ford GT aboard his all-new BMW Z4 GT3.

The three Rowe-Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s started from positions 5, 12 and 40, while the second Schubert BMW Z4 lined up as sixth, ahead of the first of the two Timbuli-Racing Porsches, driven by Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried. Marco Holzer, partnering with Jochen Krumbach in the Manthey-Racing Porsche, put the 911 GT3 RSR on grid position eight, beating out the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3; this car running a special scheme celebrating 125 years of Dunlop. The final spot in the top ten went to the other Timbuli-Racing Porsche, driven by Jaap van Lagen and Christopher Brück.

When the lights turned to green Patrick Huismann was able to keep his lead and came back from the first racing lap with three BMW Z4 GT3s on his tail. The BMWs didn’t find a way past the Frikadelli 911 during the opening laps of the race, but when Huismann’s teammate Sabine Schmitz got behind the wheel the BMWs were able to slip past her. Also pushing on hard during his opening stint was newly-signed AMG works driver Lance-David Arnold, but once his teammates Sven Hannawald and Thorsten Drewes took the wheel of the Rowe-Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 the car went backwards on the timing screens.

The Frikadelli Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R retired on Lap 19, when it was pushed off the track by a slower car. At this time the lead was passed multiple times between the two Schubert BMWs and its sister car from Uwe Alzen, while the two Timbuli Racing Porsches were lurking in positions four and five and hoping to capitalize on the problems of one of the BMWs.

Slowly, the Uwe Alzen Automotive BMW Z4 GT3 fell out of contention for the overall win and also lost position to the two Timbuli Porsches, eventually finishing fifth, so the fight for the order of the top four spots was on between the two Timbuli-Porsches and the pair of Schubert BMWs.

At their final pit stop the leading car of Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann and Martin Tomczyk encountered problems tightening one of the wheels to its hub, allowing their sister BMW and one of the Timbuli Porsches to slip past them. Klingmann didn’t give up and kept on pushing, closing in on van Lagen in the Porsche,  but the chance of a win for both of them was over, as Dirk Müller was long gone and securing the victory for BMW Team Schubert. “It’s just great - yesterday I drove at the Hockenheimring in the DTM-Test and today I’ve won the VLN race. Fantastic!” a smiling Augusto Farfus said post race. “The Nordschleife is so much fun and I enjoyed the Z4 GT3 so much; I haven’t driven it since 2011 and since then it has undergone big time development. I can’t thank my two teammates Jörg and Dirk enough; they are really like a family for me.” Because the SP9 class also had the biggest number of entries, the three BMW drivers are also the first championship leaders of the 2013 season.

The fight for second went right down to the line, with Jaap van Lagen able to hold of Jens Klingmann by just over half a second; “A second on our first race for Timbuli Racing is just great and the fight with Jens was very fair and so much fun,” said van Lagen. “I was so much into this fight that I didn’t see the chequered flag and went out onto the Nordschleife for my cool-down lap when I only would have needed to do a lap of the GP circuit, but from now on I’ll know the procedure!” Despite just losing out to the Timbuli Porsche, Martin Tomczyk wasn’t sour at all; “This is my first overall podium on the Nordschleife, I think we had a fair chance of the win today but lost it at the final pit stop.”

Fourth went to the second Timbuli Racing Porsche, with the Uwe Alzen Automotive BMW Z4 GT3 fifth. Keeping up the BMW-Porsche pattern was the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in sixth; “We made good progress with the set up of our Porsche but we are lacking top speed big time and I hope for a change from the Balance of Performance,” said Marco Holzer.

Two of the three Rowe Racing SLS took the Twin Busch Motorsport Audi in a sandwich, with the three cars finishing seventh through ninth, while the final top ten place went to the Pinta Team Manthey Porsche, ahead of the Porsche cup class winner of Christian Menzel and Wolfgang Kohler.

The next race of the VLN takes place on April 27th.

Sören Herweg