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VLN, 49th ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen – Race Report
Audi’s First Victory

During qualification the Ford GT of Raeder Motorsport and the Audi R8 LMS of Phoenix Racing took a pretty intense battle into the final minutes of the session. It ended up with a 8:09.748 minutes set by Dirk Adorf in the Ford GT. This was one of the fastest laps in the qualification and still showed that one of the goals of the new technical regulations, to set the lap times at a level of 8.30 minutes hasn’t been achieved yet.

In the race the Ford GT once again showed its pace, by building up a big lead onto his competitors, mainly the Porsches of Uwe Alzen, Mamerow Racing, Jürgen Alzen and Manthey Racing plus the Phoenix Audi and the Schall Family Opel Astra DTM Coupe. But the Manthey car retired before his first pit stop, when a gearbox failure happened. It was still the same gearbox the team used during the 24 hours and the past VLN race, so it was a high risk no reward attempt by the Manthey team.

 After the first Pit Stops the Mamerow Porsche, now driven by Dirk Werner, was leading the race over the Audi, driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck. The Ford GT fell back to fourth position, right behind the Porsche of Uwe Alzen.  Stuck was able to hunt down Werner, and was able to separate himself from the pack.

The final hour proved to be an interesting one, the Mamerow Porsche was second with a gap of about 50 seconds to the Audi R8 LMS. The Zuffenhausener sportscar didn’t have to go back to the pits but the Audi needed a ‘Splash & Dash’ stop in order to make it to the finish. The Phoenix crew was getting ready for its pit stop, when heavy rain started to fall and the team hustled to get its rain tires. Marc Basseng reported from out on the track that he was able only to drive about 20 km/h and that a lot of accidents happened on the track.

Just when all of the teams were ready the race control decided to bring out the red flag in order to halt the race and finish it after 23 laps. In the Phoenix Pits there was a sight of relief, finally winning the first VLN for Audi and the R8 LMS. It also meant the 20th VLN victory for Marc Basseng. Second and third went to the Porsches of Mamerow Racing and Uwe Alzen Automotive.

The next VLN race takes place in three weeks, with the 6 hours race.

Full results here.

Sören Herweg