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VLN 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen - Race Report
A Historic Manthey 1-2-3

Race Gallery - Sören Herweg

Lance David Arnold and Christian Menzel scored a historic victory at the seventh round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. When the Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Haribo Team Manthey took the chequered flag of the 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen after 6:06:56.091 hours, Arnold/ Menzel had completed 42 laps on the 24.368 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring short connection and the Nordschleife, which corresponds to a total distance of 1023.598 kilometres.

Never before in the 83 years history of the Eifel circuit had the 1,000 kilometres mark been hit in a 6h Race for touring cars at the Nürburgring. The podium was completed by Timo Bernhard, Arno Klasen and Christian Hohenadel, followed by Armin Hahne, Jochen Krumbach and Marc Gindorf in two other Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by Manthey-Racing. The local heroes thus achieved their first triple victory in the history of races of this most popular endurance racing championship in Europe and their fourth successive win at the 6h Race.

In the timed practice which took place in the morning, Arnold/ Menzel gained pole position with a razor-thin advantage of 0.631 seconds ahead of Frank Stippler, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Luca Ludwig in the Audi R8 entered by Phoenix-Racing. At the beginning of the race, Stippler went into the race lead; however, after only seven laps the race was over for the team when the Audi retired with a misaligned track after a collision with a car which was to be lapped. Marko Hartung, Jörg Viebahn and Claudia Hürtgen were able to go the pace of the leading group for quite a long time in their BMW Z4 GT3 entered by the team Need for Speed by Schubert Motorsport, but then had to stop on lap 24 with technical failure.

“We would have preferred to continue our fight with the Audi”, said team manager Olaf Manthey. “Although our cars were them dominating the race, we did not give any kind of team order. I only told my drivers not to do any harm to each other.” Arnold was more than happy with the historic victory: “This win means a lot to me and I am very happy for my team. We have really been working very hard and for a long time to achieve this success. That was a damned hard race today. In the leading group, there were neck-to-neck battles over the complete six hours race duration – even amongst team mates. Great overall, that was a great show also for the many spectators around the track.”

Klasen returned from the prizegiving podium with mixed feelings. “I was involved in great duels at the beginning of the race – and thereby I am a gentleman driver”, he said smiling. “I am certainly not satisfied with place two finally. If you start a race in a Manthey Porsche, you wish of course to finish on top of the podium.” Gindorf replies with a great deal of irony; “We ourselves are a little more moderate and just try to make the best of it. Seriously: We have confirmed our position on the podium. So you can further count on us.”

Into position four behind the top three finished Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen, Niclas Kentenich and Dr. Edgar Althoff in their Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of Michael Zehe, Marco Schelp und Alexander Roloff in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S. The winners of the Porsche-Cup class, Andzej Dzikevic, Roland Botor and Patrick Simon, finished sixth overall, followed by the fastest BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Rudi Adams, Stefan Aust and Peter Posavac.

With their sixth class win in the season 2010, Alexander Böhm, Philipp Leisen and Carsten Knechtges, driving a BMW Z4, defended their championship lead in the series. In second position came Christoph Breuer, Jürgen Wohlfarth and Elmar Deegener who, on their part, gained their fifth class victory with the Audi TTS.

After seven races, the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring will now go into its well-deserved summer break. The eighth round of the season, the 42nd ADAC Barbarossapreis, organised by the MSC Sinzig e.V. im ADAC, will start on 25th September and go over the distance of four hours. The teams will now have eight weeks time to get prepared for the last third of the season.

Race result - here

Sören Herweg