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VLN, 44th ADAC Barbarossapreis – Race Report
Raeder Scores Their First Victory

After their third and second places in the two previous rounds of the VLN endurance racing championship at the Nürburgring, Frank Biela, Christian Hohenadel and Thomas Mutsch took their first victory at the eighth round of the 2012 VLN season on August 25th, underlining in the process the upwards trend of the Audi customer team of Raeder Motorsport.

In addition to the strong performance of the drivers, the excellent pit stop strategy contributed in particular to the result. Their advantage over the second placed Phoenix Audi of Marc Basseng and Frank Stippler was 1.748 seconds at the flag. The top three was completed by the Manthey-Porsche of Jochen Krumbach, Timo Bernhard and Patrick Pilet.

The #10 Manthey Porsche had previously achieved pole position in the timed practice with a time of 8:22.206 minutes when the track was getting ever drier. In accordance with tradition in the Manthey team, the rookie at the Nordschleife, Patrick Pilet, had the honour of taking the start.

Almost immediately, he came under strong pressure from Marc Hennerici in the Timbuli-Porsche. The Frenchman, however, was able to withstand the pressure and handed the 911 race car to Krumbach - who had already taken two wins in the current season - from the lead. “My stint was really perfect”, said a happy Pilet. “I felt the pressure, but the instruction of my team was very clear: Stay in the front as long as you feel comfortable. And as I felt extremely good in the Manthey Porsche, I just did everything to defend my lead.”

An exciting battle between Krumbach and Basseng followed, although it ended up with the two cars colliding at the pit lane entry; “I had a few problems with my brakes so that I slightly hit the rear of the Manthey Porsche – that was not on purpose and I am really sorry,” said Basseng after the race.

Even though Bernhard complained about an irregular track of the Manthey Porsche during his final stint, he nevertheless was able to complete fast lap times. On the 20th lap, the Porsche works driver even scored the fastest lap of the team with 8:12.726 minutes.

Bernhard, in the lead, came to the pits a few laps before the race end and lost his first place while the team was refuelling. Due to its early pit stop, the Raeder team had kept out of all fights while secretly and quietly making progress; “Our strategy today had been an important factor for our success,” said Biela. “Furthermore, wasn’t a win today after places three and two in the previous races the logical consequence?” Mutsch, who had to defend his place in the last stint against Stippler’s attacks, was very happy with his first VLN victory.

After his heavy test accident at the beginning of the year, Bernhard was happy to be back on the podium! “I am really happy to be back again. I had some fantastic battles during the race and I really felt very well. We could have achieved more today, so I really want to score a win later this year.”

The Timbuli Porsche came fourth for the second time in a row, while the Falken Porsche finished fifth, ahead of the second Phoenix R8. The fastest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 – the #7 ROWE Racing SLS of Alexander Roloff and Roland Rehfeld - finished in seventh place.

The Cup win went to Uwe Alzen and Philipp Wlazik in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, while the Group H victory went to Hubert Nacken and Ulli Packeisen; and the class of VLN series production cars was won by Tim Scheerbarth, Carsten Knechtges and Steve Jans in their Black Falcon BMW M3. The closest finish was recorded in class SP4T, where Anja Wassertheurer and Daniela Schmid in the FH Cologne Motorsport Audi TT-RS took the chequered flag just 1.050 seconds ahead the Raeder Motorsport Audi of Christoph Breuer and Patrick Kaiser.

In the lead of the championship, still provisional due to a protest lodged at the seventh round, are Elmar Jurek and Jannik Olivo. The driver duo scored their sixth victory in the class of Renault Clio race cars.

The next round of the VLN, the 36th DMV 250-Meilen-Rennen, will take place on 29th September and be of four hours duration.

Race result - here