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VLN, 43rd ADAC Barbarossapreis - Race Report
Manthey Finally On The Top Spot, 25th Overall Victory For Arno Klasen

Race Gallery - Photography by Soren Herweg

There was bright sunshine all around the Nürburgring Nordschleife and happy winners on the podium, as Arno Klasen celebrated a historic victory at the 43rd ADAC Barbarossapreis race. Together with Lucas Luhr, and for the 25th time in his career, the 44 year old race driver occupied first position on the podium.

At the eighth round of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring, the duo in the Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by Manthey-Racing took the chequered flag with an advantage of 2:35.971 over Frank Stippler and Christopher Haase in their Phoenix-Racing Audi R8. The top three was completed by the team HARIBO Team Manthey Porsche, with drivers Mike Stursberg, Hans Guido Riegel and René Rast on the podium for their first time in this popular club racing series.

From a statistical point of view, the event organised by the MSC Sinzig also marked another highlight in the current season. Luhr and Klasen are the eighth new winners in the eighth race and the Porsche 911 GT3 R is the seventh different make winning a championship race. In the 35 years of history of the series, there had never been any similar variety in the list of winners.

“I am totally happy about the victory and I am also a little proud,” said Klasen after the race. “Such a success can only be achieved with the perfect team and the perfect team mates. Neither Lucas nor I made any mistake today and I in particular rather backed up a little during the race. In the end, this turned out to be the right strategy.”

The man who dominated the race in the first part was Rast. “I enjoyed today’s race very much indeed,“ said the 24 year old. “As I am normally much more experienced in Cup races, it was a great feeling for me to have all these really true endurance specialists behind me.”

In the later stages of the race, the two ambitious amateurs, Stursberg and Riegel, were able to defend their position in the top group. “The performance of the team was finally confirmed by a position on the podium,” said Stursberg, who completed the last stint. “During my first metres on the track, I realized we had some gearbox problems; so I was really concerned whether we would make it to the finish. We are all the more happy that we still made it into third position finally.”

Stippler and Haase were pretty close to the overall victory in the final phase of the race. Stippler then went off on oil at the Aremberg section on the penultimate lap and crashed into the track barriers.

“That was really disappointing, and this after all the bad luck which we’ve already had during the season,” said Stippler. “Luckily, I still made it to the finish with our R8 but we are of course not happy with second.” Haase at least achieved his minimum target of scoring points for the German GT3 Championship. In addition to selected races of the endurance racing championship, the races of the ADAC GT Masters and the Nürburgring 24h Race are counting for this DMSB classification.

The top three were followed by three Porsche teams - made up of Sabine Schmitz and Klaus Abbelen , Michael Illbruck and Marco Seefried, as well as Georg Weiss, Oliver Kainz and Michael Jacobs - in places four to six. The fastest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was driven by Michael Zehe, Klaus Rader and Marco Schelp, entered by ROWE RACING, and finished in seventh place.

After eight of ten rounds, Thomas Kappeler, Harald Hennes and Thomas Gerling in a BMW M3 are now leading the championship. The trio scored their fifth win in the VLN Specials up to 3000 cc cylinder capacity class.