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VLN 37th DMV Münsterlandpokal – (Non) Race Report
A Wintry End To The Season

“So mate, what do you think of my weapon of choice for todays bob race down the Hohe Acht?” a smiling Adam Christodoulou asked the DSC VLN-correspondent this past Saturday morning in the freezing cold. The young Brit just about summed it up - racing with cars around the Nordschleife was not an option, after overnight freezing temperatures paired with rain and snow transformed the “Green Hell” into the “Frozen Hell”.

In response the VLN officials attempted to move the whole schedule back, but in the end around noon they decided to call the final round off. “We have personally checked the track conditions several times”, said clerk of the course Andreas Thamm. “Unfortunately, we had to realize that there was no chance for the conditions to improve.” On one of the trips around the Nordschleife race control took with them Johannes Scheid, Marc Hennerici, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Volker Strycek. “When I heard that even Volker and Strietzel [Stuck] think the track is not safe enough to race on I am fully on their side,” a visibly disappointed Frank Stippler told DSC afterwards.

In the unique championship scoring of the VLN, only 80% of results count towards the final points total, meaning the seven class wins in nine VLN races were enough to give the Volkswagen Scirocco trio of Ullrich Andree, Christian Krognes and Dominik Brinkmann the overall championship. Remember in the Langstreckenmeisterschaft the class with the biggest number of entries scores the most points. “At the sixth VLN round we had a crash right at the start and when the competitor hit me first I thought we would be fine, but already around the GP Circuit smoke entered the cockpit and the first thing on my mind was ‘that’s it for our championship ambitions’ - but we managed to win our class in the final three races which was the key to our success,” said a smiling Christian Krognes; who, along with Brinkmann, also took the VLN Junior Trophy.

What is remarkable about the new overall championship driver line-up is that Brinkmann and Krognes have just finished their teenage years, while Ullrich Andree is the old dog aboard the Scirocco; “Actually both could be my sons, but I think this age difference was one of the keys to our success,” said Andree, who was championship runner-up in 2004. “We helped each other out in so many moments and I am extremely happy after so many years of trying to finally win the overall championship.”

Their Team LMS-Engineering is fairly new in the VLN, only competing fulltime since 2011. But they know the VW-Scirocco, the ex-works cars, by heart as their team boss Andreas Lautner is the former head of development at Volkswagen-Motorsport, where he was responsible for developing the so successful Sciroccos and Race Touareg. “At the time of my employment at Volkswagen-Motorsport I bought myself a nice watch for each big victory - the last time after our podium-sweep at the Dakar-Rally - and I think I am going to buy myself another watch,” hinted Lautner. “Our championship winning car is already sold, but we have to be back next year to stick the Number 1 on our car. I hope to have everything lined-up before we turn the calendar to 2013.”

Words and images © Sören Herweg