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VLN, 38th DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen – Preview
Over 200 For The Season Opener

It looks like the VLN season is finally to get underway this coming Saturday, even though the Test Day scheduled for last Saturday had to be cancelled once again because of residual snow next to the tarmac. But with the temperatures rising and rain washing out all the white stuff it looks like we will finally get some racing in the Eifel Mountains, and its going to be one hell of a race. Over 200 cars have signed up for the race, with more than 20 being GT3 cars.

The major part of the GT3 group comes from Porsche, with no fewer than six 911 GT3 R poised to race through the Green Hell on Saturday. A late sign-up comes from Farnbacher Racing, which will field a 911 for Christina Nielsen, Thomas Pivoda and Leh Keen. Nielsen and Pivoda have experience in Porsche Cup cars on the Nordschleife, while Keen raced with Farnbacher during the Ferrari days. Poised for a good result will be the two cars of Timbuli Racing, which will see Marc Hennerici and Pierre Kaffer absent because of Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA WEC commitments, but the duos of Christopher Brück / Jaap van Lagen and Norbert Siedler/ Marco Seefried should still be in contention for the overall win. Manthey Racing is fielding two GT3 Rs for customers with Michael Illbruck sharing his car with Robert Renauer while Otto Klohs pairs with Jens Richter. The final Porsche comes from Frikadelli-Racing, where Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen and Patrick Huisman will share the driving duties.

The main favourite for the overall victory should be the two BMW Z4 GT3 fielded by the BMW Team Schubert. DTM Drivers Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will see action in the cars - Farfus having the two Müllers, Dirk and Jörg, as teammates and Tomczyk sharing the other Z4 with Claudia Hürtgen and Jens Klingmann. Also not to be counted out is the Z4 of Uwe Alzen, Philipp Wlazik and Alexander Margaritis. A fourth Z4 GT3 is entered by Bonk Motorsport for Henry Walkenhorst and Ralf Oeverhaus.

A trio of Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the colours of Rowe-Racing is supposed to be racing this weekend. The top car is due to be shared by Jan Seyffarth, Kenneth Heyer, Thomas Jäger and Alexander Roloff; while in another car we will see Olympic champion Sven Hannawald paired with Lance-David Arnold and TBA. Other SLSs will be fielded by Black Falcon, where reigning Dubai 24 Hours winner Khaled Al Qubaisi will make his VLN debut, and Car Collection Motorsport.

Audi is once again back with a strong presence, with three teams fielding R8 LMS ultras. At Phoenix-Racing Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck will partner with Michael Ammermüller, while Oliver Jarvis is supposed to be racing together with Chris Mamerow in the Prosperia C. Abt Team Mamerow car. With Jarvis also slated to race in the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza, there’s a strong possibility of a late change in that driver line up. The final R8 LMS ultra comes from Twin Busch Motorsport, where twins Marc and Dennis Busch will share the Kumho-shod car.

Last but not least there are three sole GT3 cars. The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 of Dörr Motorsport right now sees only Rudi Adams confirmed as a driver, but there is a strong possibility that he will be joined by one or two of their FIA GT drivers. The Nissan GT-R GT3 of Schulze Motorsport is back for another VLN outing, with brothers Tobias and Michael Schulze sharing the duties with Kazunori Yamauchi. Rounding out the GT3-fleet is the Jürgen Alzen Motorsport Ford GT, which will be driven by Jürgen Alzen, Artur Deutgen and Andrej Dzekevic.

But aside from the GT3 cars, there are plenty of other intriguing stories. With eight out of the ten Porsche Works drivers busy at the ELMS / FIA WEC rounds at Silverstone, Marco Holzer will share the Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Jochen Krumbach. This race will also see the debut of the Aston Martin Rapide S in the E1-XP class, another car for the Aston Martin centenary celebration. The newly founded Opel Astra OPC Cup sees a strong entry for its first race, with 18 cars entered; while the Toyota TMG GT86 Cup is still struggling to find entries with only four cars signed up so far.

One thing is for sure, this race will be a cracker on a superb Motorsport weekend, where we’ll see close to 100 GT3 cars in action across Europe. Stay tuned for Dailysportscar coverage from all the major races this weekend.

Sören Herweg