Wednesday 25 May 2011

VLN: Fantastic field for the fourth round of the season

Fantastic field for the fourth round of the season

The 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R Cup race will come up with a fantastic grid. More than 200 teams have submitted their entry to the fourth round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring 2001. The start of the race over four hours and running on the 24.360 kilometres long combination of the sprint circuit and the Nordschleife will be given on Saturday, 28th May at 12 o’clock exactly. According to the provisional entry list, the strongest category will be the class of GT3 cars which figures 27 teams. There will however also be at least three dozen of top cars all of which may well finish on the podium. The spectators may look forward to an exciting race with cars chasing for the overall victory but the cars in the middle field of this most popular endurance racing series in Europe, too, will fight for top positions in their respective classes. The entrance all around the Nordschleife is free. Tickets with admission to the paddocks and to the starting grid as well as to the open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit will be available at the box offices at the family-friendly price of 12 Euro. A 30 minutes summary will be shown in the TV channel Sport1 on 4th June at 19:00hrs.

The start list figures a great variety of sports cars and dream cars. The Aston Martin V12 Zagato for example will make its world debut in racing. The super sports cars based on the V12 Vantage was prepared for racing in Italy by the design workshop with the same name and it was presented to the public not until last weekend. A limited edition is planned for the year 2012. With the participation at the Nordschleife, Aston Marti remains in line with its company policy to test standard production cars extensively under racing conditions at the “Green hell” before their release. Aston-Martin chief engineer Chris Porrit, Richard Maeden and Peter Cate (all from Great Britain) will share the cockpit in this powerful race car.
In preparation of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race, the Audi factory team will come to the Nürburgring with the teams of Abt Sportsline as well as Phoenix-Racing and four R8 LMS and a number of strong drivers. Well represented will also be the Need for Speed Team Schubert which has entered three BMW Z4 GT3 with a 2011 upgrade kit. The armada of SLS AMG GT3 from the House of Mercedes-Benz will be completed by Heico-Motorsport. The regular teams of the gullwing race car, Black Falcon, Horn Motorsport, Mamerow Racing and Rowe Racing will of course also join the event. Ferdinand and Johannes Stuck (both fro Austria) will furthermore compete for the second time at the Nordschleife in the Lamborghini LP560 GT3 of the team Reiter Engineering. The group of Porsche race cars will be very strong as usual, in first place Manthey Racing from Meuspath near the Nürburgring. For the H&R Cup race, the team around team manager Olaf Manthey has planned a direct comparative test with the ‘911 GT3 R’ entered in the GT3 class against the ‘911 GT3 RSR’ in the class of VLN Special up to 4000 cc cylinder capacity. Both car models have scored one podium position respectively at the second and the third championship races. The comparative test shall help to decide within the team which of the cars will be entered as spearhead for the 24h Race. In addition to further customer teams, Manthey Racing will also be responsible for the participation of the Porsche 911 GT3 Hybrid. This second generation of the innovative sports car with the energy recovery system will be driven by Marco Holzer (Lochau/ Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

An appearance of a special kind will be provided by Michael Bäder (Mössingen/ Germany) and Tobias Hagemeyer (Cologne) with their BMW Z4. The team will bring the very popular V8 self-construction sports coupé race car to the start in class SP7. The last time that the crew raced together in the endurance racing championship was in 2009 at the 6h Race.

The Nordschleife attracts participants from all over the world
Since a long time, the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring has finished to be just an insiders’ tip. Participants from all over Europe have meanwhile regularly joined the series. But the number of entries from the rest of the world is nowadays also constantly increasing, a fact which is certainly a consequence of the professional organisation and the international communication of the series, but which is also due to the unique appeal of the Nordschleife. The provisional entry lists includes participants from Australia, Ecuador, Japan, Jordan, Canada, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. With Warren Luff and Craig Lowndess from “down under”, a very special team will have the longest journey to travel to the Nürburgring. The two stars of the V8-Supercars Series celebrated position two with their Audi R8 LMS of the team Audi race experience at the 12 Hour Race in Bathurst Australia in February. A lasting experience, as the return visit to Germany will now follow in less than six month time. “I hope that this was not my last start in an Audi R8 LMS”, said Luff at that time. “The R8 LMS must be the best race car I’ve ever driven. Audi has a great tradition in endurance races and I hope I may become part of it.” They both will now have the chance to do so at the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R Cup race, when they will make their debut at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

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