Customer Racing: VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport starts VLN season with a top ten result and class wins

23.
March 2019
Nürburgring

With seventh place in the overall classification and a pair of class wins for the Mercedes-AMG GT4, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport enjoyed a successful start of the season at the Nürburgring. Shortened due to weather conditions, the 65th ADAC Westfalenfahrt, the opening round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, saw the MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport finishing in seventh place with the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA entry with starting number 162 repeated the class win for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 from the previous year. Moreover, the #155 BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR claimed victory in the SP8T class.

  • Seventh place for #48 MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport
  • Class wins for the Mercedes-AMG GT4s #155 and #162
  • Valuable test mileage Mercedes-AMG Motorsport related to the Nürburgring 24-hour race in June

Nürburgring – Five Mercedes-AMG GT3s and three Mercedes-AMG GT4s took the start of the first round of the year in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. However, patience was required from the 169 participants and the numerous spectators before qualifying could get underway. The Eifel, notorious for its changeable weather conditions, had covered the Green Hell in thick fog. It was only after a four-hour delay that the light at the end of the pit lane could be switched to green for qualifying. As a result, race control decided to reduce the distance of the race from four hours to two hours and 45 minutes.

With the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, the MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport remained unfazed by the long wait and posted the third-fastest time (8m02.295s) in qualifying at the 24.538 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and the sprint lay-out of the Grand Prix circuit.

The sky cleared up for the start of the race at 15.20 hrs and teams and drivers found conditions to be good with a largely dry track. Starting driver Maximilian Götz (GER) kept the #48 car in the top ten throughout his stint. Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Christian Hohenadel (GER) completed the trio that remained within striking distance of a podium finish for a long time. Eventually, the team crossed the finish line in seventh place overall after a total of 20 laps.

In its maiden outing with the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the new Customer Racing Team GetSpeed Performance had a heart-stopping moment in the opening stages of the race: after a spin, starting driver Fabian Schiller (GER) in the #23 Mercedes-AMG GT3 GetSpeed Rooster Rojo collided with the fellow Mercedes-AMG entry of the #6 BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport with Yelmer Buurman (NED) behind the wheel. Both cars were unable to continue the race, the drivers remained unscathed. The second GetSpeed Rooster Rojo Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 24 and the driver trio of Fabian Vettel (GER), Indy Dontje (NED) and Philip Ellis (GER) finished the race in 14th place. In the process, Fabian Vettel, brother of Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel, had a successful debut in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Within only a few weeks already, Fabian Vettel will also be behind the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters. Luca Ludwig (GER), Tristan Vautier (FRA) and Marek Böckmann (GER) drove the GetSpeed Vodafone car with starting number 2 from 19th place on the grid to 18th at the finish.

Mercedes-AMG GT4 repeats previous year’s victory in season opener

Like in the previous year already, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 managed to win the SP10 class in the VLN season opener. Following the first class win for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 worldwide achieved last year, the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA showed a convincing performance at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife with starting number #162. Tim Scheerbarth, Tobias Müller (both GER) and Tristan Viidas (EST) scored what was already the fifth class victory in the Green Hell for the Mercedes-AMG GT4. Likewise, the BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR car with starting number 155 and double starter Gabriele Piana (ITA), Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR) and Ace Robey (USA) finished in first place in class SP8T.

The second of this season’s nine VLN rounds at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the 44th DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen, is scheduled for 12 April.

Maximilian Götz, MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport #48: “Notwithstanding the delay, we remained calm and have achieved a good result with third position in qualifying. The start of the race wasn’t optimal, we slightly lost momentum. Currently, it is difficult to keep the pace, slipstream duels aren’t really a possibility at present. Generally, it is important for us to collect data for further development. First and foremost, it is about preparation for the 24-hour race.”

Tristan Vautier, GetSpeed Vodafone #2: “Too bad that we had to start from the pit lane due to a code 60 infringement during qualifying. For me, it was nice to be back at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The car was strong, I think that we have a lot of potential. I am feeling very well in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and I am happy that Mercedes-AMG and GetSpeed have the confidence in me to have me on board for the 24-hour programme again.”

Fabian Vettel, GetSpeed Rooster Rojo #24: “My very first race with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 here at the Nordschleife was unbelievable! The car was perfectly balanced throughout the weekend, we only had to make minimal changes on the set-up. After my stint, I didn’t want to get out of the car at all. I will be behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 quite often in the upcoming weeks, also in preparation for the ADAC GT Masters. I am really looking forward to that!”

Gabriele Piana, BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport #6 und BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR #155: “Too bad that the race with starting number #6 was over so soon. That really was bad luck. Fortunately, things were going better with the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the SP8T class. Without much of balance of performance regulations in this class, it is even more fun, you experience the full potential of the car. My teammates did really well with the car, too. Of course, winning our class is a beautiful way to round off the weekend.”

Result VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft round 1*: 

POS

overall

POS

class

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

1.

1.

(SP9 PRO)

99

BMW M6 GT3

ROWE RACING

Nick Catsburg (NED), Marco Wittmann (GER), John Edwards (USA)

2.

2.

(SP9 PRO)

912

Porsche 911 GT3 R

Manthey-Racing

F. Mackowiecki (FRA), Patrick Pilet (FRA)

3.

3.

(SP9 PRO)

98

BMW M6 GT3

ROWE RACING

Connor De Phillippi (USA), Tom Blomqvist (GBR), Mikkel Jensen (DEN)

 

 

 

 

 

7.

7.

(SP9 PRO)

48

Mercedes-AMG GT3

MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport

Maximilian Götz (GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Christian Hohenadel (GER)

14.

13.

(SP9 PRO)

24

Mercedes-AMG GT3

GetSpeed Rooster Rojo

Indy Dontje (NED), Fabian Vettel (GER), Philip Ellis (GER)

18.

16.

(SP9 PRO)

2

Mercedes-AMG GT3

GetSpeed Vodafone

Luca Ludwig (GER), Tristan Vautier (FRA), Marek Böckmann (GER)

28.

1.

(SP10)

162

Mercedes-AMG GT4

BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA

Tim Scheerbarth (GER), Tobias Müller (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)

35.

1.

(SP8T)

155

Mercedes-AMG GT4

BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR

Gabriele Piana (ITA), Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Ace Robey (USA)

DNS

DNS

(SP9 PRO)

6

Mercedes-AMG GT3

BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport

Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Yelmer Buurman (NED)

DNS

DNS

(SP9 PRO-AM)

23

Mercedes-AMG GT3

GetSpeed Rooster Rojo

Fabian Schiller (GER), Janine Hill (GBR), John Shoffner (USA)

DNS

DNS

(SP8T)

152

Mercedes-AMG GT4

BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI

Axel König (GER), Norbert Schneider (GER), Christoph Hoffmann (GER)

* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organisers

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#155 Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR#162 Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA#162 Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICAFabian Vettel, #24 GetSpeed Rooster RojoMaximilian Götz, #48 MANN-FILTER Team HTP MotorsportGabriele Piana, #155 BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR#48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport#48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport#2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 GetSpeed Vodafone#2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 GetSpeed Vodafone#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport#23 Mercedes-AMG GT3 GetSpeed Rooster Rojo#24 Mercedes-AMG GT3 GetSpeed Rooster Rojo#152 Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI#155 Mercedes-AMG GT4 BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR
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