• Phoenix-Audi R8 LMS confirms the opening victory at the 2nd VLN round
• Changing weather conditions in the rough Eifel
• First start for Aston Martin Racing and Dunlop on the Nordschleife
Sensational success on the Nordschleife: Dunlop and Phoenix Racing celebrate their second victory in a row in the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring. After a thrilling four-hour race, Frank Stippler and Anders Fjordbach's (Denmark) Audi R8 LMS with Dunlop tires crossed the finish line as the winner. In changeable weather conditions Phoenix Racing was able to repeat the opening win. After 28 laps over the 24,358 kilometer combination of the short Grand Prix circuit and the legendary Nordschleife, the lead over the runner-up was 57,839 seconds. At the same time, the German-Danish duo set the fastest race lap in 8: 05.695 minutes.
"We are very happy about our second win," said Stippler. "The key to success today was, besides a great balance of the car, that we only stopped twice with two drivers, while the competition had to make one more pit stop with four drivers." Regardless of whether the asphalt was wet or dry: Dunlop always provided suitable racing tires are available. "In the partially wet sections, we were better able to keep the Dunlop slick up to temperature, while the competition had to struggle harder with the tire material," explained Fjordbach. “Big compliments to Dunlop. We were competitive today, especially in the dry, and were able to control the race very well, ”added Phoenix team boss Ernst Moser. The Phoenix-Audi R8 LMS set the fastest race lap in the extremely strong field. But in the final phase the team from the Eifel had to tremble again. Sudden, heavy rain created additional tension. “The central question in this phase was of course how much risk do you take on slicks in order to keep the tire within the temperature range,” explained Stippler. “On the one hand you have to push, but on the other hand you mustn't go too far.” But the Nordschleife specialist found the right balance and made the second victory in a row perfect.
“In qualifying, five Dunlop teams with four different vehicle concepts were already in the top seven starting positions. And then the second win in the second race - just great, ”said Alexander Kühn, Manager Dunlop Motorsport. "The race was an optimal preparation for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring at the end of May, where surely similar weather frenzies can be expected as in this VLN race."
First start for Aston Martin Racing on the Nordschleife
For the first time this year, the Aston Martin Racing team was at the start on the Nordschleife. The factory team's two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s from Great Britain took fourth and eighth place. Darren Turner (Great Britain) and Nicki Thiim narrowly missed out on the podium as fourth. Matthias Lauda (Spain) and Richie Stanaway (New Zealand) finished eighth. The BMW M6 GT3 with the # 35 from Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop collected kilometers in the lead in the turbulent early stages of the race. In the end Matias Henklola (Finland), Michele Di Martino and Kazunori Yamauchi (Japan) finished 13th. Teammates Christian Krognes (Norway), Victor Bouveng (Sweden) and DTM driver Tom Blomqvist (Great Britain) were relegated to eleventh place. They were also the best BMW in the field of 180 vehicles.