Difficult weather conditions at the Nürburgring last weekend failed to prevent the Porsches of Manthey Racing from securing their first podium finish in this year’s VLN season.
As the clock struck 12, a grid packed with 185 participants embarked on a thrilling race that would ultimately be red-flagged due to fog. Manthey fielded a number of Porsche 911 GT3 R models, two of which (Kainz/Holzer/Lietz and Krumbach/Dumas) enjoyed an early front-running battle with the Falken Motorsport GT3, driven by Peter Dumbreck and Wolf Henzler.
Supreme in qualifying, the Falken car led the field away from pole, but technical problems put paid to its challenge. Mechanical issues including a left rear driveshaft problem also dogged the aforementioned Manthey Porsches, which finished tenth and twelfth respectively.
As thick fog enveloped the already damp Nürburgring, the red flag was shown at 14:43. The regulation 160 minutes had passed, so the event was declared a full round of the championship and points were awarded accordingly. In third place was number 96: the Manthey-run Porsche 997 GT3 Cup of Christian Menzel and Wolfgang Kohler. “If they’d called it one lap earlier, we’d have won!” bemoaned Christian after the race. Still, a podium in the first round was gratefully received. P2 went to the Timbuli Racing GT3 R, with the Schubert BMW Z4 claiming victory.
The second round of the VLN Long Distance Championship Nürburgring takes place in two weekends’ time, on April 14th. Let’s hope it lasts the full four hours!
Here’s some really terrific video, on board with Andreas Gülden in his 997 GT3 Cup for the full first lap of last weekend’s event. His high-speed move on the Dörr Motorsport McLaren MP4 is fantastic – full Ferdinand: Cult of Porsche honours! Follow Ferdinand: the Cult of Porsche on Facebook!