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VLN race, run 7: Black Falcon takes Mercedes victory in the 6h race

Stefan Baldauf /Robert Kah
VLN race, 7th run
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M ercedes is currently in the VLN a run. For the second time in a row, a gullwing crossed the finish line first. This time, however, it wasn't Rowe Racing who made it onto the podium at the end, but Black Falcon. After 41 laps, Adam Christodoulou, Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman and Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal saw the black and white checkered flag in first position in the Opel 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal race. This was the fourth time in a row that a Mercedes SLS won the season highlight.

Black Falcon ahead of Falken

'We were lucky that we were on the right strategy with rain tires,' said Haupt . 'The track dried up quickly and we switched at the right time. So we hardly lost any time. Even if it looked sovereign from the outside, it was a pretty tough race. In my stint I competed with the ROWE- SLS duels. That was very exciting and was a lot of fun. '

However, Rowe drivers Christian Hohenadel and Klaus Graf, who led the race over long distances, were far less lucky. The duo that celebrated victory two weeks ago had to give up prematurely due to a suspension damage.

Second place went to the Falken Motorsport team in the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Wolf Henzler and Alexandre Imperatori only shared Duo instead of a quartet, the steering wheel over the longest distance in the VLN calendar. 'After we lost a lot of time at the beginning, we were able to make up a lot of ground over the further distance,' said Henzler. 'Of course, the Mercedes got ahead of us. The first laps were extremely slippery and it was a strange feeling when the vehicles shot past me on the left and right at the start. After two laps, I noticed that the tires were slowly picking up temperature and From then on it went very well. In the end, I didn't really resist the attack by the Busch-Audi because we knew they had to stop again. '

Busch-Twins on the podium

Actually, the Audi R8 LMS ultra of the Busch team would only have managed to finish fourth. But the second Rowe car from Nico Bastian and Maro Engel was unlucky. Bastian was flashed on the Döttinger Höhe because he exceeded the speed limit of 250 km /h. The 80-second time replacement penalty cost the podium place shortly before the end of the race, which the Busch twins inherited with the support of Marc Basseng.

'We had extreme vibrations in the car that felt as if the pit speed limiter was active,' explained Nico Bastian. 'But that was probably not the case. We have to push a lot of buttons. As a professional I have to be able to do that, that shouldn't be an excuse. I'm sorry that we lost third place as a result.'

Originally the Busch-Audi and the Frikadelli-Porsche fought for fourth place. But Klaus Abbelen, who took over the wheel of the 911 GT3 R shortly before the end, got off the track in the heat of the moment and had to park the car in the pits on the last lap with major damage. Only the seventh rank remained. This means that 5th place went to Uwe Alzen, Mike Stursberg and Marco Holzer in the Haribo-Mercedes, who also had contact with the tire stacks during the race. Behind them, the Walkenhorst BMW Z4 GT3 of Michaela Cerruti, Felipe Fernández Laser, David Jahn and Victor Bouveng finished the race.

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