VLN: Season-opening victory for Rowe Racing's BMW
More than 160 cars gathered at legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife for the 65th ADAC Westfalenfahrt, the opening round of the 2019 VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring endurance series. More than 400 drivers from 31 nations participated in the race that lasted two hours and 45 minutes, instead of four hours. The programme has been delayed and shortened due to heavy fog.
Before the series’ kick-off, Rowe Motor Oil extended an agreement with VLN as the official sponsor. Rowe upgraded this season’s “Rowe Speed Trophy by VLN” for the teams of the top group and there will be prize money totaling 25,000 euros.
The main prize after the first race went to Rowe Racing’s crew in the #99 BMW M6 GT3: Nick Catsburg, Marco Wittmann and John Edwards. They defeated the closest rivals in the #912 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R by just 5.486 seconds. The drivers of the #912 car were Frederic Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet.
Three more Rowe Racing’s drivers completed the podium because Connor De Phillippi, Tom Blomqvist and Mikkel Jensen finished the race in the third place in the#98 BMW M6 GT3. The #98 BMW started the race from pole position after Connor De Phillippi’s fastest qualifying lap of 8:01.192 minutes.
The lead changed seven times during the 20-lap race. The last change occurred on the last lap when Patrick Pilet was a little bit slow on the restart after the Code 60 phase and he was overtaken by John Edwards.
Two Porsche crews rounded the Top 5. Klaus Bachler and Jörg Bergmeister finished fourth in the #4 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Falken Motorsports. The fifth place went to Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet in the #31 Frikadelli Racing Porsche.
The second round of the VLN endurance series will take place in three weeks. The 44th DMV 4-Hour Race is scheduled for April 13.