Bonk-Motorsport celebrates its third VLN title
The champions of the 2010 season of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring are Mario Merten (Nürburg/ Germany) and Wolf Silvester (Nürnberg/ Germany). Despite their retirement at the 35th DMV Münsterlandpokal race, the duo of Bonk Motorsport was able to celebrate its second championship title as team after the year 2006. For local hero Merten, it was even his third victory as he had also gained in 2002. During the prizegiving ceremony and in the presence of the cheering crowd, VLN Managing Director Robert Rust (Merzenich/ Germany) symbolically handed over start number one to the new champions.
The final overall win was sorted out amongst three German premium makes. Arno Klasen (Karlshausen/ Germany), Marc Lieb (Ludwigsburg/ Germany) and Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) were celebrating the last victory in 2010 in their Manthey Porsche after 4:01:45,709 hours racing time. They had an advance of 3:35.857 minutes ahead of the second placed Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel/ Germany) and Marc Basseng (Neusalza-Spremberg/ Germany) in the Audi R8 LMS entered by Phoenix-Racing. The podium was completed by Bernd Schneider (Bottighofen/ Germany) and Chris Mamerow (Castrop-Rauxel/ Germany) in the SLS AMG GT3 of Mamerow-Racing. A 30 minutes summary of the race will be broadcasted in Sport 1 on 5 November at 9 a.m.
”We will now definitely celebrate the championship properly”, said Merten and Silvester happily after the race. “Our title was occasionally handing by a thread during the season. We did however not stop fighting and a part of our competitors made some mistakes. The best package has won finally – a competitive class and a fantastic team. We are more than happy.”
After the start, Jörg and Tim Bergmeister in the Mühler Porsche first went into the lead. After eleven race laps and into third position, the duo had to retire with technical failure. At that moment, Basseng/ Stippler were in the race lead ahead of the Manthey Porsche. Lieb then slowly closed the gap to Stippler. When it started to rain, the Manthey trio then took advantage of their perfect strategy. During a scheduled pit stop, the team changed to rain tyres. Phoenix had come to a pit stop just before the rain started and had fitted slick tyres as the track was still dry. “In addition, I stayed out on the track one lap too long”, admitted Basseng who was not at all happy with their second place. “We are fighting to win. And once again, we did not succeed in doing so today.” The Manthey team in contrast was very happy. „It is always a good feeling to finish the season with a victory“, said Lieb. “Today, everything was perfect again. Arno had a fantastic start turn and Lucas did a perfect job as always – I could thus finish the race as winner. I must admit that we also had a little bit of luck thereby.” After the victory of the SLS AMG GT3 entered by Black Falcon at the ninth round, Mamerow Racing was able to follow up their success at the final with another place on the podium. “This was a perfect race for us”, said five times DTM Champion Schneider. “Our testing programme for the SLS is developing as scheduled. We are still lacking a bit of speed compared to the top cars but we were able to collect valuable data again. Position three is a perfect result.” Mamerow added: “Absolutely brilliant that we succeeded in finishing on the podium at our second participation.”
Behind the top three, Christian Hohenadel (Illingen/ Germany) and Lance David Arnold (Duisburg/ Germany) in the GT3 Corvette missed the podium by 27.784 seconds only. Patrick Long (USA) finished his first participation at the Nürburgring Nordschleife together with Christian Menzel (Kelberg/ Germany) and Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) in the Haribo Porsche into fifth place.
The last competition for Andreas and Ralf Schall (both from Dornstadt/ Germany) in the Mercedes-Benz 190 E well advanced in years finished with a satisfying win in the class of group H vehicles up to 2.500 cc cylinder capacity. The car had its last participation in 2003 when Schall senior retired after an accident.