Customer Racing: VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring: A 1-2 and a class win for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife

October 2018

The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams showed an outstanding performance in the Eifel today: AutoArena Motorsport wins the eighth VLN round with the #13 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and driver pairing Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Patrick Assenheimer (GER). SPS automotive-performance completes the 1-2 at the Nürbugring-Nordschleife with Edoardo Mortara (ITA) and Renger van der Zande (NED) with starting number 10. In the SP10 class, there is reason to celebrate as well: the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA makes it to the finish of the 50. ADAC Barbarossapreis as the class winner with the Mercedes-AMG GT4 with starting number 163, Hubert Haupt, Stefan Karg, Fidel Leib and Moritz Oberheim (all GER) already scoring their fourth class victory of this year’s VLN season.

  • A 1-2 for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • First place overall for AutoArena Motorsport #13
  • Second place overall for SPS automotive-performance #10
  • Class victory for BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA #163

Nürburgring – Difficult conditions with a damp track, minor accidents and several code 60 phases turned qualifying in the morning into a challenge for the 148 competitors. In its debut in the VLN and therefore also at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the car with starting number 10 run by SPS automotive-performance mastered the difficult conditions as the fastest Mercedes-AMG GT3 in fourth place on the grid, followed by AutoArena Motorsport with starting number 13 in sixth and the MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport #47 in 15th place. The start on Saturday at noon at the 24.358 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and the short lay-out of the Grand Prix circuit remained without incidents for the front-running group. Starting drivers Renger van der Zande (SPS automotive-performance) and Patrick Assenheimer (AutoArena Motorsport) were already able to make up two positions each while still at the Grand Prix circuit before the field headed out onto the Nordschleife for the first time. In the midfield, the car with starting number 47 had bad luck as it became involved in an accident and incurred a puncture. Thus, the trio of Maximilian Buhk (GER), Indy Dontje (NED) and Christian Hohenadel no longer had a chance to be in contention for a top result.

With an early pit stop after four laps, the SPS automotive-performance team opted for a different strategy than the opposition and found itself together with the AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the front-running group and therefore in contention for victory in the four-hour race. On lap ten, the two cars from Affalterbach moved up into first and second place for the first time and a thrilling brand-internal battle between the two teams looked on the cards. In the second half of the race, Edoardo Mortara and Dominik Baumann took the wheels of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting numbers 10 and 13 respectively. Mortara managed to build up a considerable lead until lap 24, but lost it because of a stop-and-go penalty for having failed to meet the required minimum pit stop time. As a result, Baumann inherited the lead with a margin of around six seconds just before the end. In a thrilling closing part, Mortara still reduced the gap with the fastest race lap (8m04.625s), but it was insufficient to mount a final challenge for the overall win. Thus, Dominik Baumann took the chequered flag as the winner after 28 laps with the #13 AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3. Mortara was second across the finish line for the SPS automotive-performance team with starting number 10.      

It is already the third victory for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the current VLN season and the first 1-2 of the year 2018. Moreover, it was a double premiere: AutoArena Motorsport scored its maiden overall VLN race win and SPS automotive-performance scored its first podium finish at the Nordschleife in its debut.

Fourth season victory in SP10 for the #163 Mercedes-AMG GT4 Once again, das BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA is successful as well with the #163 Mercedes-AMG GT4: with its fourth win of the season already and another pair of second places, the team from Meuspath again showed a very strong performance. The regular trio of drivers with Stefan Karg, Fidel Leib and Moritz Oberheim saw Hubert Haupt (all GER) added for the eighth VLN round. It was Haupt who took the start from pole position in the SP10 class and then handed the car unscathed in the group of the SP10 frontrunners to Karg. The quartet remained in contention for class honours and managed to bring victory home after 26 laps.

Dominik Baumann, AutoArena Motorsport #13: “ Initially, I thought that we already had secured victory when SPS became the penalty. It was only then that I found out that they rejoined the race right behind me and I had to do my utmost once more. However, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 was mega. Towards the end, I was able to push really hard once again; it was great fun. Patrick did a super job at the start and brought back the car for the driver change in the group of the frontrunners. Even though we were a bit lucky to win because of the penalty, I am super happy with my maiden VLN win, having already won the qualification race twice.”< /p>

Patrick Assenheimer, AutoArena Motorsport #13: “ Unbelievable, our first victory. Of course, we hoped to finish in the top five or even on the podium, but that it was enough for victory is just super, of course. However, one clearly has to say as well that SPS automotive-performance has had a super race, the penalty deprived them of the win.”

Renger van der Zande, SPS automotive-performance #10: “Racing here was great fun. Starting the race with sunshine and good conditions here at the Nordschleife always is a beautiful thing. The SPS automotive-performance team has done a super job on its debut. Of course, the team has vast experience from other race series, but being among the frontrunners here at the Nordschleife right away is a strong achievement. The speed was there, everything worked out, but unfortunately, that penalty cost us victory today. Nevertheless, we can be very happy with second place.”

Edoardo Mortara, SPS automotive-performance #10: “It has been a good race for us. We were really fast, consistent and we hardly made any mistakes. Unfortunately, this one mistake during the pit stop with the subsequent stop-and-go penalty cost us victory. But finishing second in the debut for SPS automotive-performance is a super result.”

Hubert Haupt, BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA #163: “ For me, this was the first time with the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in VLN at the Nordschleife. It was a really nice battle for the SP10 class lead, something I hadn’t expected like this. Of course, it is quite a change from the Mercedes-AMG GT3 to the GT4, particularly in terms of aerodynamics, but I really enjoyed it.”< strong> 

Result VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring round 8*:  













Mercedes-AMG GT3

AutoArena Motorsport

Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT)





Mercedes-AMG GT3

SPS automotive-performance

Edoardo Mortara (ITA), Renger van der Zande (NED)






Walkenhorst Motorsport

Hunter Abbott (GBR), Jonathan Hirschl (SUI), Jordan Tresson (FRA)










Mercedes-AMG GT4


Hubert Haupt (GER), Stefan Karg (GER), Fidel Leib (GER), Moritz Oberheim (GER)





Mercedes-AMG GT3

MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport

Maximilian Buhk (GER), Indy Dontje (NED), Christian Hohenadel (GER)

* excerpt, subject to confirmation by the organiser

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  • 18C0866_001
    Finish: AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 #13
  • 18C0866_002
    1-2 victory for Mercedes-AMG (left to right): Baumann, Mortara, v.d. Zande, Assenheimer
  • 18C0866_003
    Winners: Patrick Assenheimer (left) and Dominik Baumann
  • 18C0866_006
    AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 #13
  • 18C0866_004
    Podium: Baumann/Assenheimer (middle) and Mortara/v.d. Zande (second from left)
  • 18C0866_005
    Renger van der Zande (left) and Dominik Baumann
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    VLN 8: start of the 4-hour race
  • 18C0866_009
    SPS automotive-performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 #10
  • 18C0866_008
    SPS automotive-performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 #10
  • 18C0866_011
    SPS automotive-performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 #10
  • 18C0866_010
  • 18C0866_012
    MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport #47