Customer Racing: VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring: Victory and a class podium for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in VLN 6-hour race

18.
August 2018
Nürburgring

The first overall win of the VLN season for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the 6-hour highlight race: Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Hubert Haupt (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER) and Gabriele Piana (ITA) secure the overall win at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife after a perfect performance with their #6 BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3. In qualifying on Saturday morning, Christodoulou had already claimed pole position with his personal best time of 7m55.723s. With second place in the SP10 class, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 scores another podium success in the Green Hell: the car with starting number 163 of the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA rounds out the successful overall result.

  • Victory for the #6 BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3
  • Pole position by Adam Christodoulou with the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3
  • Class podium in the SP10 class for the #163 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA Mercedes-AMG GT4

Nürburgring – In summery temperatures and excellent weather conditions at the Nürburgring, the driver quartet with the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 showed a perfect performance in the ROWE 6 Stunden ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen: pole position, having defended the lead after the start, having racked up several laps in the lead and eventually having crowned a faultless race by drivers and team members with the overall win. It was Adam Christodoulou who had put the car from Affalterbach on pole position in qualifying in the morning and then also took the start of the endurance race with 162 participants at noon on Saturday. Initially, the Brit slightly pulled away from his rivals and then went on to stage a thrilling duel with an opponent. At an early stage, it already became apparent that the duel of these two cars would decide about victory in the race as well. After a double stint, Christodoulou handed the car to teammate Manuel Metzger while in the lead.

Due to different pit stop strategies, three or four cars alternated in the lead on the following laps. In the middle of the action and regularly adding further laps in the lead: the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Metzger behind the wheel. The Nordschleife expert was able to complete a faultless double stint and handed the car to Hubert Haupt after 21 laps. Haupt also seamlessly fitted into the good team effort and drove the car with starting number 6 along the 24.358 kilometres long VLN configuration of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife without any damage. The team then changed to Gabriele Piana while in the lead after 28 laps before the Italian made way for final driver Metzger during the fifth and final stop with 45 minutes remaining. Manuel Metzger rejoined the race while still in the lead with a margin of almost 27 seconds and then safely brought victory home: after 42 laps, he crossed the finish line as the winner with the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Thus, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 secured both the first win of the season and the first victory in the VLN 6-hour race, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport already having won the VLN season highlight with the SLS AMG GT3 (Haupt/Bin Turki Al Faisal/Christodoulou/Buurman) back in 2015. In the statistic of the pole positions, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 already started the 6-hour race from first place on the grid for the second time already: in 2016, ‘Gerwin’/Buurman/Haupt/Metzger secured pole position with a time of 7m54.497s. In total, it was the 16th overall win for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the VLN with the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Second place for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 After three class wins, one second and one third place in the 2018 VLN season thus far, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 added another podium to its achievements list: second place for the #163 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA was the outcome of the 6-hour race in the SP10 class. In the process, the car with starting number 163 and drivers Stefan Karg (GER), Fidel Leib (GER) and Moritz Oberheim (GER) managed to claim pole position in the SP10 class, just like their GT3 teammates. After 39 laps, they finished in second place after a faultless performance, some 40 seconds down. The further Mercedes-AMG GT4 of the BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction with starting numbers 162 and 164 (4th and 10th place respectively) and the #170 Mathol Racing e.V. entry (5th place) rounded out the successful performance in the SP10 class.

The next 4-hour race of the VLN season is the 41. RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen on 1 September.

Adam Christodoulou, BLACK FALCON #6: “We had a great race. Every pit stop went super, all drivers did a great job. In the morning, I already had a perfect qualifying with my personal best time that was enough for pole position. I had a good start of the race and had some luck in traffic, so that I was able to build up a slight advantage. After the final stop, it was nerve-wrecking for me to watch the finale from the pit box, but Manuel brought victory home in a commanding way. I am super happy with first place and it is a top result for the entire BLACK FALCON team: the overall win and second place with the Mercedes-AMG GT4.”

Manuel Metzger, BLACK FALCON #6: “In the final stages, we weren’t quite sure whether we would make it or whether our opponent still would have to come in. Therefore, I pushed really hard until the BMW went into the pits after all. Then, I was able to back off a bit and bring it home. A super job by the entire team. I am really happy.”

Hubert Haupt, BLACK FALCON #6: “Crazy. Adam and I already won the 6-hour race three years ago and now once again with the BLACK FALCON team together with Manuel and Gabriele. This is just cool. It was a perfect race.”

Gabriele Piana, BLACK FALCON #6: “I am lost for words, I am so happy! This is my maiden overall win with a GT3 car at the Nürburgring. The performance of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the entire team were perfect today. I am really delighted with this victory, I am very proud.”

 Result VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring round 5*: 

POS

overall

POS

class

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

1

1

(SP9 PRO)

6

Mercedes-AMG GT3

BLACK FALCON

Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Hubert Haupt (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER), Gabriele Piana (ITA)

2

2

(SP9 PRO)

99

BMW M6 GT3

ROWE Racing

Tom Blomqvist (GBR), Philipp Eng (AUT)

3

3

(SP9 PRO)

3

BMW M6 GT3

Falken Motorsport

Stef Dusseldorp (NED), Alexandre Imperatori (SUI)

 

 

 

 

 

19

2

(SP10)

163

Mercedes-AMG GT4

BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA

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

26

4

(SP10)

162

Mercedes-AMG GT4

BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction

Carlos Gomez (USA), Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Peter Ludwig (USA), Gabriele Piana (ITA)

33

5

(SP10)

170

Mercedes-AMG GT4

Team Mathol Racing e.V.

Reinhold Renger (GER), Domenico Solombrino (ITA), Christian Stingu (GER)

78

10

(SP10)

164

Mercedes-AMG GT4

BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction

Alexander Kolb (GER), Vincent Kolb (GER), Axel König (GER), Norbert Schneider (GER)

* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organisers

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  • 18C0682_12
    #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 by BLACK FALCON
  • 18C0682_14
    #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 by BLACK FALCON
  • 18C0682_03
    Podium (left to right): Manuel Metzger, Hubert Haupt, Adam Christodoulou, Gabriele Piana
  • 18C0682_13
    #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 by BLACK FALCON
  • 18C0682_02
    Winners (left to right): Hubert Haupt, Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger, Gabriele Piana
  • 18C0682_01
    Finish line with the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3
  • 18C0682_05
    Leading the field: #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3
  • 18C0682_04
    #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 by BLACK FALCON
  • 18C0682_06
    Adam Christodoulou
  • 18C0682_10
    #170 Mercedes-AMG GT4 by Team Mathol Racing e.V.
  • 18C0682_11
    #164 Mercedes-AMG GT4 by BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction
  • 18C0682_08
    #163 Mercedes-AMG GT4 by BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
  • 18C0682_09
    #162 Mercedes-AMG GT4 by BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction
  • 18C0682_07
    Manuel Metzger
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