- Victory for Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER
- Fifth consecutive overall win for Mercedes-AMG at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife
- Successful debut for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3
- Podium results in the SP10 and the SP8T classes for the Mercedes-AMG GT4
The Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER wins the eighth round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring with its drivers Maximilian Buhk (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) in the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3. As a result, the team scores the fifth consecutive overall win for the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Third place goes to the winning team from the previous round, GetSpeed Performance with starting number 2 and its drivers Philip Ellis (GER) and Maximilian Götz (GER). Fourth place for the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Team BLACK FALCON AutoArena Motorsport rounded out the top result in the Eifel. The new Mercedes-AMG GT3, developed for the 2020 season, also passed its baptism of fire at the Nordschleife with flying colours.
The Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER brought Mercedes-AMG Motorsport its fifth victory in a row in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. Maximilian Buhk and Raffaele Marciello showed a faultless performance and won the eighth VLN round of the 2019 season in a commanding way. The team laid the foundation for this success in qualifying already: they put the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 48 in second place on the grid.
In excellent conditions, the first metres of the penultimate VLN season round were completed, but the race was interrupted after only a few corners following an accident at the Grand Prix circuit. Only after a break of over one hour, the race could be restarted. Raffaele Marciello remained in the slipstream of the leaders from the outset and went on to take the lead of the 153-car field on the second lap already. Subsequently, Marciello extended his margin over the other competitors lap after lap in a convincing way and handed the car to his teammate Maximilian Buhk after a little over two hours. The latter commandingly held on to first place and secured the first win of the season for the Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER with a faultless stint.
Behind the leader, BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport’s Patrick Assenheimer (GER) and GetSpeed Performance driver Maximilian Götz (GER) worked their way up into second and third place in the opening stages. As a result, three Mercedes-AMG GT3 temporarily ran at the front of the field. At the halfway point of the race, however, an unfortunate contact resulted into a puncture for Maximilian Götz, the #2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 dropping back as a result. The BLACK FALCON AutoArena Motorsport entry with starting number 6 also had to let some rivals pull away around the halfway mark. However, Philip Ellis (GER) who had taken over starting number 2 from Maximilian Götz and Manuel Metzger (GER) in the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 were able to make up some positions as the race went on. Both were in contention for a podium finish until the final lap. Ellis eventually got the better of Metzger and crossed the finish line in third place.
In the SP9 Pro-Am class, Janine Hill (GBR), Fabian Schiller (GER) and John Shoffner (USA) scored another podium finish. The trio drove the #23 GetSpeed Rooster Rojo J2 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to 13th place overall that equalled third place in class.
Successful Nordschleife debut for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3
The eagerly awaited first competitive outing for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife turned out into a huge success. The car with starting number 54, run by the Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON, ran in the SPX class as its homologation hadn’t been fully completed. In line with the regulations, the team with its drivers Yelmer Buurman (NED) and Luca Stolz (GER) wasn’t in contention for the overall win, as it had to adhere to a longer minimum pit stop time. However, the team did complete a trouble-free race with very good lap times and finished in ninth place overall. As a result, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 that has been developed for the 2020 season has also successfully mastered its baptism of fire at the demanding Nordschleife of the Nürburgring and is ready to score its maiden race wins next year.
Mercedes-AMG GT4 with a pari of class podium finishes
In the SP10 class, the #162 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA with Tobias Müller, Tim Scheerbarth (both GER) und Tristan Viidas (EST) claimed second place after an entertaining battle. Miguel Toril Boquoi (ESP), Christoph Hoffmann and Tobias Wahl (both GER) of the BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI came third in the SP8T class with the #155 Mercedes-AMG GT4 and scored a podium result in their class.
Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #48: “It was a tough race. At the first start, we incurred some minor damage that our team was able top repair quickly. At the second start, things were going better for us and I was able to take the lead relatively quickly. After that, I was pushing every lap to extend our lead. The team has prepared the car superbly and done a mega job. Perhaps it looked easy from the outside, but the Nordschleife is never easy.”
Maximilian Buhk, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #48: “Initially, we were lucky that there was a restart because we had lost some ground at the first attempt. Many thanks to Raffaele, who has done a magnificent job in the first half of the race. The only thing left for me to do was to manage our advantage.”
Maximilian Götz, GetSpeed Performance #2: “Initially, I was battling for second position. Then, unfortunately, I had two incidents that slightly made us drop back. With all these situations, we can be proud of our third place in the end. In the final stages, Philip did a really good job. A really cool race by him.”
Philip Ellis, GetSpeed Performance #2: “During my stint, we were having some problems with the front splitter. That had its effects on the aerodynamics and got worse towards the end. I tried to keep Manuel at bay, which I managed eventually. After this fight, we are mega happy with the result.”
Manuel Metzger, BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport #6: “In the opening stages, we were in second place, but then lost a minute to Raffaele during a pair of code-60 phases. During the pit stop, we lost another two minutes due to further problems. That was very annoying, of course. During my stint, I got stuck behind our GetSpeed sister car. In spite of finishing fourth, it was a rather disappointing weekend for us, but a great result for the Mercedes-AMG brand. Three cars in the top four is something to be happy with.”
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #54: “Generally, it was a good race for us. In qualifying, we were a bit unfortunate with code-60 phases. During the race, the car ran superbly. We have completed a good test programme here. We still improved some minor details and really had a good time while driving. The car ran smoothly and had Mercedes-AMG’s proven performance.”
Result VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, round 8*:
Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER
Maximilian Buhk (GER)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA)
- Jody Fannin (GBR)
Christian Krognes (NOR)
David Pittard (GBR)
Philip Ellis (GER)
Maximilian Götz (GER)
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER)
Manuel Metzger (GER)
Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON
Yelmer Buurman (NED)
Luca Stolz (GER)
(SP9 PRO Am)
GetSpeed Rooster Rojo J2 Racing
Janine Hill (GBR)
Fabian Schiller (GER)
John Shoffner (USA)
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
Tobias Müller (GER)
Tim Scheerbarth (GER)
Tristan Viidas (EST)
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Christoph Hoffmann (GER)
Miguel Toril Boquoi (ESP)
Tobias Wahl (GER)
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Mustafa Kaya (TUR)
Gabriele Piana (ITA)
Stephan Rösler (GER)
Team Mathol Racing e.V.
Thomas Heinrich (GER)
Rüdiger Schicht (SUI)
* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organiser