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VLN Endurance Championship - Race Report Round 9
The European motorsport season ended for BLACK FALCON on Saturday with a highlight. The team from Meuspath won its fourth overall victory of the year at the season finale of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring. Patrick Assenheimer (DE) and Maro Engel (DE) took first place with the BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Mercedes-AMG GT3 #6, by catching the four way battle for second on the penultimate lap, and went into the final lap chasing the #911. Under pressure the 911 had a crash and Engel took the flag as the winner, thus securing the team the VLN Speed Trophy as well as the SP9 Pro Championship title for Assenheimer. The sister car, the AM Solutions Mercedes-AMG GT3 #16 of Adam Christodoulou (GB), Hubert Haupt (DE) and Dirk Müller (DE), finished fifth overall. In the SP10 class Tobias Müller (DE), Tim Scheerbarth (DE) and Tristan Viidas (EE) won with the Mercedes-AMG GT4 #162 for the fourth time this season after an intensive four-fight for the day's victory. Thanks to this success, they and the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA secured the championship title in the GT4 class. In the SP8T class Nico Bastian (DE), Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TR) and Mike Stursberg (DE) won the class with the BLACK FALCON Team Knuffi AMG GT4 #152. Their teammates Marek Böckmann (DE), Axel König (DE) and Tobias Wahl (DE) finished fourth in their class with the Knuffi-AMG GT4 #155. Also, in the strongest production car category there was reason to be happy: Alexander Akimenkov (RU), Ronny Lethmate (DE) and Vasilii Selivanov (RU) came in second in the V6 with the BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR Porsche 991 Carrera #395. Their teammates Uwe Lebens (DE) and Michael Lindmayer (DE) finished seventh in the 911 with the #394.
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport / Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON
The two Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars made an excellent start to the last VLN race of the year. In the qualifying session Christodoulou achieved the fastest time at the wheel of the #16 and put the AM Solutions AMG GT3 on pole position. In the race both cars came to an unplanned stop to the pits within the first lap – due to leaves blocking the air intake of both AMGs and causing engine temperatures to rise. The team then started a remarkable race to catch up, which culminated in the last lap of the race: First the #6 conquered second place on the Grand Prix circuit. On the last lap of the Nordschleife he put the leading Manthey-Porsche #911, who expected a time penalty after the race, under pressure in the long-distance duel with fast sector times. After a collision of the #911 with another competitor during overtaking, the AutoArena AMG GT3 took the lead on the track and was waved off as the winner. Thanks to the fourth victory in the seventh race, Assenheimer wins the championship title in the top class SP9-Pro and at the same time the team wins the VLN Speed Trophy, which is awarded to the most successful car (results overall) of the season. The AM Solutions AMG GT3 #16 finished a short time later in fifth place.
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
In the SP10 class, the initial situation before the VLN season finale was very close: In the duel for the SP10 championship, the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA Mercedes-AMG GT4 #162 of Müller, Scheerbarth and Viidas were almost on a par with the BMW M4 GT4 #181, so that the title decision was held in a direct duel at VLN9. BLACK FALCON won the first round of qualifying, but in the race a close four-way fight for class victory quickly developed. Müller, Scheerbarth and Viidas were at the front of the pack from the second half of the race and fought for victory right up to the last corner, which finally gave them the SP10 title.
BLACK FALCON Team Knuffi
In the SP8T class two Mercedes-AMG GT4 started for the BLACK FALCON Team Knuffi. The start number 152 of Bastian, Kaya and Stursberg could not be stopped on this VLN Saturday. Starting from pole position, the trio drove to a safe start-finish-victory and finished on the excellent 12th place overall. Their teammates Böckmann, König and Wahl in the AMG GT4 #155 made up some positions in the overall standings thanks to a final push in the last laps and eventually crossed the finish line in fourth place in the SP8T just eight seconds behind.
BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR
The BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR sent three Porsche to the start at VLN 9. In the SP7 Maik Rosenberg (DE) and Carlos Rivas (LU) started with the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR2 #57 from pole position, which would not last a lap for the duo. An accident after a collision without their fault caused a premature end of the race.
In the production cars, Akimenkov, Lethmate and Selivanov secured pole position in the V6 class with the Porsche 991 Carrera. The trio crossed the finish line in second place after four hours. Their teammates Lebens and Lindmayer did a flawless job in their sister car, the #394, and were awarded a second place in their 2nd race of the season. Due to a protest, the final result in the V6 class is not official yet.
Quotes on the race
Sean Paul Breslin (Team Principal BLACK FALCON GT): "After the problems in the first lap the victory was far away. However, we didn't give up and gave everything, because a lot can happen on the Nordschleife at any time. Many thanks to the whole team for the successful finale and the best VLN season so far".
Timo Frings (Head of Motorsport BLACK FALCON Team Customer Racing): "We achieved another good result at the end of the season and thanks to a great performance of the whole team we achieved the fourth-class victory in the SP10 and thus the championship title. We also celebrated the sixth SP8T class win this year with the Knuffi-AMG #152. Many thanks to our drivers, our partners and the whole team for the most successful VLN season in BLACK FALCON's team history".
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