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Mercedes-AMG crowns spectacular VLN year with numerous titles and sixth consecutive overall win

Press information | 26 October, 2019 | Nürburg / Germany

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has successfully concluded this year’s season in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring: in the ninth and final round in the Eifel, Maro Engel and Patrick Assenheimer (both GER) of the BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport (#6) beat the entire opposition in a real thrilling showdown and secured the sixth consecutive win for AMG. The final championship standings at the end of an exciting and high-class season also reflect this successful track record: both in the SP9 Pro and SP8T classes as well as in the SP10 category, the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach secured the respective titles. Moreover, BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport wins the coveted ROWE Speed Trophy. The strong performance of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 completed the successful race weekend at the 44thDMV Münsterlandpokal.

  • Championship titles in the classes SP9 Pro, SP10 and SP8T as well as victory in the ROWE Speed Trophy
  • First place in VLN season finale: BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport (#6)
  • Sixth consecutive overall VLN race win for Mercedes-AMG
  • Second VLN test of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 crowned by success

Nürburg – With an impressive track record of five consecutive overall wins, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport headed into the ninth and final round of the VLN season at the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Qualifying on Saturday morning resulted into an excellent situation going into the grand finale of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring: Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Dirk Müller (GER) secured pole position in the one-hour qualifying session with the #16 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON while Maro Engel (GER) and Patrick Assenheimer (GER) of the BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport (#6) started the final VLN round of the season from fifth place on the grid.

At the start of the race, the #16 and the #6 entries already had to take in serious setbacks: both Christodoulou and Assenheimer were forced to head into the pitlane early because leaves were partly blocking the cooling ducts with the risk of the engine overheating. Both drivers lost their excellent positions as a consequence. As the race went on, however, the two starting drivers staged an impressive recovery by making up positions lap after lap. While Christodoulou, who had temporarily dropped back to 31stplace, handed the car to Haupt in 13thplace, Assenheimer had even progressed into the top ten before Engel took over the #6 car. The latter seamlessly continued the strong progress by his teammate and crossed the finish line in first place after a real heart-stopping showdown. The strong finish and the sixth consecutive overall win also enabled BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport (#6) to secure the coveted ROWE Speed Trophy by VLN that rewards the most powerful cars in the field. Moreover, Assenheimer crowned himself as the SP9 Pro class champion while Christodoulou, Haupt and final driver Dirk Müller (GER) finished sixth overall after a strong recovery.

The #23 GetSpeed Rooster Rojo J2 Racing also had a successful race. From sixth place on the grid, starting driver Fabian Schiller had an excellent getaway and soon moved up into the lead of the field where he convincingly defended his position for a long time. After the stints by John Shoffner (USA) and Janine Hill (GBR), the #23 entry finished the race in eighth place overall, equalling second place in the SP9 Pro-Am class. The impressive performance by the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 that had Maximilian Buhk, Maximilian Götz and Christian Hohenadel (all GER) as its drivers and again shone with very good lap times, rounded out the spectacular year of GT3 racing for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in this season’s VLN competition.

There were also titles to celebrate in the GT4 classes: BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI (#152) with Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Nico Bastian (GER) and Mike Stursberg (GER)claimed victory in the SP8T class, allowing Kaya to crown himself as the class champion with a huge margin. On top of that, Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth (GER) and Tristan Viidas (EST) drove the #162 Mercedes-AMG GT4 to first place in the SP10 class and the BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA trio became champions in their class with this result.

VLN season marked by titles, victories and class wins

For the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach, the successful achievements in the 44thDMV Münsterlandpokal crowned a spectacular VLN season. In total, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams racked up six overall wins and eight further podium results, exceeding the already strong record from the previous season of four wins and three further podium finishes. Particularly impressive was the GT3’s streak of success from mid-July to October (VLN 4 – VLN 9) in which the teams managed to secure six consecutive victories including the clean sweep of the top three for AMG in the eighth VLN round as the highlight. The GT4 also had a very successful year at the Nordschleife with ten wins in the classes SP10 and SP8T. 

With the ninth round in the books, the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring now enters its winter break. On 21 March 2020, action resumes for the renowned club race series in the Eifel as the 66thADAC Westfalenfahrt kicks off a new season of VLN racing at the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “We are looking back upon a really outstanding VLN season: six overall wins and numerous podium finishes speak for themselves. That we have beaten the high-class opposition after nine races and have managed to win the titles in the SP9 Pro, SP8T and SP10 classes is the result of the excellent work by the Customer Racing Teams, the co-operation between the teams and our engineers as well as the performance and the reliability of our GT3 and GT4 cars. Therefore, I express my gratitude to all the drivers, teams and everyone involved for making this success happen. Strategically, the 2019 VLN season was crucial, too: the new Mercedes-AMG GT3, that will officially enter competition in 2020, made its debut at the Nordschleife at the end of the season and delivered convincing results straight away. Therefore, we are also in an excellent position for the future to continue our success story in the VLN and in other series.”

Patrick Assenheimer, BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport #6: “Bad luck at the start, good fortune at the end, that pretty much sums up our race. Concluding the season with four overall wins is simply fantastic. Moreover, I was able to win the SP9 Pro championship and the team has secured a title with the ROWE Speed Trophy as well. I dedicate this victory to the team that has done a perfect job as ever. Of course, also thanks to Maro who did a mega job during his stint. As far as I am concerned, it can go on like this next year.”

Maro Engel, BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport #6: “We and our team have deserved this victory. The guys have been working really hard. We were a bit unlucky at the start of the race, but then we have adapted our strategy and it worked out really well with the new tyres. Huge thanks to the BLACK FALCON team and also to Patrick, who is having an incredible run here.”

Adam Christodoulou, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #16: “Qualifying went perfectly and with pole position, we were in an excellent situation for success in the race. Unfortunately, I had to head back into the pits right at the start of the race for the team to solve the problem. Of course, that cost us a lot of time, but we never gave up and still secured a good sixth place after our recovery. We really have shown our spirit here.”

Maximilian Buhk, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #56: “After the race at Portimao, today was my second test with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The car is outstanding to drive, everything went smoothly and driving such a performance car at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife was great fun. I am already very much looking forward to next year with the new GT3.“ 

Result VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, round 9*:

POS
overall
POS
class
Nr.
Car
Team
Drivers
1.
1.
(SP9 Pro)
6
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Maro Engel (GER)
2.
2.
(SP9 Pro)
4
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Falken Motorsports
Sven Müller (GER), Patrick Pilet (FRA)
3.
 
3.
(SP9 Pro)
4
Audi R8 LMS
PHOENIX RACING
Frank Stippler (GER), Vincent Kolb (GER)
 
 
 
 
 
6.
5.
(SP9 Pro)
16
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON
Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Hubert Haupt (GER), Dirk Müller (GER)
8.
2.
(SP9 Pro-Am)
23
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GetSpeed Rooster Rojo J2 Racing
Fabian Schiller (GER), John Shoffner (USA), Janine Hill (GBR)
9.
1.
(SPX)
56
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER
Maximilian Götz (GER), Christian Hohenadel (GER), Maximilian Buhk (GER)
12.
1.
(SP8T)
152
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Mike Stursberg (GER), Nico Bastian (GER)
14.
1.
(SP10)
162
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)
28.
4.
(SP8T)
155
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Marek Böckmann (GER), Axel König (GER), Tobias Wahl (GER)
DNF
DNF
2
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GetSpeed Performance
Philip Ellis (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT)

* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organiser

Highlights 2019 VLN season

Result
 
Nr.
Car
Team
Drivers
VLN 1
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP8T)
155
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR
Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Ace Robey (USA)
1st place
(SP10)
162
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)
VLN 3
 
 
 
 
3rd place
(SP9 Pro)
14
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON
Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Maro Engel (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER)
1st place
(SP10)
162
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)
VLN 4
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP9 Pro)
6
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER)
1st place
(SP8T)
155
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR
Carlos Rivas (LUX), Ace Robey (USA), Tobias Wahl (GER)
1st place
(SP10)
162
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)
VLN 5
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP9 Pro)
6
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Maro Engel (GER)
2nd place
(SP9 Pro)
16
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON
Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Hubert Haupt (GER), Luca Stolz (GER)
1st place
(SP8T)
155
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON
Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Reinhold Renger (GER), Stephan Rösler (GER)
VLN 6
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP9 Pro)
6
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER)
3rd place
(SP9 Pro)
2
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GetSpeed Performance
Philip Ellis (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT)
1st place
(SP8T)
152
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Miguel Toril Boquoi (ESP)
VLN 7
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP9 Pro)
2
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GetSpeed Performance
Fabian Schiller (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT)
2nd place
(SP9 Pro)
48
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER
Lance David Arnold (GER), Edoardo Mortara (ITA), Tim Scheerbarth (GER)
1st place
(SP8T)
152
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Yannick Mettler (SUI), Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR)
VLN 8
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP9 Pro)
48
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER
Maximilian Buhk (GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA)
2nd place
(SP9 Pro)
2
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GetSpeed Performance
Philip Ellis (GER), Maximilian Götz (GER)
3rd place
(SP9 Pro)
 
6
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Manuel Metzger (GER)
VLN9
 
 
 
 
1st place
(SP9 Pro)
6
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON Team AutoArena Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Maro Engel (GER)
1st place
(SP8T)
152
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI
Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Mike Stursberg (GER), Nico Bastian (GER)
1st place
(SP10)
162
Mercedes-AMG GT4
BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA
Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth (GER), Tristan Viidas (EST)
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