In the eighth round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft, the HARIBO Racing Team-AMG scores its second win with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the last three races at the Nürburgring-Nordscheife: During the 48th ADAC Barbarossapreis, Uwe Alzen and Lance David Arnold (both GER) initially finish in second place after 28 laps, but then benefit from a post-race penalty for the winning team. BLACK FALCON retires while in the lead following an accident through no fault of its own.
The HARIBO Racing Team-AMG used its very good second place on the grid and after four hours without any mistakes in the eighth round of the VLN season, it crossed the finish line in second place. The decision about victory, however, only came one hour after the race: the initial winners were given a 35 seconds’ time penalty for overtaking under yellow flags. As a result, the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 inherited victory. For the Bonn-based race team, it is the third consecutive VLN podium finish after its victory in the sixth round of the season and second place in the season highlight three weeks ago.
In excellent weather conditions and a race that was marked by many accidents, there were entertaining duels for the lead from the very beginning. These duels always involved the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Haribo livery with starting number 8. Starting driver Uwe Alzen initially defended second place and for about 30 minutes, he staged a hard, but fair battle for first place with Jesse Krohn, who was leading at the time. After a little more than half an hour, the 49-year-old got slightly stuck in traffic in the 158 car field, dropped back one position and handed the car to team-mate Lance David Arnold while running in third place just before the halfway point. Arnold benefited from the early retirement of the erstwhile leading #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, moved up to second place, gradually reduced the gap to the new leader with a great driving effort and thus set the stage for a highly exciting finale. The final driver of the HARIBO Racing Team-AMG started his final lap 0.6 seconds down on the leader and fiercely fought for victory. Eventually, the team was beaten by the extremely tiny margin of 0.371 seconds, but 60 minutes later, the team with Uwe Alzen and Lance David Arnold was able to celebrate victory after all.
Bad luck for the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3
The second Mercedes-AMG GT3, the car with starting number 6, also had good chances for the race. BLACK FALCON’s Adam Christodoulou started from fifth place on the grid. Thanks to the very good strategy with an early pit stop, the Brit moved up into the lead for the first time after 70 minutes and handed the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to team-mate Manuel Metzger (GER) while in the lead after 1h45m. The German remained in front for the next 50 minutes, but after almost two thirds of the race, he was unfortunate as an accident happened just in front of him at the Hohenrain chicane. The 30-year-old was caught out by a trace of oil. Thanks to the high safety standards of the Mercedes-AMG GT3, Metzer escaped unscathed, but it was impossible to continue the race.
Uwe Alzen, HARIBO Racing Team-AMG #8: “It was a mega fight, which, of course, also was great to watch for the spectators. I would have been totally happy with second place as well, but this is what the regulations are like. You always need a lot of luck to make it through the many overtaking manoeuvres without any accidents. But when you end up on the podium, you have done a perfect job. Today, it was four hours at the limit again.”
Lance David Arnold, HARIBO Racing Team-AMG #8: “Today, we have done our utmost. I have pushed hard all the time, but it just wasn’t enough to claim victory on track. Of course, we would rather have made the decision on track.”
Jochen Bitzer, head of AMG Customer Sports: “I am really delighted with this victory for the HARIBO Racing Team-AMG. Congratulations to the entire team. Uwe and Lance really have staged a great show. BLACK FALCON were doing absolutely greatly, too. Unfortunately, Manuel Metzger was quite unlucky with a trace of oil. We are glad that nothing happened to him.”