- Team Farnbacher gives Lexus their very first VLN win
- Toyota Swiss Racing extend their lead
- Toyota GT86 CS-V3 secures overall win in RCN
What a race, what a success! In the ninth of the 10 VLN races of the 2016 season, Farnbacher Racing celebrated a truly historic success: with the RC F GT prototype used by the team for the first time, Team Farnbacher dominated the race and in the end, they did not only give Lexus their first overall win in a VLN race but also made for the very first win of a Japanese manufacturer in the Endurance Championship held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. And they did so although the qualifying was somewhat difficult and they had to settle for having qualified ninth overall (pole position in the SPX category). In the race, however, a flawless performance of the Farnbacher brothers – Mario and Dominik – as well as a good move in the tire gamble on the track that still was moist in the early stages of the race made sure that the entire field was outpaced by the RC F GT Prototype and its drivers. The Farnbacher-Lexus started into the race on wets but just one lap into the race, the team called the car in to switch to slicks as the track was drying quickly. From that point in time, the Farnbacher brothers proved to be virtually unstoppable, gained position by position and took the lead at race half-time. Afterwards, they soon opened a gap on the rest of the field to take the chequered flag with a lead of more than 30 seconds over their main rivals.
“What a fantastic success – that’s the reward for nearly two years of hard work,” beamed Team Principal Horst Farnbacher. It arguably comes as no surprise that Mario and Dominik Farnbacher also were delighted. “I nearly can’t believe what we achieved today,” said Mario and Dominik added: “The new prototype is far easier and more comfortable to drive. With its predecessor, driving really fast was a risky business but with the new vehicle, you can opt for a far more relaxed approach.”
The other two Lexus vehicles that contested the ninth VLN round also delivered in fine style. The Novel-Racing Lexus ISF CCS-R (Helmut Baumann, Michael Tischner, Völker Klaus) raced in the SP8 category, qualified fourth in the class (67th on the overall grid) and passed 25 opponents in the race to come third in the class and 42nd in the overall ranking. The RC F Horst Baumann, Theo Klee and Uwe Kleen (also SP8) did even better. Following a difficult qualifying the trio had to settle for fifth position in the class and 70th on the overall grid. But in the race, they made their Lexus virtually fly, passed amazing 41 competitors to finish 29th overall and win the SP8 category.
Also on the grid was a Toyota GT86 CS-Cup that had been lent to Milltek Sport & Liteblox (Milltek LTD) and was run by Isert Racing. The flat-engine coupe was raced by Dale Lomas, Lucien Gavris – and Tom Onslowe-Cole who made a name for himself in touring-car and GT3 racing and uses his VLN appearances for familiarising himself with the ‘Green Hell’ for next year’s 24h race.
As usual, the TMG GT86 Cup also was held within the framework of the VLN. In 2016, this TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH makes cup is held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for the fourth consecutive year. The TMG GT86 CS-Cup is a close-to-production racing car with spare-part service and technical on-site service, thus representing the ideal basis for perfect motor racing at reasonable costs
After the somewhat one-sided eight round, fans and drivers once again they were provided the excitement they are used to witness in the TMG GT86 Cup. In changeable conditions that partly turned the race into a nail-biter, the drivers had to take themselves to their very limits but in the end, the championship leaders, Manuel Amweg und Thomas Lampert (Toyota Swiss Racing) celebrated another victory. Nils Jung and Florian Wolf (Ring Racing) finished second, followed by Achim Wawer and Eric Curran (Mathol Racing) in third position.
Amweg / Lampert took the lead early, switched from wets to slicks at the perfect point in time – as early as after one lap – to open a gap on the rest of the field afterwards. With two more laps to go, however, the rain was back and it was time for more nail-biting. “But at this point in time our lead was big enough and we were able to control the race until we crossed the finish line,” revealed Amweg who had been driving the final stint for his team.
Meanwhile, Nils Jung wasn’t too happy, after the race. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to match the pace of the leaders in the early stages,” he admitted. “”In the second half we were able to make up for a part of the lost ground but the gap to Amweg/Lampert was just too big.”
Nonetheless, the battle for the title is not yet over and so, the season finale promises to also be a real thriller.
One week prior to the VLN round, the RCN (Rundstrecken Challenge Nürburgring) travelled to the Nordschleife for its season finale. And this finale also proved to be a major success for Toyota: With his seventh consecutive class win (V3), Alex Fielenbach – who was supported in round eight by Wolfgang Weber – secured the overall title, with his Toyota GT86 CS-V3. “I’m virtually over the moon! I have to admit that I was rather nervous, prior to the season finale. The conditions definitely weren’t easy but I succeeded in completing the race without making any mistakes,” said the new RCN champion. Congratulations!
The VLN Endurance Championship season finale will held on 22nd October and the race distance amounts to the usual four hours.