Raffaele Marciello and Maximilian Buhk have won VLN8 in style. The HTP Motorsport-run #48 Mann-Filter Mercedes-AMG GT3 took the lead on the second lap and never looked back. Buhk brought the ‘Green Mamba’ over the finish line with a 1 minute 18 second gap to second, underlining the team’s dominance in the 51. ADAC Barbarossapreis.
The German team was saved by a red flag after the initial start. Marciello sustained damage on the car as he got swamped at the green and dropped down the field. A big crash involving multiple cars at the Kurzanbindung brought out a red flag before the second group could take the start and subsequent confusion as the cars returned to the starting grid made race control decide to completely restart the race and permit teams to repair and prepare their cars. With Marciello’s second start going much better, he would soon take the lead.
Walkenhorst Motorsport’s Christian Krognes, Jody Fannin and David Pittard came home in second, having started the #34 BMW M6 GT3 from pole position. Krognes, returning for his first race at the Nürburgring since the summer, kept the lead at the start but saw Raffaele Marciello come past him on the second lap at Mutkurve as the Norwegian’s rear tyres started to wear out quicker than expected. Despite losing a handful of positions in the first hour, three high-paced stints and a fitting pitstop strategy followed, earning the BMW team second place at the finish.
After the race, however, the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 got disqualified for a technical infringement. The tightening torque of the locking nut on the spring plates, officials explained, wasn’t properly affixed and was able to be loosened by hand, which is not conform the homologation. This promoted the #2 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 to second and the #6 Black Falcon Team AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 to third.
GetSpeed Performance overcame a puncture and a damaged underside of the #2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 — caused by Maximilian Götz hitting the back of Patrick Assenheimer’s #6 Black Falcon Team AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 as the latter slowed down to enter the pits halfway through the race — to take another podium finish, with Philip Ellis and Maximilian Götz piloting the Vodafone machine to second place after the disqualification of Walkenhorst Motorsport. Philip Ellis repelled attacks from Manuel Metzger in the #6 Black Falcon Team AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Frank Stippler in the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, beating the two works drivers by tenths over the line.