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The eighth round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring was the Falken team’s last race of the season. The Austrian duo, consisting of Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger, drove the Porsche, while Falken’s regular drivers, Peter Dumbreck (GB) and Alexandre Imperatori (CH), were assisted for the first time by BMW factory driver, Sheldon van der Linde (ZA).
The 20-year-old DTM driver acclimatised quickly to the unique demands of the 24.358 km Nürburging Nordschleife, his 8:22.572-minute qualifying time earning fifth starting position for the #3 BMW M6 GT3. The #4 Porsche 911 GT3 R followed close behind in ninth position after 8:26.919 minutes in qualifying.
An incident in the chasing pack at the very start of the race led the organisers to put the race on hold. The race, which was originally planned for a total of four hours, could finally commence after more than an hour’s delay.
During the restart, the #4 Porsche’s rear axle was brushed lightly by a competitor, costing it several places. This also necessitated an additional stop at the Falken pit, causing further delays, and severely impairing Bachler’s and Ragginger’s ranking. As time went on, however, the duo’s highly audacious overtaking manoeuvres let them claw back lost ground, finally sufficing for a very decent sixth place.
Peter Dumbreck, Alexandre Imperatori and Sheldon van der Linde completed the Top 10 result with a flawless performance.
“This wraps up a very thrilling jubilee season for us,” concludes Stefanie Olbertz, responsible for Falken’s motorsports commitment. “This year, we succeeded in gathering masses of data and, particularly, in tuning the Porsche to our new tyres – sometimes under extremely adverse weather conditions. We’re already looking forward to the 2020 season, where we’ll be starting again at the VLN and ADAC 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our fans who have supported us,” she continues.