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Nürburgring Endurance

171 Cars Set for Four-Hour VLN Season Opener

Huge entry list for opening round of the VLN series at the Nürburgring…

Photo: Porsche

A total of 171 cars will take part in the opening round of the VLN series on the Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend.

The grid for the four-hour Westfalenfahrt race features 25 GT3-homologated cars spread across seven manufacturers, with 24 car makes throughout the entire field.

Defending VLN Speed Trophy champion Falken Motorsports returns to the series with a Porsche 911 GT3 R, along with 2018 runner-up Frikadelli Racing Team.

Falken also has a BMW M6 GT3 entered, while Frikadelli – which has two Porsches listed – was one of two teams to publicly decry a recent Balance of Performance change that will see GT3 cars slowed by 5% in line with safety concerns.

The other team that protested the adjustment, WTM Racing, is not on the entry list.

New to the GT3 field are the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 efforts from KCMG and Japanese Super GT outfit Kondo Racing, which are fielding a car each.

There is also a Chrysler Viper GT3-R entered by Zakspeed with Florian Strauss the only driver listed so far in the Pro-Am lineup, while Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus returns with a red and white livery for its SPX-class SCG 003C special.

Defending Westfalenfahrt winners Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki return without 2018 co-pilot Romain Dumas in one of two Manthey Racing-entered Porsches, with the other to be shared by Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

Audi’s GT3 customer program is represented by Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Car Collection Motorsport and Phoenix Racing (two cars) while Mercedes-AMG is backed by entries from Black Falcon, HTP Motorsport, GetSpeed Performance and Rooster Rojo J2Racing.

There are also six BMWs including a double entry for ROWE Racing and three cars for Walkenhorst Motorsport, in addition to the Falken machine.

1990 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Martin Brundle will be in the field, co-driving an Aston Martin Vantage V8 in the SP8 class with Marco Mueller and Alexander West.

Other notable drivers include Intercontinental GT Challenge champion Tristan Vautier at the wheel of the No. 2 GetSpeed Mercedes, and Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board at Peugeot-Citroen, who is driving an Opel Astra GTC.

Round 1 of the VLN is set to get underway at 12 p.m. local time (7 a.m. eastern) on Saturday, March 23 with live English coverage available on the series’ YouTube channel

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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