Ferrari triumphs at the Nurburgring
Maranello, 16 May – It’s been almost thirty years since the last time a Ferrari was first past the flag in an endurance race over the long version of the Nurburging, commonly known as the Nordschleife. This weekend, that feat was repeated when the 458 Italia GT2, entered by the Farnbacher-Hankook team and crewed by Marco Seefried and Jaime Melo won the 6 Hour Race, the third round of the VLN Endurance Racing Championship. The German team ran the only Ferrari among the 150 cars entered, to secure the Maranello marque’s first victory in this endurance championship for GT cars. The racing version of the 458 proved to be competitive straight out of the box as this first overall win follows on from class wins in the Le Mans Series at the 1000 Kms races at Le Castellet and Spa-Francorchamps.
As usual, the race was subdivided into three categories on safety grounds. Straight into the lead went the Mercedes of Alexander Roloff (Rowe Racing,) taking off ahead of Klaus Abbelen in the MSC Adenau Porsche and Pierre Kaffer in the Mamerow/Rowe Racing) Mercedes. For the first two hours, the Ferrari, with Seefried at the wheel, stuck in tenth spot, until the rain played its part, causing various accidents among the minor categories. At the end of the third hour, Seefried handed over the 458 Italia GT2 to team-mate Melo and the Brazilian began a great climb up the order, which with one hour remaining, found him leading the field, fighting off the Porsche of Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard and Arno Klasen (Manthey Racing) and the BMW Motorsport car of Jorg Muller, Augusto Farfus and Pedro Lamy, who crossed the line second and third respectively.
“It was a perfect race, without any mistakes thanks to a great job from the entire team,” said Melo after the podium ceremony. “We could not have hoped for better on a such a technical and demanding circuit as the Nurburgring.”