The legendary Nürburgring, the birthplace of the Silver Arrows has been staging some thrilling motorsport action over the past few weeks. Just seven days after the German Grand Prix and one week before the sixth round of the DTM season, the circuit at the foot of Nürburg Castle played host to the VLN Endurance Championship.
While MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico and Michael were contesting the last Formula One race before the summer break in Hungary, Michael Zehe, Alexander Roloff and Roland Rehfeld were notching up the second overall victory for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the sixth VLN weekend of the year. Pole position was also claimed by a Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 driver duo – Chris Mamerow and Armin Hahne – though they were forced to retire from the race itself after sustaining a puncture.
Podium in the Spa 24 Hours
On 28th August, the F1 season recommences after its summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix on the famous Ardennes rollercoaster at Spa-Francorchamps. But over the past weekend, four Mercedes AMG customer teams were already in action there in the 24-hour race at Spa. No fewer than seven ‘gullwings’ based on the production Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS lined up on the grid.
After 24 hours and a total distance of 3,817 kilometres (equivalent to 545 laps), the Black Falcon trio of Kenneth Heyer, Thomas Jäger and Stéphane Lémeret sharing the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 took the third podium place. To commemorate the success of the first Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG forty years ago at Spa, the SLS AMG GT3 carried the same starting number (35) and was decorated with the same red livery.
Two wins in the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy
As part of the support programme for the 24-hour race, rounds four and five of the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy were staged. This is a new competition for 2011. A total of twelve drivers lined up in cars powered by Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engines.
The two points-scoring races at Spa were won by Spanish driver Roberto Merhi (Prema Power Team) in a Dallara Mercedes. He also secured pole position and set the fastest lap in both races. What’s more, he was joined on the podium by another driver with a Mercedes-Benz engine – William Buller of Fortec Motorsport who came second and then third.
Having now taken four wins out of five, Mehri leads the overall standings in the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. In the third Formula 3 race of the weekend – this time not for Trophy points – Mehri’s team-mate Daniel Juncadella (Prema Power), also driving a Dallara Mercedes, took third place on the podium.