FALKEN has achieved a historic first ever victory in the fourth round of this year’s VLN long-distance championship, with drivers Stef Dusseldorp and Jörg Müller in its BMW M6 GT3. The race was also rounded off with success as the Frikadelli Racing Team, who were also running FALKEN tyres, finished fourth.
In qualifying both FALKEN’s Porsche and BMW showed speed to put in a good performance. The BMW, just won the internal team battle with a lap time of 8:04.121 securing second place on the starting grid. FALKEN’s Porsche driven by Klaus Bachler and Robert Renauer were close behind, securing fourth on the grid with a time of 8.05.093. This was FALKEN’s best qualification since the BMW was added to its race roster earlier this year. The Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Frikadelli Racing Team also put in a good performance ending up eighth on the grid.
It became an eventful race right from the off. Müller in the BMW was quick to take the lead in the race, successfully putting distance between FALKEN and its nearest rivals. The Porsche, whilst close behind, became involved in an incident requiring a visit the pits. The Porsche was repaired quickly, but lost valuable time and was now a lap down. Bachler and Renauer in the Porsche worked hard and at the end of the four hour race were able to recover and finish in 14 th .
At the front, everything went according to plan. Dusseldorp and Müller took their stints with confidence and were the fastest car in the field over much of the race. After 28 laps, the BMW crossed the finish line with a commanding 34.5 second lead over its nearest rival. This gave Team FALKEN its first-ever overall victory at the Nordschleife.
"We are ecstatic,” said Markus Bögner, COO at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “Since 1999, we have participated in races at the Nordschleife achieving many successes, but with outright victory having been elusive until now. Today we deserved our reward and it is down to the unfaltering commitment of our drivers, the team and our engineers in Japan who have developed an extremely competitive tyre.”
"What a debut,” said Jörg Müller. “I could push right from the start. The tyres came up to temperature immediately and had maximum grip. I am glad to have won here. FALKEN did a great job."