Martin Müller and Frank Eickholt secured victory in the class for alternative fuels at the “Six Hour ADAC Ruhr Cup Race”, the season’s highlight of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring. It was HEICO SPORTIV’s first ever victory with the diesel-driven Volvo V40 D5.
At the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the demands placed on man and materials are legendary. No racetrack in the world is more challenging, more demanding and, at the same time, more fascinating. Perfect interplay between every component is a must for a victory here. “We’ve waited a long time for this result. Time and again, technical details have thwarted success, even though the Volvo V40 D5 was always competitive,” summarised HEICO SPORTIV Managing Director Holger Hedtke. “I’d like to thank the entire team which never gave up and worked hard for this victory.”
Already in qualifying, Martin Müller (Griesheim) and Frank Eickholt (Bottrop) demonstrated the biodiesel Volvo’s potential with the fastest time in the class for alternative fuels. The Volvo needed just 9:45.417 minutes to complete the 24.358 km combination of Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit and Nordschleife, translating into an average speed of just under 150 km/h. It was followed six seconds later by an LPG-driven Ford Focus RS ahead of an Audi A4 3.0 TDI.
Müller and Eickholt initially led the race in the “SPAT” class before a loss of charge pressure and rising engine temperatures pointed to a technical problem. The pit crew under the capable supervision of technical manager Felice Sgura could nevertheless quickly localize and repair the problem – a defective intercooler. After the replacement, the duo returned to the track with a vengeance to recoup lost time.
The green-and-white Volvo in Evonik design was quick to claw back first position and even a renewed drop in charge pressure towards the end of the race was unable to thwart success. After 6:15.59 hours, the Volvo V40 D5 passed the checkered flag as class champion. “I’m thrilled with this result. It’s our first victory since 2012. The car was a pleasure to drive over the entire distance; our chassis setup and the Pirelli tires worked faultlessly. We’re attributing the fall in charge pressure and resultant power slump to the high outside temperatures and will have to optimize the car here. It is great to be able to collect a cup again,” concluded Martin Müller who is responsible for the development of high performance products at HEICO SPORTIV.