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Class win and vice champion title for PoLe Racing Team

The first 24-hour race in Austin, Texas (USA) ended with the best seasonal results of the PoLe Racing Team: Class win and vice champion of the intercontinental ranking, intercontinental Rookie champion and on top the fourth place in the overall classification of the daily ranking. For Johannes Kirchhoff (Iserlohn), Gustav Edelhoff (Hemer), Elmar Grimm (Münster), Ingo Vogler (Schalksmühle) and Max Edelhoff (Hemer) this season’s finale was the highlight of an amazing season.

Just as usual, the quintet shared the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS of Car Colllection. Right from the beginning all of the pilots got along perfectly with the so far unknown 5.515 kilometers race track which is used for the Formula 1 USA Grand Prix for a couple of years now. The 24-hour race was divided into two stages: Saturday 14 hours, Sunday 10 hours. In between, Parc-Fermé rules applied, repairs on the car were punished with lap deduction.

The PoLe pilots drove a tactically great race with fast laps and a cool head from the beginning. Despite the strong competitors the white-blue Audi was always in the Top Ten and even led the race some time due to pit stops. In the end, the five pilots drove 590 laps which accounts for a distance of 3253.85 kilometers. Place four in the total ranking and place one in the class A6-Am were the just reward.

When the final driver Gustav Edelhoff passed the finish line all team members were moved, waved from the pit wall, waved flags and hugged each other. The whole exertion of the last hours fell off, joy was limitless. “It was dark and shortly before the end it also started to rain a bit, the race track was slippery”, said the 57-year-old. “I was extremely concentrated to finish the race safely. Our lead to the fifth was big enough but in motor sports anything can happen. I have already experienced so much, but the last laps were really moving.”

Thereby, the PoLe Racing Team became vice champion in the drivers as well as in the team ranking in the first intercontinental ranking of the International 24-hour Series. To this belonged the 24 hours in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in January as the Asia event, the best score from the races in Europe―for PoLe that was Portugal―and now the season’s finale in the American Austin. Max Edelhoff was even awarded the title of the best Rookie for pilots under 25 years the second time within a couple of week: At first the international, no the intercontinental.

“Of course, that was the highlight of this great season”, said Max Edelhoff. “Everyone dreams of such a season finale. And without such strong team members I would not be Rookie champion now. I can only say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this.”

“We were a homogenous driving pair with the perfect pit crew”, emphasized Johannes Kirchhoff. “Our Audi was extremely reliable, the pit stops proceeded exceptionally quick and without problems. The ultimate achievement.” To Ingo Vogler’s mind, the great cooperation was one of the keys to success: “In our team nobody had to prove himself, nobody had to demonstrate who might be the fastest. We are a team and have perfectly mastered the 132 racing hours.”

“In the International 24-hours Series fairness is very prominent”, said Gustav Edelhoff. “There are misunderstandings everywhere but as a whole this series is ideal for us amateurs. I feel very comfortable.” Elmar Grimm: “One must not forget the versatile and interesting race tracks. Beginning in the Persian Gulf, to Italy, Austria, France and Portugal and now also the USA. This is pure variety, this is fun. I am already looking forward to the new season.”

By the way, the new season is starting―as usual―at the Persian Gulf on the second weekend in January 2018 with the words: “Clear the ring for the 24 hours in Dubai.”

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