Sep 2019

VLN 7

7dc0912c-4348-456a-b7bb-74c08e652b91

Overall Podium at VLN 7

After yet another VLN race punctuated by showers, we fought hard and ended up with another podium at the end of four hours in VLN 7.

Qualifying was a full wet affair and culminated in a tenth place start me and team mates Nicky Catsburg and David Pittard in the #34 Playstation BMW M6 GT3.

I was given the task of starting the race on a wet track, but the rain had stopped, so conditions would be ever changing. I knew we would struggle for the opening couple of laps, but there was already a slight dry line at Adenau Bridge on the formation lap, so was confident the track would come to us. It still took a while for a dry line to appear, especially under the trees but with every lap it got better and better. The car came alive and I was able to make up places.

From lap 3 the Walkenhorst Motorsport engineer came on the radio to say I was the fastest car on the track and I was making up places every lap. I pitted at the end of lap 8 and passed the then leading Phoenix Audi at the end of the lap and pitted from the lead. A dry line had appeared and the decision was made to change to slick tyres at the pit stop to hand over to Nicky Catsburg. Nicky continued the good work but after a lap the rain returned and he was back in for wets after two laps and resumed in P5.

After completing a strong stint on a track that was now dry again, he handed over to David Pittard who resumed on slick tyres and the track, for once stayed dry to the end, David bringing the car home a strong third.

It was a strong team effort from everyone in very difficult conditions and we have to be happy with another podium, but it would be nice to have a dry race for a change!

VLN 8 is coming up in two weeks on 12 October.

VLN 6

f7753d78-2e29-46bf-8673-46683d26192a


After a very sunny Friday, the weather changed to the now customary for VLN 2019, damp and grey Saturday. It's fair to say that our package is more competitive in the dry than the wet and this wasn't ideal but we had to keep pushing and see where we were at the end of the race. David Pittard and I were joined for the weekend by Nicky Catsburg while Christian Krognes was away on family duties. I was first out on Saturday morning for qualifying in very tricky, wet conditions. This was my first lap in "proper" wet conditions on the Nordschleife and, as is expected, it was a bit of a voyage of discovery. I did my one lap, then handed over to Nicky for his lap and David finished the session with a few laps and ended in P20 on the grid.

David started the race and the rain eased almost immediately. By the end of the first hour some were changing to cut slicks and at the first stop David stayed in the car and changed to full slicks. As the track dried, the car came alive and he made up some places into the top ten when he handed over to Nicky. There were reports from other drivers that the track was now wet in parts, so Nicky was sent out on wet tyres and brought the car in to hand over to me after four laps. As he was on his in lap the rain fell heavier and I could see some of the lead cars moving around and aquaplaning on the live feed. Nicky brought the car in but as I was about to leave the box, the crew spotted an issue with the left rear tyre, so a replacement was brought out and put on the car before I could splash my way down the pitlane. I was sent out with clear orders to keep it on the road and after a couple of laps of feeling my way around I felt more comfortable. The rain came down even harder for the last couple of laps and I just concentrated on being consistent and safe and brought the car home in P7. I can honestly say that I have never had to concentrate so hard during a stint as I had to in VLN 6, but I have completed a stint on the Nordschleife in very wet conditions which is good experience for the future. On to VLN 7 where we can hopefully have some dry running and get the car at the sharp end again. Thanks to Walkenhorst Motorsport as always for their top work.