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Category ArchiveBlancpain

David finalises his 2020 calendar returning to the NLS with Walkenhorst and Krognes!

Newly announced BRDC Member, 2 time pole sitter and 5 time podium finisher in 2019, David Pittard returns with Walkenhorst Motorsport, Team Norway Driver and qualifying lap record holder Christian Krognes to the Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie 2020 season!

For the first time Nürburgring specialists Walkenhorst Motorsport will enter a 2 driver line up for their #34 PRO class BMW M6 GT3 to compete for overall honours at the toughest race track in the world!

The newly renamed Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS), previously the Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (VLN), will host 9 championship races at the Nordschleife, 8 4hour races and the blue ribbon event of the NLS championship the 6hour race.

They uniquely combine the Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife to make the longest circuit in the world at 25km/lap and this, together with over 300m of elevation and the notoriously fickle Eifel weather, makes it the most challenging championship in the world. With up to 180+ cars entered from club racers to manufacturer supported “works” teams looking to prove themselves as the best, this is truly a race series like no other.

“When it was first mentioned that a 2 driver team with Christian was possible for 2020, I was Super excited! Chris and I get on very well off track, work well together and I believe we have full faith in each others ability to be the fastest drivers around the Nordschleife. Together I think we are a very competitive line up for NLS races and the NLS Championship!

Working closely with BMW Motorsport and Yokohama, Walkenhorst Motorsport have created a very competitive package for the NLS in the past 2years. In 2019 the team was able to achieve more podium’s than any other year as well as the N24hr Qualifying race win. In 2020 our aim will be to win VLN races!”

David will combine the NSL and previously announced Inter Continental GT Challenge (IGTC) with Walkenhorst Motorsport as they represent BMW on the world stage at the remaining legendary races Spa24hrs, Suzuka 10hrs, Indianapolis 8hrs and Kyalami 9hrs.

“I think the IGTC will further develop me as a driver as I will be driving and working with 5 other BMW Factory drivers. This is an important year for me where I will show my versatility, pace and race craft against the best drivers in the world! I have been working hard over the winter to improve myself and I can’t wait for the year to get started to see these gains!”

David will continue 2020 with support from Wilson Associates, & VBOX Motorsport.

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David Pittard – A multiple British & European Champion as well as “ARDS A” Performance Driver Coach has over 19years experience in the worldwide Motorsport industry. Specialising in Modern & Historic endurance racing, David proven his speed & versatility in a range of modern and historic machinery in a safe and controlled manner at circuits around the world.

NLS Championship – The NLS Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie is one of the largest series in the world. Nine times a year, 170 race cars – from close-to-production touring cars to full-blown GT3 cars – start on the world’s most beautiful and demanding race track, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Walkenhorst Motorsport -60 years of automotive passion – Our claim. Our conviction. Our passion. As a family-owned company it is important to meet these fundamental values. Not only in terms of our drivers, but also in terms of our team and our partners. Because quality creates trust, success brings responsibility and passion is our advantage. Constantly we expand our knowledge and collaborate on the target – the development of unique, perfectly tuned race car.

David announced as British Racing Drivers Club Member

British racing driver David Pittard has been announced as a full British Racing Drivers Club member having met the qualifying criteria!

The GT Endurance Racing Star, who is a former BRDC Rising Star, has graduated to a full member having achieved the qualifying results across Ginetta GT4 Supercup, British GT, VLN and Intercontinental GT Challenge.  

“Having seen a lot of my heros as members over the years, becoming a full BRDC member is an amazing achievement and I am hugely proud. I have a lot of people to thank for the opportunities I have been given that have lead to this achievement. I look forward to giving back to the club that has, no doubt, helped me in my career as a Rising Star to becoming a professional driver and full member”

In his first year as a BRDC Member, David will be contesting the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the world challenge for GT3 cars, with the BMW factory supported Walkenhorst Motorsport team and fellow BRDC member Nick Yellowly.

The BRDC is the most exclusive motor racing club, with members including the most successful drivers in the UK.

Membership of the British Racing Drivers’ Club is much coveted and very hard to achieve – it is only offered to those people who have met the high entry criteria and achieved the highest levels of motor racing or made a contribution to help others to do so in the sport.

The BRDC takes its responsibility as ‘Guardians of British motor sport extremely seriously. Not only does it maintain and operate the only circuit licensed to run a Grand Prix in Great Britain, it has also helped many young drivers to realise and develop their talent. These factors have undoubtedly contributed to Great Britain retaining its high profile and success in motor sport. This is a huge source of pride to the BRDC and its Members.

See www.brdc.co.uk for more information

Spa 24hrs 2019

The end of July saw the 71st running of the Spa 24hrs, 12 months on from when the Walkenhorst team won the biggest GT3 race in the world!

The Blancpain Endurance Championship’s crown jewel of the calendar is the 24hrs of Spa, bringing together the European Blancpain Endurance championship, and the worldwide Intercontinental GT Challenge, therefore meaning a record entry of 72 cars from around the world in a single class, which is the biggest grid in the world.

It would be David’s debut in the super competitive championship with Walkenhorst and the BMW Motorsport M6 GT3. David’s introduction would be in the AM class, which compromises of 3 Bronze Graded, Amateur drivers & 1 Silver Semi Pro driver who would be limited on driving time.

The week would start off with the Bronze driver test, allowin ght Bronze drivers to acclimatise themselves to the challenging Ardennes circuit on the Tuesday, before the famous Spa Parade taking place where all 72 cars drive on the public roads to the town of Spa which provides an amazing spectacle and allows the fans to get up super close and personal to the drivers and cars.

Thursday would then see the first serious track action taking place, with Free Practice, Pre Qualifying, Qualifying & Night practice. A very busy day for team and drivers! Couple that super busy day on track and air temperatures of 40degrees made it a super challenging day.
Due to the super hot temperatures the M6’s struggled with power and straightline speed, with the car being over 15kph down vs the 2 day test earlier in the month.
As the drivers cycled through the PRO #34 car with defending champion and David’s VLN team mate Christian Krognes coupled with regular Intercontinental GT Challenge BMW Factory drivers Nicky Catsberg and Mikkel Jensen, and #36 AM car team owner Henry Walkenhorst, Walkenhorst regular Norwegian Andrea Buchart and European debutant, American Don Yount for the 4 sessions of qualifying where an average time would determine the starting grid outside the top 20. Unfortunately the PRO BMWs could only manage #42 31st, #34 35th and the AM car qualifying 62nd and 8th in class.

After a super busy Thursday, Friday is a rest day as superpole takes place for the top 20 cars.

The weather could not be more different as race day started, as the super hot and humid conditions turned into summery storm conditions with a lot of rain forecast. Starting the race under safety car due to the amount of rain that was coming down, however with 72 GT3 cars with a large amount of aero operating on the cars, just after the first hour of the race was completed, the switch to slicks was happening. Due to pitstop strategy and impressive driving from starting driver Buchart, the #36 car made its way upto 41st from its 62nd placed grid start and 6th in class.

However a wheelnut failure on the outlap to slicks caused the car to loose a wheel and get stranded between Pouhon and the Pif Paf. Due to the rules, when the car can’t make it back to the pits under its own power the car has to be retired, meaning the #36 car was out before the race had barely begun. A very disappointing end to the great race.

“To experience the Spa24hrs, the European Blancpain Endurance championship and the Intercontinental GT Challenge, was an amazing experience. To be on the timing sheets with some of the drivers I’ve always looked upto was brilliant and to debut with the reigning champions gave me a great amount of confidence. To be team mates with BMW factory drivers and learn from them helped me massively, and to match all the factory drivers in qualifying, my first time qualifying on Pirelli tyres, was what I set out to achieve which gave me a huge confidence boost. It was a shame not to have a run in the race, especially with such mixed conditions, which is where I feel I really excel. However after my performance in qualifying, I felt I had achieved everything I needed to personally, but I would have liked to have had a go in the race!”

Nurburgring 24hrs Quali Race Triumph

Having come off the back of a disappointing start to the year, The Walkenhorst team needed to put into practice everything they’d learned ready for the Nurburgring 24hrs Qualification race. A 6hour race on the revised Nurburging circuit which would be used during the 24hrs in June. The teams lined up was further strengthened by BMW Factory driver Nick Yellowly who would join the team for the major Nurburgring endurance races.

A mixed forecast weekend made preparations for quali race tricky. A simulation top30 qualifying shootout would determine the grid on Sunday morning after 2 qualifying sessions taking place on the Saturday. The Walkenhorst M6 would easily qualify in the top 30 during the dry qualifying sessions on Saturday, however when the rain fell over night, the top 30 qualifying would become a lot trickier. Christian was the man taking qualifying duties and lined the car up P26 for the start of the 6hour race.

With the track now drying the decision was made to start the car on cut slicks as committing to wets would already seal our fate and we had nothing to loose. Christian made a fantastic start to initially hold position before managing to pick off the cars on wets ahead to runP2 at the end of his short stint. The #101 car would then run in the top 3 for the remainder of the race before cycling out into P2 after the final stop, less than 10secs behind the sister ROWE Racing M6.

Kronges took over the car for the final hour and chased down Jesse Krohn before passing him with 3 laps to go and pulling out a comfortable winning margin.

“What an amazing feeling to stand ontop of the podium at the Green Hell! It was not something I was expecting when I woke up and saw the rain this morning! However a necessary gamble at the beginning put us in contention, and once dry we knew we had the pace to run at the front and we did. Chris did a great job at the end to keep it cool and pounce when the opportunity presented itself! It’s the perfect dress rehearsal for the big one, so hopefully same again, especially with a BMW 1-2-3!”