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VLN5 2019

VLN5 2019

It turns out that the VLN5 weekend would start the weekend before at the Spa24hrs. In the final couple of hours the #34 car, that is the same chassis as the #34 car used in VLN, was turned around by an Audi into the wall, badly damaging the rear end of the car, but crucially, finishing the race in P12 still.

However, with the cars only leaving Spa on Monday afternoon, the car could only be stripped and parts ordered on Tuesday to arrive later in the week. With parts still arriving on Friday morning to the workshop in Melle near Osnabruk, Friday testing for VLN5 on the full Nordschlife was lost, however the super impressive Walkenhorst team finished rebuilding the car at around 17:00 Friday evening and arriving at the track at 22:00 ready for Qualifying on Saturday. Not the most ideal start to the weekend, however a super impressive effort by the team to work tirelessly throughout the week to get the car to the starting grid.

The weekend would start shaking the car down in wet conditions in qualifying. The car would not miss a beat throughout the day and throughout the 6hour, the highlight of the VLN calendar.

With the woes of VLN3 still in mind, the last time the races had been run in wet conditions, confidence wasn’t high and this proved correct as the #34 car qualified P31 in torrential conditions… well behind the next GT3 car in the field. However, car in the race, car shaken down, 6hours to get back upto where the #34 car deserved to be!

The circuit had dried since the torrential qualifying, making the decision between wets and slicks a tough decision, however wets were the correct decision to start the race. David would start the race making quick work of the 911 Cup cars and GT4 cars starting around him, by the time he made it onto the Norschlife and hooking onto the back of the other GT3 runners on Yokohama and Dunlop tyres. The track was drying rapidly however, meaning tyre conservation on the dryer part of the circuit which massively benefitted the #34 car, however in a similar strategy to the N24hr Quali race David and the team made the aggressive strategy to make the call to change to slicks first vs all of the cars in the race. After a tricky first lap on slicks, lap 2 onwards of David’s stint for the rest of the race was dry meaning a large amount of time was made up in those first 2 laps on slicks making the gamble worthwhile and bringing the car upto P5. Handing over to Jody Fannin & Christian Krognes the #34 car would hover around P5 overall to the end of the race, producing the fastest lap of the race.

“Not the result we were hoping for coming off 2 good results at the N24hr Q race and VLN4, however given the situation with the car only being readied less than 12hours before qualifying it was a credit to the team for preparing a such a good car that we could shake it down in qualifying in horrible conditions and then it run faultlessly throughout the longest VLN race of the year. However loosing the tracktime on Friday meant that the car wasn’t fine tuned enough to put us into podium contention.”