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VLN9 2019

VLN9 2019

The final round of the 2019 VLN championship was finally apon the Walkenhorst racing team and British driver David Pittard. A recent run of great results from overall an up and down year, meant that another strong result was on the cards, especially with favourable weather predicted for race day!

A BMW private test was available on Friday, where the team took the opportunity to further develop the Yokohama tyre.

Race day loomed where David was nominated for qualifying duties again, however traffic baulked his lap meaning only a P7 start was possible.

Jody Fannin would start the race, however an issue in getting temp into the Yokohama tyres at the start meant that over the first 2 laps he dropped a large amount of time, before then being stuck behind the #42 Schnitzer car for the remainder of his stint.
Kronges would then jump back in to make up the lost time by setting some very fast lap times. The early stop for the first stint meant that the #34 car was out of sync in strategy but Kronges made big moves to clear traffic quickly so that his charge through the field wasn’t haulted.

Kronges would then hand over to David, who would continue the #34 cars charge up the field, and would challenge the #911 Manthey Porsche for the lead of the race as it exited the pits, but again wouldn’t lead across the line due to the straight line speed of the Porsche along the Dottinger Hohe. However with the 2 cars on different strategies, David would slot in and go with the #911 car rather than battle.

Due to David’s pace, the team double stinted David to finish the race and challenge for the podium, as the #34 car was running a net 4th after pitstops. A big fight for P2-P5 started with the #911 car down the road, the #5 Phoenix Audi starting the final stint P2 and the Falken Porsche P3, the #34 car P4 and the charging #6 Black Falcon Mercedes in P5. Initially with the advantage David pushed the Falken Porsche with works driver Patrick Pilet onboard to try and gain P3, however in his attempt to, David was forced off the road by the #4 car, luckily on the GP circuit where there is plenty of run off, and then a few laps later by the #6 Mercedes through Weirseifen. However David kept the car going and in touch with the top 5, however towards the end of his 7 lap stint was suffering from tyre degradation vs the other cars with shorter stints on their tyres meaning he couldn’t challenge further. However drama struck on the last lap and post race as the #911 car came together with a slower car dropping it out of the race, and then the #4 car getting a time penalty for a yellow flag infringement meaning the #34 car finished the season on the podium!

“Another crazy race. The start was less than ideal, but the strategy worked in our favour. We dropped almost 90secs off the lead in the first few laps, so to have clawed that back shows the pace of the car which is really good! I was disappointed to have been bullied around by the other cars through my second stint, but with the strategy we were on, our tyres were always the limiting factor, but it was what we needed to get us back in the game. Another big double stint pulled also highlighted some areas of improvement to make over winter so I’m looking forward to coming back stronger! A huge thank you to the Walkenhorst team who have looked after me so well and gave me competitive cars to compete so well against some of the best in the business all year!”

DPM