Amazing first round of VLN at the Nurburgring Nordschleife!! Was completely blown away by the scale of the racing, the car’s and of course, the track. Being surrounded by top fully professional drivers from across the world, it was definitely an eye opener.
Friday morning I passed the test to receive my permit B licence to allow me to be able to race at the Nürburgring. The test consisted of pounding round the Nordschleife in a bmw 3 series a number of times to prove i could handle the Green Hell.
2 hours after the test I was in the BMW M240i Race car for the first time. Unfortunately due to a red flag, I only got 1 lap round the Nordschleife section before testing was called off for the day as I was the last driver in the car. Getting used to a “heavy” GT car with slicks and wings wasn’t easy having come from a formula ford 1600 around Knockhill.
I was still confident in my ability that I could get in the car on Saturday and deliver. Saturday morning arrived and I was all geared up for qualifying. Due to the bad fog that rolled in over the Green Hell, qualifying was delayed for over 2 hours. Finally being able to qualify, I was the second driver in the car to set down my 1 Lap qualifier before handing it over to my teammate Michael Llyons. Feeling quick out there, I was on the pace immediately keeping the Purple Dot Walkenhorst #681 car on P9. Through a fast sequence of corners, I took one of the right hand kinks flat out and ran out of road on the exit and dipped a wheel on the grass at approx. 140mph. It was all good though I still kept the foot to the floor and kept the car pointing straight and still flat out. Nearing the end of the lap, after the famous Karossell corner, qualifying was interrupted by a ‘code 60’ (cars have to slow down to 60kph due to a crash ahead). A car had crashed and ended up over the safety barriers. I immediately radioed my engineer to tell him where the code 60 was and how it wouldn’t be cleared in time for Michael Llyon’s qualifying laps.
In the end, Tom Wrigley, Llyons and i stuck the car on P7 for qualifying.
The race is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I had the pleasure of being on the last 1 hour stint in the car to cross the chequered flag. Getting used to the driver change procedures wasn’t easy and I’ve got a lot of learning to do. Also getting used to GT3 cars diving down the inside of you just as you’re about to turn in, isn’t easy either. Actually…getting used to anything at the Nordschleife isn’t easy, but I’m working hard and constantly striving for perfection to impress the works BMW outfit. The race ended where we started in P7. The team were very happy at the result and it’s a great place to build from. It only sunk in when Ubi our Engineer came over the radio to congratulate me on completing my first VLN “Sebastian, congratulations on your first VLN!!!”. Ubi, you are a legend!!
Well done to my teammates Tom and Michael. Very quick and overall good lads. Was a pleasure!
The ‘What The Fork’ #681 Purple Dot Walkenhorst car drove as well as it looked and I cannot wait to be back in the car for VLN 2 on April 13th. Thanks to Walkenhorst Motorsport and BMW Motorsport for being so welcoming and providing me with a fast car and great hospitality.
Thanks to my sponsors What The Fork and Redhouse Fencing for the partnership which allows me to race.
Thanks to my dad who was there with me and the rest of my family who support me no matter where I go.
Always racing for The Cookie Jar Foundation ?
The Green Hell…it was a pleasure. See you on April 13th ??