Race Review 38. DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen (VLN 2)

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A  new season brings us a new race car, our Aston Martin GT4. This weekend we participated at the first VLN race of this year. Because of the bad weather the last few weeks, we did not have any chances to test the car previous to this race.

 

 

The Eifel region meant well and we were welcomed by sunshine on Saturday morning. Competitors on our car this race were Ronny Tobler and Andy Sammers. During qualifying the track dried and was ready for the race start at noon. The grid was very large with over 200 competing cars.  The start is a flying start and the grid is separated into three staring groups.  The three groups are led onto the track with a time delay to evenly spread the cars on the 25 kilometre long circuit. Ronny was the starting driver, in his rear view mirror the mighty Aston Martin Rapide S Hydrogen. The start including the first lap went without issues. “The Aston Martin GT4 gives its driver a lot of confidence from the start and is very easy to handle even when things get a bit unstable”, says Ronny Tobler after his first stint. At the end of the first lap at break point on the start/finish straight the car was wobbly. Two curves later in the Mercedes Arena the tire separated from the rim. Ronny drove slowly into the pit. The analysis from Pirelli showed that we had a puncture. Below 1.2 bar the tire separates from the rim.  After a seven minute delay the Aston #177 could re-join the race with a set of new tires.

 

Already in lap 2 there were accidents happening that resulted into many yellow and double yellow flag situations. Double yellow means that the drivers have to reduce their speed to 60km/h. The actual doing is verified by GPSAuge, a GPS and mobile data system, that tracks the cars location and speed and feeds the information back into the pit. “Because of the new penalty system the drivers break very hard when yellow flags are shown. This resulted in many ‘almost accidents’ in front of me”, Ronny Tobler quoted after the first stint. After 6 laps Ronny came in and handed #177 over to Andy Sammers, who drove his first VLN race with us. Also Andys path led him to many yellow flags, but after three laps he found his rhythm and continuously improved his lap times. “It was incredible fun out there but at the same time worrying how much crashes happened in this race”, said Andy Sammers after his first stint. “We can be very happy about what we achieved and I very much look forward to the next race in two weeks time”.

After Andys stint, Ronny took over for a second time to carry the Aston over the finish line. Also in the last stint many accidents happened what made fast laps difficult. Ronny also continuously improved his lap times and brought the Aston safely into Parc Fermé, the locked down area, where cars have to wait for possible objections from other drivers or teams.

“For a first test and race we achieved the maximum possible. Without the tire damage in lap 2 we might have reached a podium finish which are promising perspectives. Many thanks belong to the team which made this event possible, thanks to Oliver Uhlmann, Walle Bresin and Jörg van Ommen Autosport for a fantastic preparation and care during the race”, says Ronny Tobler after the race.

In two weeks time we start into the second race of the VLN season on April 27th 2013. A summary TV show is broadcasted by Sport1 and will be shown on TV Saturday April 20th at 10:45.

This season we publish our photos on Facebook in an Album per Race (Link).

© ARED Motorsport, Photos: Marc Weichert Foto and Julius van Ommen. All rights reserved.