As part of a preparation for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring Marc VDS Team banked excellent mileage at VLN3
Nürburgring, Germany - 27 April 2013: BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS banked excellent mileage at VLN3 as part of their preparation for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Markus Palttala, Henri Moser and Richard Göransson finished in 12th and Andrea Piccini, Dominik Schwager, Max Martin and Yelmer Buurman 16th in the SP9 class.
After the cancellation of VLN10 in 2012, and both the first round and first test in 2013 had left the team short of track time, it was very important to get as many laps as possible. With only one car available for Friday's running, Saturday saw a packed schedule for the team in preparation for next month's 24 Hours.
The four hour race started under the safety car in abysmal weather and the conditions made progress extremely hard for all three cars. The cold was causing problems with tyre temperatures, meaning that there was very little grip at the beginning and starting drivers Piccini, Göransson and Buurman had to show extreme caution.
Towards the end of the stint improvements were seen in grip levels, which gave some confidence. As time wore on so a dry line appeared, and for the final part of the race the team were able to try slick tyres as well. Running all the tyres Michelin had to offer was a strong bonus, especially as conditions for the 24 Hours often changes very quickly. Being prepared for this and having knowledge of different conditions is vital for a strong result.
All the drivers had some chance to drive a number of laps, especially Buurman. The Dutch driver drove the track in a racing car for the first time in Friday practice and in the race ran three hours in #27 before switching to #25 at the end in the dry; a total of around three hours 40 minutes.
A small issue with an exhaust, which broke a damper and also punctured a tyre, ended the race for #27 just before the race finish, while running strongly.
Top ten running and some strong pace set the team in good stead for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, where the team aim for a podium result - one better than the fourth place achieved in 2012.
Sebastien Metz, Technical Director:
"The objective was to get as much running as possible with all three cars on the Nordschleife. We achieved that objective, and also the objective to qualify Yelmer for the 24 Hours. We got experience of the Michelin tyres in all kinds of conditions, wet and cold and some dry running. This was the first chance to get all the drivers together and this was a challenge, but for one weekend's preparation the outcome is pretty positive."
Richard Göransson, #26 BMW Z4 GT3
"This weekend was so important after so many cancellations in the build-up for us. For me, to get back in the car and start to work with this team was my main target for this weekend. I wanted to get the car back to Markus for the second stint and maybe I was actually too cautious at first, but it got better through the stint. This is a great team to work with. For sure, we are better prepared than we were one day ago! I'm looking forward to getting some more mileage before the 24 Hours, and do a full test with the team and get to know everyone a little better."
Yelmer Buurman, #25 and #27 BMW Z4 GT3
"I did two full stints in #27, which was about three hours, then I had twenty minutes' rest and then got in #25 and finished the race. This was pretty cool for me because it meant that I could try not only the wet conditions at the start but the slick tyres in the dry too. It was my first time on slicks in a race car on the Nordschleife, and it was really nice. The speed was pretty good in the end, just a lot of yellow flags everywhere disrupted it a little. The VLN is really cool - it's something completely different. 200 cars on the track and the pitlane... It's really different!"
Marc VDS Racing Team