VLN1 was an incredible spectacle. Not only was the weather unusually perfect, but the action was none-stop. For the spectators, this was simply awesome.
For the drivers, it was hectic, chaotic and very hard work. While we made it through the maelstrom in our GT86 and scooped a victory in the TMG GT86 Cup (full story later), other drivers weren’t so lucky.
And while it’s always heart-breaking to score a DNF (did not finish), it’s even worse when you’re taken out through no fault of your own.
To wit, I present Exhibit A:
The M235i pack you can see are RACING, hard. So are the GT3s that are about to lap them.
But here’s what I see and I know.
- A blue flag is only advisory. It just says “There are fast guys behind you”. Nothing else. Every single driver, of the 470 racing on Saturday should know that too. It’s on the Nordschleife Permit test.
- When you commit to Flugplatz (a double-apex right hander) at full speed in a 380hp BMW M235i, with no real downforce, your line is SET IN STONE. It’s none-optional. Deviate and you will crash, or lose massive time and create a ‘ripple’ effect of backing up traffic behind you (more risk).
- The AMG GT3 that tries to overtake is DOING IT WRONG. A sorted GT3 is easy to drive. It’s even easier when you follow a ‘normal’ race car at ‘normal’ race speed, and that must explain why so many GT3 drivers seem to forget that even though we’re mostly slower, we’re still driving to the LIMITS of our cars. We can’t change line in the blink of an eye without losing control. I’ve driven GT3s, I know what I’m talking about.
And I think the driver of the M235i knows that too. Which is why he ALMOST puts his helmet through the windscreen of the AMG. But why throw another €1000 down the toilet when you’ve just been handed a bill that could be anywhere from €5000 to €50,000 through no fault of your own?
Actually, when that AMG GT3 drives away to eventually rejoin the race, leaving the M6 and M235i in the wall… yeah, the helmet might have been worth it after all.