VLN 2/3 would see Tom joined by Josh Hislop, and experienced GT driver Will Tregurtha who has had previous experience in the BMW 240i R around the Nordshleife.
Friday would be the first gauge of how the Walkenhorst Motorsport car was feeling after some upgrades after the previous round. Will and Josh were in the car first setting respectable lap times. Josh handed over the car to Tom but unfortunately the session was to be red flagged due to a serious incident on track. Tom wasn’t able to turn any laps, but luckily all drivers walked away from the smash unharmed.
Tom was to go straight into qualifying on Saturday morning without any feel for the car before hand. Will qualified the car, putting in a great lap setting the 4th fastest time and placing the #681 car on the 2nd row going into the first of 4 hour races. Tom put in a respectable time but after coming across the infamous Nordshleife traffic, he was unable to better Will’s time.
After a strong start to the race, Will was able to hold P4 around the first lap of his 6 lap stint. On the long back straight however, Will struggled to hold position, and started dropping back. After his stint the #681 car was down in P7 with Josh next to get in the car for 8 laps. Struggling with pace, Josh dropped down to P11 before handing the car over to Tom for the final stint of 10 laps (which is around 1 hour 40mins). Fighting hard, Tom managed to wrestle his way back up the order, securing an 8th place finish in class, with his lap times putting him in the top 3 quickest. Despite the good pace, the Walkenhorst team worked into the night to try and resolve the loss of power issue for the next day.
Another dry day at the Nürburgring would mean that it was going to be a fast qualifying session, with the drivers risking it all to be at the front of the grid for the race. This was clear to see as the first lap saw the first crash of many throughout the day.
Due to this, Will (who was first in the driving seat) was unable to set a time as he handed over to Josh. This time an oil Spillage was to hinder Josh on both of his laps meaning it was down to Tom to try and get the Purple Dot Walkenhorst Motorsport car up at the sharp end.
This didn’t phase him as he set one of the fastest sector 1, 2 and 3 times of the session. Luck wasn’t on the #681 car’s side however, as yet more incidents on track meant all of the drivers had to slow for them, meaning lap times were hindered once more.
Unfortunately Tom’s time of 9 mins 21 seconds would put the car back in P10. But with a strong set up for the race, the trio were confident for the 4 hours ahead.
Will was to start the race once more, and with a great start, he began to move up the order. By the end of his 6 lap stint, he held P3 with a good gap over the group behind.
Josh took over for the next 8 laps (90mins) but struggled with the traffic around him. Even so, he handed the car over to Tom with no damage. Tom then set about climbing back up the order, with the Walkenhorst strategy playing perfectly into his hands.
Tom made hard but fair overtakes on his competition, passing 3 cars on track and using the slower traffic as a barrier between him and his competitors behind.
With 2 laps left he was in P6, catching P5 and P4 at a rate of over 5 secs a lap with only 15 secs between him and the car in front. It was too little too late however, and Tom had to settle for P6 in class, still a very strong result, with his times, yet again, being good enough to achieve a top 3 result.
Tom Wood: “First of all, a big thanks has to go to Uby and Stevie, our engineers, and the whole Walkenhorst Motorsport crew for working extremely hard to give us a competitive car for the 2nd race. I’m super happy with my times this weekend and also with the progression my teammates and I have made.
To be fighting up in the top 3 in only our third race round here, you’ve got to be satisfied with that. I have absolutely loved racing round here, there are GT3 cars overtaking us that are over 1 min faster but then there are cars we have to negotiate that are over a minute slower than us... it makes for some interesting racing that’s for sure! I can’t wait to come back here and race again soon!
Facebook: Tom Wood
LinkedIn: Tom Wood