It’s been a long wait but racing is underway once more, but not without precautions. Strict COVID guidelines meant that there were no spectators and a highly reduced number of personnel at the circuit, a very unusual experience for all involved.
Tom completed his mandatory driving ‘permit’ test the week before the first round of the much anticipated Nürburgring NLS series, in order to be qualified to compete round the most gruelling circuit in the world.
Tom was to compete for the extremely successful, factory supported Walkenhorst Motorsport team who have Spa 24 hours and multiple wins at the Nordshleife in both GT3 and GT4 to their name. He will also be also be assisted by Purple Dot management.
Heading into the weekend of a two hour practice (split between his two teammates Job Van Uitert and Josh Hislop), a 90 min qualifying and a four hour endurance race, Tom was feeling confident about the race ahead.
The early qualifying session began with the infamous Nürburgring weather taking a turn for the worse just as Tom headed out on slick tyres. Despite this he pushed on, looking good for a Top 5 time until the rain forced him to abandon the lap and head for the pits. His teammates Job and Josh were a little more fortunate with the weather, posting respectable times for their first show on the Nordshleife. A strong grid meant the trio would line up 11th with a long race ahead.
Due to his strong pace, Tom would finish the race while Job would start and Josh would take the 2nd leg. Job made a strong start climbing up to 9th in class at the end of his 80 minute stint before handing over the car to Josh who held his own and maintained position.
A great strategy of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team meant that Tom would complete 2 laps before coming in for a ‘Splash n Dash’ pit stop (fuel only), before completing the sprint finish to the end. This would mean that they would safely make it to the finish as well as gaining time on the other cars. With 2 laps completed in his stint, Tom caught and passed the 8th place car and set about chasing the two in front. Despite catching 6th and 7th place at 10 secs per lap, Tom would just fall short and would have to settle for 8th out of an extremely experienced grid.
Tom Wood: “I’m super happy despite the seemingly average result. The guys in front of us have years of experience around this track which is everything as it is so long and demanding. My times were good enough to put me in the Top 6 which I’m over the moon with. The Nordshleife is to be respected but also to be thoroughly enjoyed which I certainly did this weekend! I honestly cannot wait to drive it again! After I have has a quick lie down!”
Tom’s next campaign is in two weeks time on 11/12th July where the NLS series will host its first ever double header... two four hour races in two days. To keep a track of Tom’s purple dot #681 car throughout the weekend, you can download the Nürburgring ‘GPS Auge Racing’ app and track the cars’ whereabouts as well as live speed.
Further to this this, each race will be live streamed with English commentary on the Nürburgring official YouTube Channel.
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