An extremely late call up to the 3rd round of the NLS Nürburgring endurance series meant that Tom would be competing in the new M2 CS racing series with Walkenhorst racing with teammates being Matt Greenwood and GT World Challenge Silver cup champion Thomas Neubaur. Tom caught the first flight to Germany, and with all COVID tests and procedures completed, he was ready to hit the ground running on the Friday evening test session.
Despite limited running in practice due to red flags, Tom felt comfortable in the car and the 25km long circuit going into race day, setting the fastest time out of his teammates which was good enough for the top 4 in class.
Saturday was to see a 2 -hour qualifying session, with the main 4 -hour race starting shortly after with little turnaround time. This meant, pressure was on for a good but more importantly safe qualifying in order to start the race well; easier said than done on the most dangerous circuit in the world.
Neubaur and Greenwood both set respectable times, good enough to see the Purple Dot Walkenhorst car on the front row in class. With the new tyres to be saved for the race, Tom used old tyres to get some more seat time in preparation for the race. When he crossed the start/finish line to complete his lap, he went straight to the top of the timesheets putting the #889 car on pole position for the long race ahead.
Being the quickest out of his teammates, Tom was to start the race and complete a stint that lasted just short of 85 mins.
Off the line Tom got a great start and edged ahead of Weidinger in P2. With different cars in the starting group, Tom got caught up in the infamous traffic which demoted him to P4 on the first lap. On lap 2 Tom made a brilliant move on the Grand Prix circuit section of the lap boosting him up to P3 with the 2 leaders still close in front. Little traffic meant that Tom could really capitalise on his superior speed and set the fastest lap of the weekend to catch the front two. Using his race craft, he then made a move up to 2nd on the Dottinger Hohe straight which put him right behind Weidinger with 3 laps of the stint remaining.
The slower traffic in front meant that the gap ebbed and flowed until Tom made up some significant ground be intelligently letting a faster car overtake which then jeopardised Weidinger’s line for the next corner. Tom swiftly took advantage and took the lead with one lap remaining. Tom set multiple purple sectors on his final lap as well as making some extremely brave and decisive moves on slower traffic in front to pull a 4 second gap over P2 in class as he came into the pits for a driver change.
The remaining 3 hours of the race saw the Purple Dot Walkenhorst car drop to P2 after a great fight from Matt Greenwood. The last stint saw Neubaur slowly catch the leader throughout, but the gap was just too much to claw back so the trio had to settle for P2 in class; a great result nonetheless!
“First of all I’d like to thank everyone for the opportunity to race at the Nürburgring again. I’m super happy with my performance getting pole, fastest lap and leading the race in our class. Huge thanks must go out to Purple dot and Walkenhorst Motorsport for giving me the tools to achieve this. I really hope I’ll be back soon to race round the best circuit in the world, and for us to go one better to the top step of the podium.”
Photo Credit: SWOOSH Photography