Practice took place on Friday afternoon with Job driving the first hour and Tom driving the second. The Walkenhorst Motorsport team had worked through the week to make changes to the car, trying to give Tom and Job the edge over their competitors. Tom went out to test the changes but didn’t find that they suited how he drove the car. Despite this, he was still the fastest Cup 5 car in the team, so it was looking good for race day!
A few changes were made over night in time for qualifying as black clouds loomed over the Eiffel. The clouds didn’t fail to deliver as the rain poured down just before the 90 minute qualifying session began. The team decided it was best for Job to go out and do a few laps and complete a longer run (as he lacked experience round the extremely intimidating Nordshleife).
After turning 3 laps (around half an hour in the car), it was Tom’s chance to set a benchmark time. Amazingly, in his first ever time around the 15 mile circuit in the wet, his time was good enough for P2 in class, only 5 seconds off the best time.
Tom made the decision to come in and save the car for the race, with the risk of crashing ever increasing by the minute. By the end of qualifying the pair had dropped to P5, but were looking very strong for the race.
The race plan for the #681 car was for Job to start and complete two stints of 5 and 6 laps respectively. Tom would then take over and complete his 7 laps (over an hour in the car), with Job going back in for the sprint finish.
A difficult tyre call before the race, meant that Job would start the 4 hour race on slick tyres, with half of the circuit being dry and half still being wet!
A very tricky start resulted in Job dropping down the order to P9 in class before the end of the first lap. Throughout his double stint, Job held his own and brought the car in P8.
Determined to get back up to the front of the pack, Tom set about chasing hard and instantly impressed with his lap times. Tom was on his own for the most part of his stint, that was until the last 2 laps where he caught the FK Racing car for P4, from almost from 40 seconds behind. The last lap of Tom’s stint was a fierce battle, with Tom trying to use the quicker traffic to force the door open round the very narrow Nordshleife.
With around 5km of the circuit remaining, the Walkenhorst BMW GT3 car came through and did just that, and Tom used his momentum extremely well and got passed on what isn’t considered to be an overtaking area. At the end of the lap, Tom came in to the pits and handed the #682 to Job again for the last 40 minutes.
Job's last stint was a trouble free one, only losing one place due to one other car being out of sequence in the pit stops. It was to be P5 as he crossed the line of the tough 4 hour race; another solid result.
Tom Wood: “I’m satisfied with that result. We fell back quite a bit at the start so to catch all of that time back up that we lost is a big achievement in itself. A big thanks goes out to Walkenhorst Motorsport as they were faultless all weekend and gave us a great car to be competitive with. The highlight of my weekend has probably got to be qualifying, where I was fast enough to be pole but just got held up by a double waved yellow flag. Even so I have definitely stamped my mark here at VLN and can’t wait to keep progressing over the next few months! “
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