25.09.2010 - Best in class at the 8th VLN race of the season
For the first time this season Valentin started on the BMW 120d Coupé of his fathers eco:racing-team at the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and that as the only driver on the car. As the car didn't start this year and it is prescribed by the regulations, the car had to go over the performance test at Manthey Racing on Friday afternoon. On the way there the trailer got a puncture and the whole schedule was cluttered. 40 minutes late and the performance test wasn't possible that day. All in vain? Fortunately, the test crew agreed to make the performance test on Saturday morning at 6:30 h and it was possible to start at the race event. Valentin arrived at Nürburgring on Friday night, because he makes his internship for his engineering studies and didn't know anything of the stressful day of his father.
After a very short night the BMW came to the performance test and Valentin had to go to the document verification. Valentin has also been on a test mission for the company Autoflug, which is usually in the military sector and develops and produces protective suits for pilots and tank crews. This know-how will now come to the best of racing drivers and Valentin is currently testing the new driver's suit named VentSuit that cools the driver with air. The suit is already FIA-certified, but had to be checked by the technical commissioner separately.
After the driver's briefing at 7:45h the rain tires were mounted for the wet track and the qualifying started at 8:30h. After a few laps Valentin was with a time of 12:22.3 minutes on the first place in his class and on the 171st of 201 overall.
For the race rain was predicted and after the sun came out before the start, Valentin decided to start with intermediates (tires for wet and dry road). Because of a very large starting field of 198 cars, which started in 3 start groups, the start of the race was extremely tight. Valentin could benefit from the start and worked his way forward through the field and after the first lap he already made good 10 positions. After a few laps, he couldn't go the speed of the competitors anymore which drove on slicks, because its intermediates were easily overwhelmed in the remaining dry conditions. Throughout the race it wasn't raining, which is an exception in the Eifel, because rain was even announced.
The large field of starters made it noticeable by a lot of very severe accidents, which led to the abandonment of the race after 3 hours and 8 minutes. Valentin came through the race without a contact, but he had a very difficult situation when he lost his whole brake power after the start-finish straight while braking for the first corner and slid into the gravel and could prevent a nearly hit into the tire barrier. Without braking, he went another lap on a moderate pace and came into the pit. Just when he arrived at the pit, the race was canceled. The cause of the brake failure is to be determined in the next few days. After a visual inspection it is already clear that the pads were worn out completely, what is not surprising after 10,000 km.
In the end it was enough thanks to the race abandonment to win the class and get 129th overall. Also the VentSuit has worked very well and although Valentin drove alone the entire race, he said, he could have gone another 2 hours.