The VLN Endurance Championship will kick off the season with VLN 1 this week Saturday, March 23rd. Despite the BoP Discussion for GT3 in SPX and SP9 classes, which is still boiling in the background, fans can look forward to a massive turn up at the Ring. The preliminary starters list has 170 cars registered, with 25 GT3 cars in SP9, 2 more GT3 in SPX, and over 10 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the other classes. Only Wochenspiegel Team Monschau, as previously announced, will stay absent with its two Ferrari F488 GT3. All other GT3 car makers will be present with factory supported teams, or privateers teams. Several Porsche 911 GT3 R of the new and old generation, Audi R8 LMS Evo’s, BMW M6 GT3’s, AMG GT GT3’s, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus with the SCG003C, the Hongkong based KC Motorsportgroup and Kondo Racing with the Nissan GT-R GT3’s, and Swiss team Octane 126 with a Ferrari F488 GT3 starting in SPX class. Only Bentley and Aston Martin are missing, but they did not have plans to start in VLN 2019.
Last Saturday, March 16th, several of these cars and teams already had their first roll out on the Nordschleife, using the VLN Test- and Adjustment Trackday. There has been one team using this occasions to test their car on the Nürburgring, which is well known from the ADAC GT Masters: Iron Force Racing. This week, the team has confirmed that they aim for competing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, and they will be racing some VLN races as a preparation, and will return already this week for VLN Race#1.
But the biggest surprise that happen on the testday last weekend, was that Zakspeed Racing showed up unexpectedly on the Nordschleife with a newly built up Viper GT3. It caused a lot of excitement with fans and Media. The test of the Viper ended with the driving “kissing” the armco – leading to one of the few red flags during the test day. But the driver was OK, and the damage to the Viper significant for the body work, but nothing that cannot be fixed shortly. While the team initially did not want to tell anything about their plans, they started early this week a kind of fan voting with the question as to whether or not the fans would like to see the Viper more often on the Nordschleife and at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The Zakspeed Viper GT3 does appear on the starter’s list for coming Saturday for VLN1, indeed. But, it first will have to be presented Saturday morning to the technical check and clearance, and no papers had been handed over to the VLN previously during the build up for the 2019 season – so it will be a question of the bureaucratic matters, papers, specific BoP, to be sorted out first on Saturday, and only after that it will be clear whether or not the Viper will participate to the first race of the season. It would be great if it can be sorted – the VLN fans would absolutely love the Viper to be on the track again.