VLN Endurance Championship on Nürburgring – Race #3 this Saturday, will it finally be a complete race?

The VLN Endurance Championship 2019 on Nürburgring has been having a tricky start into this season. Race #1 and #2 were badly effected by weather conditions, which yet are not that unusual for the Eifel area in the March/April period.

VLN2-2019, Photo: Swoosh Motorsport Communications / Stefan Schneider

VLN 2, two weeks ago, wasn’t even a race. The weather forecast had predicted the possibility of snowfall on Saturday afternoon for about 2 hours after the race start. Friday practice and Saturday morning Qualifying took place without any issues, though it had been quite cold. As always, according to the usual procedures, the field of 193 car went into the start grid, and then approached the orientation lap, when some light snowfall. Still, the race was officially started a few minutes after noon.

At the end of the first lap, however, some parts of the Nordschleife got hit by very strong snowfall, visibility for the drivers went to almost nothing, and the track became slippery, causing some cars to spin and hitting the armco’s. The Race Director consequently decided in the second lap to red flag the race. Cars came back into the pits. An hour later, there was even sunshine again. But after some more waiting time and the Race Director having gone in a street car around the Nordschleife for a couple of laps to check the situation, it was decided to not re-start the race, and VLN #2 was called off without scores.

This as it had turned out that for large parts of the track, which are in the shadow, the track was clear but the runoff-areas where completely covered with snow. It would have been too dangerous to continue with the race.

VLN1-2019, Photo: Swoosh Motorsport Communications / Stefan Schneider

VLN Race #1 back in March, also had been badly suffering from poor weather conditions – fog, quite frequently appearing at the Nürburgring in the late winter / early spring and autumn periods. The Qualification got delayed several times and when it finally started at 12:30 (normal time is always 8:20), it was reduced to just 1 hour. In order to still conduct and finish an endurance race in daylight, the race then was reduced to 2 hours 45 minutes, instead of the usual 4 hours.

After a beautiful, sunny and warm Easter weekend, the weather prediction for this weekend is again not that nice. While there will be no more snow, temperatures have dropped again and it is relatively cold again in the Eifel. And, for Qualifying and Race on Saturday, rain is expected. But, all people are keeping fingers crossed that VLN #3 will finally be the first complete race this season. And the drivers and teams, with a total number of cars being 193 again, will probably not prefer racing in the wet, but still will use it to gain experience and collect data about the wet tires for the 24 hour race.

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