The eight-minute barrier on the VLN version of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE) has been broken. The man to crack the magic mark at the sixth round of the season was Jens Klingmann (DE) at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3 fielded by BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert. He tore through the “Green Hell” in a time of 7:59.045 minutes on lap two of the four-hour race to set the new lap record in the VLN Endurance Championship. Never before had a GT3 car completed this version of the circuit so quickly.
Klingmann had already flirted with the eight-minute mark in qualifying and on the opening lap of the race, but came up just nine and three tenths of a second short. After making history in his first stint – the first of the race – Klingmann handed the car over to team-mates Max Sandritter (DE), Thomas Jäger (AT) and Dominik Baumann (AT). At the end of the race, the quartet crossed the finish line in second place. The race was Jäger’s first on the Nordschleife in a GT3 car.
Stefan Wendl (Teammanager Schubert Motorsport): “Right from the outset, our goal was to break the eight-minute barrier. We worked towards this goal with Jens Klingmann and Dominik Baumann, who are both quick and experienced. It is nice and important for the team to have set this record. We were able to show what our total package is capable of, and that victory at the 24-hour race would certainly have been possible. I find it remarkable that the BMW Z4 GT3 had a full tank of fuel when Jens broke the record. Respect for that performance. The priority for our two younger drivers, Max Sandritter and Thomas Jäger, was to have fun and learn from the race. They did their job very well. Second place is a great result. On a weekend like this, it is not so tragic that we did not quite manage to get the win.”
Jens Klingmann: “What a lap! I am proud to be the first to break this magical barrier. We knew we had the basic speed to go under eight minutes. However, you cannot plan to beat this record on such a long and demanding track as this. We saw this in my failed attempts in qualifying and on the opening lap of the race. Even the lap on which I broke the record was not absolutely perfect. I had to overtake a few cars right at the end. I had to take quite a few risks, but fortunately it all worked out very well. After the bad luck we suffered at the 24-hour race, this is a very nice reward for our team.”
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