Team Green Recycling battle for their third race win at Nurburgring
16 Sep 2013
Round 7 of the VLN series proved to be a tough and competitive race for Team Green Recycling. After a tough earlier few rounds with new car teething issues, the team arrived with a lot of confidence and determination to do well and race hard at the 'Green Hell'. Friday evening testing got underway and with only two hours on the Nordschleife, time went fast dialing in the best possible setup. Adam Sharpe started the session, making significant changes to the car, including ride height and damper adjustments to provide a consistent and compliant car across the 23 km circuit. Rob Smith took over and fine tuned the setup with only the smallest of adjustments to ensure the team could push hard for the forthcoming four hour race. With no time left for Sharpe to make a final check on setup, it was decided that Adam would set a banker lap early in the next day's qualifying session and check the wet setup. Adam's first lap put the car second in class, with his second lap putting it on pole by 4 seconds. With the mist lifting and the drizzle easing, Rob took over to qualify himself and ensure we kept our position in class. Rob's first lap was shy of our pole lap by only 4 seconds, so with another great effort Rob put us on pole by another 10 seconds.
Adam started the race on wets along with the majority of the grid. However the circuit was quickly drying and slicks were soon to be required. After the first lap, Adam was battling with the BMW Z4 of Dorr Motorsport. Finally the Z4 managed to get a strong tow down the Dottinger-Hohe straight for the lead. The Z4 was much kinder on its wet Pirelli tyres than the larger M3 on Dunlops - the Z4 pulling are lead of 20 seconds after only a couple of laps. The heavens then opened again and torrential rain started to cover the circuit once more. With the wet tyres losing their edge from the dry running, Adam used his experience and pushed hard to make the lost ground back. Another two laps later and Adam was on the bumper of the Z4 again. Going door to door for four or five corners, Adam finally passed the Z4 and built his lead once again.
After running in the top 12 of 177 cars, around 40 of which were either GT3 or Porsche 997 Cups cars, Adam pitted after nine laps having built a several second gap ready for Rob to increase during his stint. The pit stop went well, gaining another few vital seconds.
Rob then completed two laps before pitting for slicks. However, Dorr Motorsport didn't switch to slicks and opted to stay on their wets and run the wet line, hoping for more rain. After the pit stop to switch to slicks, Rob was behind Dorr Motosport by 2.5 minutes. It then took Rob all stint to pull that lead back in, often taking between 10 to 25 seconds a lap out of the Z4! As the Z4 pitted for tyres, fuel and driver, Rob finally caught it up, putting the M3 back on equal terms. Dorr exited the pits with a new set of slicks and their pro driver to try and reduce the M3's lead. Rob continued to put in consistent laps before pitting for Adam to take the car to the flag. After its final pit stop, Adam took the M3 back out on the same slicks and a tank of fuel, exiting the pit lane with Dorr only 20 seconds behind and pushing. After a great out lap and initial flying lap, his lead was back to over a minute. As the red flag came out for the race end 8 minutes early, due to another lashing of torrential rain, Adam had increased his lead to 2.5 minutes and brought the M3 home with the third race win of the season - and, by far, the most deserved and hard fought.'The car ran faultlessly and we were pushed by Dorr Motorsport all the way', commented Sharpe. Team Green Recycling are now looking forward to the next VLN round on 28 September with their eyes on their fourth win of the season.
Adam and Rob lead the SP6 drivers table.
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