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Just Reward for a Tough Weekend!

In one single weekend combining the sixth round of the VLN on the ‘big’  Nürburgring at the wheel of a powerful Ford GT and the 24 Hours of Zolder behind the wheel of a BMW M235i Racing Cup, appearing on the podium in each category both at the Eifel and the Limburg, Nico Verdonck took on a major challenge and was rewarded.

“The intention was to compete in the 24 Hours of Zolder to strengthen the team of Dirk Van Rompuy and Erik Qvick in the BMW M235i Racing Cup. And then Jürgen Alzen contacted me, proposing that I should compete in the VLN6 at the wheel of his Ford GT, a GT3 I had the opportunity to excel with in the ADAC GT Masters in the past. The challenge was tempting. All that remained was to sort everything out both teams involved, managed by Jürgen Alzen and Dirk Van Rompuy, were flexible and obliging. After that it was just a pure delight …”

For Nico Verdonck this long and intense weekend started off at Zolder. And at the wheel of the M235i #34, the Brussels based driver claimed the pole position in the Belcar 3 category following the night qualifying session. The perfect way to get the ball rolling.

On Friday I found myself at the Nordschleife for the traditional free practice sessions, I had the opportunity to cover three laps at the wheel of this Ford GT, imposing itself as the top performing machine I have ever driven on this extraordinary circuit. It was therefore with a more than limited experience that I attacked the qualifying session on Saturday morning, on a damp track. On top of that with a lap time of 8.03.862, I clinched the 2nd place in the SPX category and an 8th place overall.

A perfect starting position on the grid that unfortunately Verdonck was not to take full advantage of … “From the warm up lap I experienced a problem when changing down. I returned via the pitlane, and we lost the equivalent of one lap. Following that I drove a two -hour stint, prior to handing the car over to Jürgen Alzen for one hour, and to retake the relay to finish off the last 60 minutes of the race. Everything worked perfectly, and we claimed 2nd place in SPX. Without those worries at the beginning of the event the overall ranking might well have been better, but then … that’s racing!

As soon as the VLN round was over Nico headed off for Belgian Limburg, in order to take over the drive from Erik Qvick and Dirk Van Rompuy at the wheel of the BMW M235i Racing Cup #34, the 24 Hours of Zolder having started on the dot of 16.30hrs. “The rhythm was perfect, and we were constantly in the running, the eclectic driver continued. Unfortunately, one or other ‘Drive Through’, a puncture and having to replace the disc brakes stopped us from staying in the fray for victory in Belcar 3. But the VR/Qvick Racing team had been well prepared, and apart from those various strokes of bad luck, everything ran perfectly for us. We took the chequered flag in 3rd place, which allowed me to climb on to the podium for a second time over one single weekend, and this on two different circuits. An interesting experience, highly enlightening, and I wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who placed their trust in me as also to all my fans and friends who had the opportunity of seeing me once again in action in Belgium.”

In a fortnight’s time Nico Verdonck will be back at the Nürburgring’s Green Hell for the VLN7 race. More than probably at the wheel of the Porsche Cayman entered by the PROsport Performance team. We will keep you posted …