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Strong 2nd place debut at the 24h Nurburgring.

Q&A Nico Verdonck

Nico Verdonck finished second after leading the first part of the Nürburgring 24 Hours race.  Patrick Six caught up with him for some Q&A.


Q. Nico, second a disappointed result although you where at the front in the beginning of the race?

R. No, because we could have ended worse, if we weren't able to get the car back into the pits, after the incident. Knowing we lost 1/2hour, Mathol Racing did a superb job to get the car back on track soon!

 

Q. The start was perfect. Did you plan to take immediately the lead of the race?

R. If the opportunity was there, yes! We all know it's a long & difficult race, but my teammate Wolfgang Weber has such a big experience, that he knew very well what he was doing.

 

Q. For your first appearance in the green hell you qualyfied the car and did the first stint, why did Mathol Racing did this?

R. Matthias Holle of Mathol-Racing, together with all my teammates decided this and gave me the chance to give me maximum laps around this challenging 25km track, which is why I was able to move from P7 with 9.36sec, to P2 with 9.19sec, which was a strong performance of the car and myself, considering my limited track experience!

 

Q. How many laps where required for you to learn the circuit with 180 corners?

R. I think more or less 25laps ;-)

 

Q. What where the most difficulties you encountered during the race?

 

 


R. Overtaking & being overtaked at the night, luckily it the weather was mostly good when I was driving, even if I wanted to race in the rain, to gain experience in these conditions.

 

 

 



Q. The rain felt early in the morning, do you think it was the most intense part of the race?

 

 


R. You definitely could make the difference there, what my teammate Wolfgang Weber did, when he was driving at that time.

 

 

 



Q. When you lost the lead, did Mathel Racing ask you to go flat out?

 

 

R. Yes, but without risking our 2nd place.

 

Q. You discovered the Green Hell.  Is it amongst your favourites track?

R. It's definitely a challenging track, but very exceptional. Trust me it takes a long time, before you know the track out of your head, conditions changing every single corner, oil on track, paint on track from the fans, etc ...

 

Q. Is the level of the Nürburgring 24 for you, the same as at Spa 24?

R. There are for sure many professional drivers, Audi, Porsche, etc. But there are definitely more gentlemen & inexperienced drivers at Nurburgring then Spa, look at the many small cars who participated. I don't think you see an Opel Manta & Renault Clio at 24h Spa!

 

Q. Do you hope to be back for the 41st running Nürburgring 24 with a GT3 Car?

R. Absolutely, it was a great, unforgettable experience, that I want to repeat again in the future and fight for victory again. See you next year again!

 

text by Patrick Six.