Milltek Sport to enter 2016 VLN
The Nürburgring Nordschleife is known, respected and feared all over the world. But while the headlines often fawn cars that make one or two fast laps of the old 20.8km circuit, the real battles are in the fabled VLN championship.
With 42 solid hours of endurance racing at a world-class level, the Nürburgring’s VLN series is a single circuit, 10-race endurance championship with an international status.
It’s into this maelstrom of GT3s, Touring Cars, Sports Prototypes and Production cars that Milltek will be stepping into with a new Ford Fiesta ST. The car will be built and prepared by local team Manheller Racing, and driven by the Anglo-German pairing of Englishman Dale Lomas and German Lucian Gavris.
“Campaigning a hot-hatch at the Nürburgring is a massive challenge,” explains Dale Lomas of BridgeToGantry.com. “While it’s easy to watch the top 20 GT3s battling for the lead, the best dogfights are often lower down the field, in the production classes. The overall VLN Championship winner is not decided by who won overall, but by who was the most successful in their class. Previous winners include four-door BMW saloons and Renault Clios. We’d love to add a Fiesta ST to that list.
Each race is four hours long, with one six-hour special in September. Due to the massive length of the combined Nürburgring GP and Nordschleife (nearly 15 miles/25km), starting grids can often be as large as 200 cars, making it the biggest race in the world by numbers.
The Milltek Fiesta ST will be starting in the class VT1, for production-based cars with turbocharged engines up to 1620cc. While the class is strictly controlled to remain faithful to its production status, there are still many options open to improve the performance.
“We’re confident that with the team’s experience and Nitron’s expertise in Nordschleife suspension tuning, Milltek Sport can take the smallest car on the grid and make it into a real giant-killer,” said Milltek boss Steve Pound. “Milltek Sport exhausts are already proven at the Nürburgring and racetracks all over the world, in both reliability and performance. ”
The first race of the series is due to be held on April 2nd, broadcast on German domestic channel Sport1 and livestreamed for free at vln.de/live