WEC/IMSA/GT
Sunday, Mar 24 10:02am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Tom Blomqvist takes third in VLN season opener

Factory BMW driver Tom Blomqvist has finished the opening race of the VLN season with a podium in a fog-shortened affair.

 

Despite a delay in proceedings at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Blomqvist managed to take the first pole position of the season. What was slated to be a four-hour race ran for two hours and 45 minutes instead.

 

For Bamber, his race was over before it properly began. He narrowly missed a crash on the opening lap when the no.23 and no.6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries collided. The no.23 spun in front of Bamber, who only just avoided the out of control car, but the no.6 had nowhere to go, hit the nose, and launched into the air.

 

Field

 

In the kerfuffle at the chicane, Bamber suffered contact from behind that damaged the Manthey Racing no.911 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Kiwi returned to the pit lane, but he and Belgian co-driver were forced out of the race with too much damage.

 

Connor De Phillippi led the opening stanza of the race in the no.98 BMW M6 GT3 (pictured below), but Blomqvist and Mikkel Jensen faded after the pit stop sequence and eventually finished 20 seconds off the lead.

 

At the end of the race it was the no.99 sister ROWE Racing BMW that was in contention for the lead. The other no.912 Manthey Racing entry fought to keep the lead on the final lap.

 

Blomqvist

 

As Patrick Pilet crossed the line and the clock hit zero the checkered flag didn’t come out. The leading duo got another lap to dice for the lead. Having been right on the rear of Pilet, Edwards managed to make a last lap pass and took the win alongside Nicky Catsburg and Marco Wittmann.

 

Jaxon Evans finished 68th in his debut at the Nürburgring in a Porsche Cayman GT4 CS as part of his  DMSB Permit Nordschleife or DPN to qualify for this year’s ADAC Zurich 24h or more commonly known 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

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