One of the most prestigious endurance events in the world. With an impressive entry of 150 crews – combined with the unique 25-kilometer Nordschleife circuit, the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours is a very special challenge. This year, the weather, added another cruel twist, forcing the race director to suspend the event for over an hour, on Sunday afternoon, because of fog. In this context, seeing the double clock tower of the Eifel – which once again confirmed why it has earned the nickname the “Green Hell” – is already in itself an achievement.
Engaged by the Dörr Motorsport team to drive a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo, Nico Verdonck and his teammates Marc Basseng and Manuel Lauck brought their car to the checkered flag after a tough race. “We experienced our share of incidents”, admits the Belgian. “We started from 36th on the grid. At that time, the weather was nice, even warm … Our Huracan was doing well and everything was running smoothly when a broken drive shaft forced us to spend almost an hour in the pit box (pit garage). Without giving up, we pushed hard and climbed back into to the top 50 until the arrival of the rain, at around 5 o’clock in the morning, made the conditions more and more treacherous. In both dry and wet conditions, we could set good times and demonstrate the potential of our car. Unfortunately, a faulty alternator forced us again to make another long stop … ”
History will state that the trio Verdonck-Basseng-Lauck finished the race in 77th position… but also that they won their category! “This win is a bit special”, said Nico. “For a strange reason, the organizers did not want the Huracan Super Trofeo Evo to run in the SP8 class and they created a new SP-Y class … just for the two Dörr Motorsport cars! A pretty frustrating situation when, first and foremost the team and I love competition, nevertheless we won.”
However, what Nico Verdonck will remember from this the 46th edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours is the excellent collaboration with Dörr Motorsport and the tire brand Giti Tires. “It was a very interesting experience”, smiles the Brussels man. “I loved working on the Lamborghini set up and sharing my knowledge and experience to understand and improve the tires. Not only was it fun, but I was also able to learn a lot.”
Also from DÖRR Motorsport, team manager Robin Dörr was very pleased from Nico’s work: “It was a tough race for us, but we made it to the end – where performing under these tricky/grueling conditions were extremely difficult, but Nico did exactly what we expected from him as a truly professional and that’s why we hired him.”
For Nico Verdonck, this is the first highlight of the 2018 season. But the Belgian – ranked a Silver driver on the FIA R03;R03;scale – still intends to be talked about in the coming months by accepting other challenges. We’ll talk about it soon.
Source. Nico Verdonck