Matias Henkola has kicked off the new racing season driving the Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the VLN season opener at the Nürburgring. The weekend marked his first time at the Nordschleife with Konrad Motorsport and Lamborghini, with whom he also takes on this year’s 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.
The 64th edition of the ADAC Westfalenfahrt VLN race was used by the Franz Konrad-led team to prepare for the upcoming 24 Hours of the Nürburgring in May. As a newcomer to both the team and the Lamborghini, it was key for Henkola to record as much track time as possible in the two days of running.
“On Friday we mainly focused on setting up the car and went into qualifying the next day with high hopes,” Henkola said.
“Unfortunately, qualifying ended on a tow truck after being stranded on-track with a flat rear tyre. I was able to keep the car on the tarmac, but obviously a high-speed blowout isn’t great on a track without escape zones.
“The team works very well together, you can tell they’ve been doing this successfully for decades. Despite the set-back, we worked through our programs and feel we’re one step closer to a successful 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.”
After four years of racing BMW’s GT3 machinery on the Nordschleife, 2018 brings a new challenge to Henkola as he moves to another marque: Lamborghini. It’s a brand-new experience and one he’s happy to take on.
“The Lamborghini is quite a different car compared to the cars I’ve previously raced on the Nürburgring,” he describes the Huracán GT3.
“The BMW is a long wheelbase, front-engine, turbocharged car with a lot of downforce. The Lamborghini, in contrast, has a short wheelbase with a naturally aspirated mid-engine and is a lower downforce car. Basically, everything is different.
“The sensitivity of the Lamborghini is quite impressive as you can feel everything through the steering wheel.
“It’ll take some getting used to, to race it on the limit, but I liked it already from the first outing. Even though I didn’t go especially quick on my first laps, I felt that it’s a very solid race car.”
Henkola is back at the Nürburgring on April 7th for the second VLN race of the season. The 24 Hours of the Nürburgring takes place from May 12th to 13th.
This article was originally published by GTXM.media/GT REPORT as a press release for Matias Henkola. Subscribe to the mailing list (subscribe here to the German mailing list) to receive yours directly in your inbox.