Since Falken Motorsports’ first entry in VLN with a Porsche 911 GT3R in 2011, to the team’s maiden Porsche victory last weekend, Martin Ragginger has been there all the way. It was only fitting that the Austrian would be part of the Porsche team’s very first VLN race win in last weekend’s 41. RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen.
“This has been our goal for many years,” a very happy Ragginger exclaims.
“In the past we’ve always been developing the tyres, which is very important for the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, so that’s what we used the VLN races for. But for the last two years we’ve been trying to race more and more in VLN because our tyres have been making such big steps forward, and finally it was enough for us.
“The BMW already won last year and now it’s us—it’s just great.
“I’ve had many class victories and podiums, but this also my first overall win, so it means a lot to me. It’s also very special to get a 1-2 win and to get my first win with my Austrian team-mate ‘Klausie’ means a lot to me.”
The key to the victory, Ragginger says, was the chosen strategy—while also praising his friend and team-mate Klaus Bachler.
“First of all, Klaus did an amazing job: he set the fastest lap time ever done in VLN during a race. The whole team made no mistakes on either car.
“The Audi was pushing quite a lot and overtook us both on the straight at Döttinger Höhe. They were fast. As everybody saw, the straightline speed of this car is just unbelievable. If I think back to the 24 Hours, we were also fighting in the top group and the Audi was more equal to us on the straight line, and everywhere else, but today—I don’t know why it was so fast.
“But it doesn’t matter, we as drivers don’t look into these things, we just drive and give our best. We definitely could’ve beaten him on-track as well.
“We just tried to follow but knew we were on a slightly different strategy—the last stop of our Porsche would be faster—this was the key.
“And for the rest, it was just solid driving, no mistakes, a solid team effort and good tyres.”
With his maiden VLN victory under his belt, Ragginger will have two more chances this year to double this number.
“We still have a few more races here: I’ll do VLN7 and VLN9, and I’m also fighting in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.”