Nick Tandy won his very first VLN race last weekend. The Brit piloted the number 912 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R through the daunting first part of the 61. ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup to emerge from the rain and hail storm with a gigantic lead.
“We went into the race in the rain and we hadn’t sampled this condition before, we hadn’t tested in weather like this,” Tandy says.
“It was just about survival. You saw many cars go off and many Code 60s. It was key to keep the car in the race. In the end we went through the whole race without any problems, technical issues, penalty, or anything.
“We had a good start and some pace at the middle of the race and by the end we had a comfortable gap. We could manage the strategy with the team’s other cars, knowing we’d built this buffer with the pitstops. It was a perfect race in the end, pretty straight forward.”
Despite the heavy rain and hail storm that caught out so many drivers, Tandy says he has experienced worse.
“It wasn’t so bad – it was nowhere near as bad as what we had in the ‘24 Hour’ during the night last year. Both Richard and I experienced this last year, so this was quite tame in comparison. But, of course, it’s never nice to have these conditions. Anything can happen without any warning, at any time. Your level of concentration just has to be so much higher than normal, at all times. This is what experience and practise brings to you – it was OK.”
When the rain slowly receded, Tandy took charge of the race with a lead of over 1 minute. Despite fellow Porsche racer Dennis Olsen leading the way for a while, Tandy and co-driver Richard Lietz’ win was never challenged.
“When the heavy rain came and we got to the front, the number 911 had the stop-and-go penalty and I think some other cars had some trouble in traffic. We built a big lead quite quickly, but this was just down to luck and being in the right place, making sure you don’t make any mistakes.
“The car was fast; it was a fun race.”