Adrenalin Motorsport successfully defended its VLN championship title, claiming the crown with #650 Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Cup drivers David Griessner and Yannick Fübrich. The driving force behind it all, Matthias Unger – himself once a VLN championship – saw a dream come true one year ago when his team won its first title, and then doubled down with another championship in 2019.
“I still don’t fully realise it, it hasn’t hit me yet,” Matthias Unger said. “The tension was so high. I think tonight during the party I’ll begin to realise it.
“Winning the VLN championship is all I’ve ever wanted to achieve. Last year that long-held dream became a reality, and to successfully defend it is just as amazing. I have no other goals I want to achieve, VLN is the main championship. Every year the goal is to again win the championship and keep the number 1.”
What began in 2009 with two cars, has grown out over the years into a ten-car operation. That growth eventually leads to the situation where teammates will go up against each other in the fight for championships, as was the case this season when Griessner and Fübrich in the #650 BMW M240i Cup car successfully challenged defending champions Christopher Rink, Philipp Leisen and Danny Brink in the #1 BMW 325i.
Dealing with that, Unger said, is very simple: “We are one team. Even when we have competitors within the team, we are still one team. Everyone gives their best and, in the end, the one who has the better luck, the more starters in their class and has the most points, wins. They all feel the others deserve the title as well. There are no rivalries within my team – I also won’t accept that from my drivers. They all have great characters and won’t get any ideas of their own.”
Along with the VLN championship title, Adrenalin also swept up the Junior Trophy, Production Car Trophy, BMW M240i Racing Cup drivers’, teams’ and gentlemen’s championships, and class championships in V4 and V5, making the squad from the small German town of Heusenstamm the winningest team at the Nürburgring.
“What makes this team so successful is a combination of everything. The team at the track, the preparation of the cars, the hard and focused work on the cars, plus the drivers themselves and how they work to improve themselves. The exchange of expertise within our team is enormous as we have many experienced and successful drivers from which everyone can learn something. I myself also bring a lot of experience regarding race situations and tactics.”
Yet despite all the success and growth, Unger has no interest in expanding into classes such as GT3 or the Porsche Carrera Cup.
“No, not at all. I would do it if, let’s say, sponsors are there who want to do it with Adrenalin, then I’d be happy to do it and take on this challenge, but it’s not something that I’m chasing or really want to do. If I’d want to, we could do it, but it’s not a goal I’m striving for.
“It needs to be fun and I think that GT3 would bring so much financial pressure that I wouldn’t enjoy it. I’m doing this out of passion – and of course also as a business – and it needs to be fun. Racing and having success, that’s what motivates me.”
What is next for Adrenalin Motorsport is another expansion of the team for 2020 as it enters a new class and is set to bring BMW’s latest entry-level race machine, the BMW M2 Competition, to the Nürburgring.
“We’ll bring one or two new cars for VLN, as well as continue with the cars we have. We’re likely to enter a VT2 car and are looking forward to the new M2 Cup car from BMW Motorsport which we will get. That’ll be a new challenge for us to try and race at the front.”
Unger doesn’t know what will happen with his two champions, but if losing them means they will advance their career, he’ll be happy to have had them.
“I don’t know if they’ll stay. These drivers of course dream of stepping up into a quicker car – every driver dreams of racing a GT3 or even become a works driver.
“I don’t know what will happen next year, but I think the majority of the drivers will stay with us. Some drivers might get the chance in a faster car, which I would be happy to see happen and be my honour to have helped them further their careers.”