Pitstops in the VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series will get a complete overhaul during the current COVID-19 pandemic. To make sure teams and their personnel stay as safe as possible while racing at the Nordschleife resumes, drastic measures are taken to provide for outdoor garages leading to a complete revamp of pit lane.
VLN and the Nürburgring, in agreement with the ILN (interest group for teams and drivers of the Endurance Series) and the DMSB (German Motor Sport Association) and with approval of the local distract administration in Ahrweiler, a new open air pitbox and pit lane running through the paddock with a roundabout on the far side are introduced for the first VLN race on 27 June.
The size of the outdoor team parcels in the outdoor pit lane in the paddock is limited to 20 meters deep and 6 meters wide along the working lane and thus offers enough space for transporters and other accommodations such as tents. The entry into the temporary pit lane is via box 1 – under normal circumstances the pitbox where scrutineering takes place. After a loop through the paddock, box 2 takes the cars back into the regular pit lane, where teams can refuel before returning to the race track. Only refueling and driving out immediately will not be permitted. In order to ensure equal opportunities for everyone, the entire pit lane including the loop through the paddock must always be driven. The speed limit will be 40 kilometres per hour in the entire pit lane, except while driving through boxes 1 and 2 and on the roundabout where the speed limit is 30 kilometres per hour.
Manthey Racing successfully tested the practicality of the new pit lane with the Grello Porsche 991.2 GT3R driven by Lars Kern on 5 June.
“Racing under these unusual Corona circumstances will be a big challenge for all teams, drivers, mechanics and other participants, including the organiser and race control,” VLN sporting and race director Michael Bork says. “We have to make many compromises and let go of habits and procedures we have come accustomed to. That is even more true for the pit lane paddock that will work differently than what teams, drivers and VLN are used to. However, I am convinced our teams and drivers will cope with the situation and adjust their race cars and pitstop strategies accordingly. As long as the use of the normal pitboxes is not possible due to the Corona measures, this is the only reasonable alternative for our race format.”
Before the VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series returns to racing, teams have the opportunity to prepare for the remaining eight races with a collective test day on 15 June.
Image by VLN.