2022 ended fittingly for Sami-Matti Trogen: with success, but also with a dose of bad luck. While in leading position in the final VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) race of the season, his #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 ran into trouble during its scheduled final pitstop throwing the Fin and his teammate Christian Krognes eventually back to third place.
And thus ended the year with another strong performance that remained – partly – unrewarded.
“That was a shame,” Sami-Matti Trogen summarises NLS2. “The pace was mega all the time and car was fast, but yeah, these things happen. We can be happy about the finish and the pace and everything, so there is a lot of positives to take.
“The car was mega and the conditions were not the easiest at the beginning. It was really fast, so for sure we’re looking forward to next year and with Yokohama I think we have a strong package.”
Looking back on his second season racing in the GT3 class of the Nordschleife championship, Trogen recognises the potential that is there.
“For me, there were some good races and some races… the pace was always there but we just couldn’t get everything together. I think that was the problem at the beginning, but as a team we are really strong and when we have all the things together, we can actually get the results.
“Today, to be honest, was one of the best days we had pace wise. If you think about it, pace wise we had many good moments already this year but we had also lots of bad luck in many races like today.
“But today, the first three stints were really mega and I was really happy with the car and of course Chris [Krognes] is fast, a really fast guy, and he did the lap record also today so it shows that the pace is there.”
Season-long co-driver Christian Krognes finished the season by breaking the track lap record, a feat the Norwegian had repeated several times over the years, making him a valuable mentor to the 20-year-old.
“He has lots of experience already doing this stuff and for sure there are many things to learn. You need all the experience on the Nordschleife: about the conditions, driving in the mixed weather accordingly as you never have the perfect conditions like today for example. Some corners were wet, some were dry, you have to adapt very quickly so you need the experience and Chris is a good guy to tell you these things because he has already, I don’t know how many races he has started, and this is basically my second year.”
Now the racing season is over, it’s full speed ahead into 2023.
“I hope I can drive here and continue. Most likely yes and let’s see, I’m pushing for more next year.”
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