Being a car enthusiast and motorsport photographer, what better combo could you ask for than the legendary Nürburgring. The unusually steep hills, multiple s-curves and the scenery make this track a dream to shoot. I love including the track, curves and curbs in my shots, trying to capture some pleasing compositions. Adding a big diversity of cars, including some of the rarest and fastest car out there doesn’t hurt the shooting experience either 🙂
I was invited by the Møller Bil Motorsport team as their guest. A part of this team’s purpose is to give people a close up and personal racing experience at one of, if not the greatest track on earth. Well as close as you can get without racing yourself. Møller bil, and the other sponsors bring guests, and there’s a handful of dedicated guides showing you around the track, pit area and the team camp. Møller bil is a big car dealership located in Norway, but also has dealers in Sweden and in the Baltic states. A big bonus, that’s normally not a part of the guiding, was that we got to drive around the track between the qualification and the race. Not in a race car though, but either way, it’s cool to see the track in real life in a slow pace, including most of the GP track. The track is so much steeper than the impression you get from playing games and watching videos from the ring.
This shot is from the training on Friday, and the Møller Bil Motorsports TT in the s-turns in Brünnchen.
VLN is short for Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring, and translates into something like “Association of Nürburgring Endurance Cup Organizers”. Møller Bil Motorsport races in the SP3T class. This is a special class with turbocharged engines up to 2.0 liter (over 1620cc up to 2000 cc). Møllers TT has a four-cylinder engine, with an output off approximately 350hp/450 Nm. The car is built by Raeder Motorsport, and they also have the technical responsibility for the car between races. At the races there are 3 permanent staff mechanics from Møller Bil dealers in Norway, consisting of Ted Trønnes, Anders Lindstad and Stian Skårsmoen. At every race there are also 4 guest mechanics from the Møller Bil dealers. John Skjalg Lund is also a part of the pit crew, and Leif Erik Vik is the technical chef.
There were only 4 cars starting in the SP3T class in this race. The TT below, car #303 from the LMS Engineering team, is the one car that gave the Møller team the toughest competition in this race. The 2 other vehicles did not complete the race unfortunately (#335 Seat Leon Cup Racer & #332 Audi TTS)
The LMS Engineering teams TT runs, in opposition to all the other cars in the SP3T class, on a 5-cylinder engine. They stripped a 2,5L straight 5 cyl. engine from an Audi, made a custom crankshaft and got the displacement under 2L (82.5 mm bore x 74.5 mm stroke). The engine was then not within the “close-to-production engine” according to the regulations, and they had to mount a 38mm restrictor, and limit the charge pressure to 1,4 bar. But is running a 5 cylinder engine against 4 cylinders fair? The LMS TT states they have close to 400 hp according to their sales add, and the 4 cylinder vehicles are limited to a lower figure than this. Well, I’m not to judge in this matter, as my knowledge is to limited, but the SP3T class have shrunk drastically in the numbers of cars attending after the LMS team entered with this car…… And that’s a pity!
But either way, the Møller Bil team gave them a real fight, an all in all it didn’t end so bad 😉
Here is the Lexus RC F GT3 from Farnbacher Racing, racing in the SPX prototype class. It’s based on the Lexus RC F sports coupe but is wider, lower and weighs just 1250kg. They’ve tucked a 5 liter V8 engine in there, boosting 540 hp. Looks pretty awesome if you ask me!
The Wippermann area yelled for some great shots with the autumn colors and this s-curve.
Love the livery and colors on this 911 going thru the bend at Hohe Acht.
The spectators at the Nürburburgring is really som hardcore fans, partying hard at the numerous camps around the track. Here’s some blokes who cut the roof of a Volvo, and stuck a hot tub in there. With a cold beer, and a view of the Brünnchen area, it sounds quite all right in my book.
Manthey Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Otto Klohs, and Sven Müller, Here seen in full pace exiting the Caracciola-Karussell.
The 10’th VLN race, the last race for the season, was delayed for 2 hours because of fog. The qualifying was supposing to start at 08.30, but was also held off for several hours because of massive fog at the higher sections of the rack. At the end of the race, the fog again got thicker and thicker, leading to several cars off the track and the race was eventually red flagged. The below picture is from the highest point at the track, Hohe Acht.
Here is #92 Team Mantheys Porsche 911 GT3 Cup emerging from the fog (Drivers: Dieter Schmidtmann, Christoph Breuer and Andreas Ziegler)
The drivers of the Møller Bil Motorsports team is Håkon Schjærin (Race chef), Atle Gulbrandsen and Kenneth Østvold. They are all experienced race rivers from Norway. Håkon Schjærin has been racing the Nürburgring since the mid 90’s, so he’s no rookie at this track. Atle has been attending the VLN since 2005, and have loads of racing experience from Norway and in the States. His voice is also familiar to most of you from Norway, as he is a TV commentator for Viasat. Kenneth Østvold is well known as one of Norway’s best go-cart drivers, and has been a part of the team since 2011.
Here’s Møllers TT hammering around the Karussell.
Møller bil made a very late pit stop when the end of the race was closing in. There was estimated 3 laps left, and they drove out of the pit just when the team LMS TT was passing. They made a bold tire choice, and is was exiting to watch the monitor of the 2 cars flying around the track. The race was, like mentioned earlier, red flagged, but it would have been fun to se how it would end if the race had been driven to its end.
James Glickenhaus, a former movie director from New York, is making some awesome limited edition sports cars. Here is one of the 2 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003 racing in the VLN series. SCG 003 is available as both a racing car (SCG 003C) and a street legal version (SCG 003S) if you have some deep pockets 😉 The racing version has a Honda 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, and the road legal a twin-turbocharged V12.
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003 ready to pass a couple of BMW’s
Here the second Scuderia on the track.
Here is one of my favorite shots from this weekend. Frikadelli Racing Teams Porsche, with drivers Kräling, Frank and Christopher Brück flying on 2 wheels over the top at Eschbach. This also made it instantly as a backdrop on the front page of my website 😉
If you have access, be sure to take a look at the race camp behind the pit area. There’s millions of dollars in awesome trailers, tires and racing stuff. And you are sure to see some extraordinary rare vehicles, like I did with this Gemballa Avalanche. If you had an interest in Porsches in the 80 and 90, you maybe remember some crazy Gemballa Porsche builds back then?
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in Brünnchen.
After the race was flagged red, there was a tense atmosphere in the team tent, as to what the final result would be. But after a long wait, the final result was 1. Place to the Møller Bil Motorsports team. This gave the Møller team a total of two first places and 2 second places in this season. They only attend at 6 of the 10 races every season, so that’s not a bad total, considering they also had one gearbox breakdown.
A big thank you for a great weekend to the Møller Bil Motorsport team! Nürburgring definitely needs a revisit soon!
The rule is that you can’t sticker-bomb something without having a good reason, so finally I can officially pimp my lens hood with a Nürburgring sticker!
Here’s some bonus images for you all!
If you are interested in all the results, please look here at the VLN official pages.