Christodoulou in the top-six on VLN return
30th August 2016
Adam Christodoulou marked his return to the Nürburgring Nordschleife for the first time since his Nürburgring 24 Hours triumph with a sixth place finish in VLN 6.
Joined in the Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 by Yelmer Buurman, Abdulaziz al-Faisal and Gerwin Schuring, 27-year-old Christodoulou was as usual tasked with qualifying. On his fifth visit to the iconic 24.358km circuit this season, Christodoulou wasted no time settling back into the groove and set a personal best time on the Nordschleife of 8:00.279, although a sub-eight minute lap might have been possible had it not been for traffic.
The Briton’s efforts put the Mercedes-AMG fourth on the 147-car grid, but the race got off to a difficult start when the second-placed was slow to react to the green at the rolling start. Unable to pass it until after the start-finish line, Buurman had to check up and immediately lost two positions on the run to the first corner.
With a lack of straight-line speed hindering attempts to pass on the long Döttinger Höhe, Buurman was unable to make any inroads into the leaders before handing over to al-Faisal. Following a delay caused by a faulty fuel pump, the Saudi driver completed an impressive stint in seventh position, before Gerwin took over for the penultimate leg.
Christodoulou climbed aboard with just an hour to go and despite being hampered by slow zones, managed to overtake and make his way up to sixth by the finish, setting the car’s fastest lap of the race on the final lap.
“It was great to be back racing at the Nürburgring again, it’s been too long since the 24 hours here in May. We had a good, solid result, but there was a bit of a hiccup during one of the pitstops when the fuel rig didn’t work,” he said. “We lost a chunk of time there and unfortunately we didn’t quite have the pace of the lead AMG car to catch back up. Well done to them for running the perfect race.”
Christodoulou won’t have long to wait until his next trip to Germany, with the VLN’s signature 6 Hour race in September marking the one year anniversary of his first ever win at the Nordschleife.
“You never stop learning at the Nordschleife, the car is still only six months old and we’re still fine-tuning the setup,” he added. “We managed to beat our personal best around the Nürburgring and we’re sure there’s still more to come.
“Our next race is the 6 Hours, where I had my first outright win at the Nürburgring last year, so hopefully we can have a repeat performance of that.”
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