RACES

35th Anniversary for VLN Long Haul Championship

The annual grass root motor sports events is one of the most popular of it’s kind

 

The Nurburgring had been venue for various spectacular races, birthplace of glorious champions and site of pilgrimage for motor sports fans across the globe, but had never witnessed something quite like that: On April 23, 1977, the first VLN long haul race took place at the “Nordschleife” - for the first time the Nurburgring was venue of a whole motor sports series. The VLN Long Haul Championship was established.

Winner of the first trophy was Ernst Thierfelder in a Simca 1000. Since then the series has witnessed an evolution of competition and technology. Especially in the 80’s the VLN Championship made a name for itself as the famous 24-hour race was part of the series. Hence there is a partnership between 24-hour race and VLN. Although it’s not officially part of the VLN season, nearly 90 per cent of the 24-hour race competitors also start at VLN races.

Throughout its 35 years of existence, the VLN has increased its popularity consistently. Starting out with 130 racers in 1977, there are now 210 race cars in the starting field - the maximum capacity.

The VLN series was a constant at the Nurburgring, no matter the circumstances. In 2000 the pit lane was rebuilt and not available. Instead of even thinking about cancelling the races, the VLN organizers remodeled the home stretch into a pit lane - problem solved.

Throughout the last three years the VLN underwent the most significant changes in its history. In order to level out the competition, the race management has established different racing divisions and a so called “balance of performance”. Now more racers have the chance to win a championship, and results from recent races show the success of the new ruling.

There will be more troubles and changes in the future, but one thing is certain: The VLN Championship will keep providing first class motor sports that is available for everyone.

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