Rolf Derscheid who has been competing in the VLN for many years is considered to be one of the ‘golden boys’ amongst the privateers within the VLN family. With a limited budget and plenty of enthusiasm, he starts together with Michael Flehmer with a BMW 325i in the class of VLN production cars up to 2,500 cc cylinder capacity. In the year 2013, he achieved his 25th class win and takes us out on a lap over the Nordschleife.
The Grand Prix Circuit is not too exciting. With our 228 HP strong E90, we must above all make sure to pick up enough speed in all the corners. Considering our standard brakes and a total weight of 1,365 kg, which should not be underestimated, you would otherwise lose a lot of time.
Once you enter the Nordschleife, things become more exciting. The fast right corner at the beginning of the Hatzenbach section is taken flat out. Thereafter, it is particularly important to find a soft line and use a little bit of the curb in the last left turn before Hocheichen. You have, however, to take care that you do not go off the track. I do not like the section Hocheichen very much as the track in this section is very often quite slippery and the rear of the car becomes rather light in the sloping left corner. You continue full throttle over the crest and through the following corners at the Flugplatz. Everything just fits perfectly. I lift the foot from the throttle just a little at Schwedenkreuz and then try to see that I find the perfect braking point for the Aremberg corner. You can take the downhill passage in the Fuchsröhre still at full speed but then follows a hard braking for the following left corner. It is imperative to hit the curb in the right hand corner in front of the Adenauer Forst exactly and change into third gear to take the chicane.
You will fully accelerate again in the approach of the Metzgersfeld and you lift off just a little for the first left hand bend. The section from Kallenhard to Wehrseifen is incredibly fast in fourth gear and it is rather a matter for the head if you kick the brakes shortly. I take the corner Wehrseifen itself in second gear before I accelerate up to fourth gear until the Breidscheid bridge. The wall is approaching much faster than you would want so it is important to keep your car in third gear, permanently pulling, and to take the right turn Exmühle with as much speed as possible.
The following climb is not very exciting due to a lack in performance. Only the ‘courage bend’ in the area Kesselchen is a matter of conscience. If you wish to achieve a time of less than ten minutes, you should not brake at this point nor lift the throttle. You can also observe many times in this section that faster cars all of a sudden drop back several car lengths behind you after this ‘courage bend’… In the Karussell you have to make sure that you take as much speed as possible out of the corner. The passage up to the Hohe Acht can be taken flat out in fourth gear, only at the last right hand bend at the radio post I lift the throttle a little in order to take the corner perfectly.
Now follows a section which I like very much. The drop towards Wippermann is really great fun in dry conditions. When the track is wet, it is reasonable to show the necessary respect. Then follows a fast part up to the Brünnchen and a fast drive through the right hand bend in direction Pflanzgarten. This is where all of the four wheels leave the ground at the small jump, despite our weight of 1,300 kg. We cannot manage this at the big jump but we continue there in fifth gear in direction Schwalbenschwanz. You have to take the passage at the Kiesbett very precisely and use the full width of the road in order to then immediately take the small Karussell . The steep turn can be taken in third gear and I accelerate up into fourth gear to approach the Galgenkopf. From there, you continue flat out and I take the Audi bridge in fifth gear. From the Hohenrain chicane, the brakes are once again heavily stressed before you enter the Line.
As you can see, it is very important for us to take up the necessary speed at many corners. You will quite often lose time when faster cars try to overtake you at positions where it is simply not appropriate and where I then have to slow down so much that I cannot make up the lost time in the following passages. I wish my competitors would show a little more foresight in these situations.