Why the Groneck brothers have to slow down this year

You can’t always get what you want in life – and this not different for the Groneck brothers. Since September 2010, the brothers Tim and Dirk kept on racing with their Renault Clio at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In 2013 and in 2015, they gained the title in the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring and they had been at the start of almost every VLN race. Yet, they will this year not be able to defend their title. Much to their regret, the Gronecks had to accept that other things will have priority this year. “My brother is building a house and I am right now in the middle of a big professional change. We simply have no time to compete on a regular basis”, Tim Groneck explains. “It is really a pity as this will presumably be the last year in which our Clio carries number 1.” However, the schedule of the Gronecks allowed them to start in the fourth VLN round and with their class win, they both demonstrated once again in an impressive way why they had become the winners of the VLN championship twice throughout the last three years.

“When I sit down with my family on a VLN weekend to have lunch on Saturday at 12 o’clock, the live ticker is of course always on”, Tim Groneck says. “Frustration then dominates for the first half hour because I cannot be there. But fortunately this is just a thing of the moment.” At the VLN race end of June, he did not feel this frustration because Tim was at the start together with his brother – as usual of course on pole position in class SP3. And whilst the wet and cold weather posed a serious problem for one or another participant, the Gronecks were really happy. “This was exactly what we had hoped for. Actually, my brother and I have exactly the same speed and we like racing in the rain”, Tim Groneck says. “When the track is dry, it is much easier to be quick at the Nordschleife, but in the rain, it is essential to have some experience. And this is what we have.” It was much more the car and not the weather which caused some problems for the current champions at their comeback to the Nordschleife. “There was a damage on the differential lock and we had made a mistake with the tyre pressure. So we were this time not at all happy with the performance of the Clio.” They nevertheless crossed the finish line as class winners and left the Subaru BRZ of Tim Schrickand Holger Spelsberg as well as the two series winners in this class, Stephan Epp and Gerrit Holthaus in the Avia Racing-Clio, behind.

The Groneck brothers plan to participate in two more races this season. “I was hoping for a start in the 6h race, but my brother will be on holiday then.” For 2017, they intend to compete in the full VLN season again, if possible. “We are not at all interested in any other series. Before I start on any Grand Prix Circuit, I would prefer to stay at home. We still have all the materials – race trailer, truck and so on. We may also start with another, newer brand, we’ll see. We will, however, keep our Clio, we have after all gained two VLN titles with it”, informs Tim Groneck for whom frustration will probably first of all prevail again at lunch on the coming VLN weekends