Underdog Racing, an exotic spot in the VLN

It might sound strange, but it is true: Dirk Neumüller has great plans for 2018. The 37-years old workshop manager plans to bring his cult car, a BMW 330i E46, to the start in the VLN series and to the Nürburgring 24h Race this year. Any yet, the qualified car mechanic does not have any personal experience as a driver at the legendary Eifel race track.

“I do not have a driver licence. I stopped racing after 13 years in karting. Once, I competed in Zolder. You won’t believe it, but I have till now not yet completed one single lap at the Nordschleife. Someone also told me earlier that you cannot prepare a race car with this little background knowledge. But I am much more interested in the interrelationship, what happens if I intervene in anything. Racing is nice, but the other side is more important for me”, says Neumüller who completed his studies in automotive engineering after his apprenticeship.

2015 was the year of the BMW 330i E46. That was when the car driven by Dale Lomas, Bradley Philpot, Luke Garvis and Johan Sandberg and built in 2005 finished 72th overall at the 24h Race. “It was as late as two days before the entries closed that I was able to nominate the drivers. The car was running perfectly over the long distance. Apart from a wheel bolt, we had no problem at all”, Neumüller remembers. On 8th of September then, they had their so far only guest performance in the VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring. At the 6 Hours ADAC Ruhrpokal-Rennen, the BMW driven by the driver trio Bradley Philpot, Sarah Ganser und Johan Sandberg finished eighth in class V5 after steering problems.

“The car is a matter truly dear to my heart. It was not moved for two years and wish it to come to life again”, says Neumüller with regard to the BMW which has 240 HP and a cylinder capacity of 3 litres. Meanwhile, it has already 153,00 kilometres on the clock. The engine was revised for 8,000 euros. For his racing team, Neumüller has chosen the name “Underdog Racing”. In 2012, Neumüller made his first experience within the VLN. He had prepared a BMW M3 GTR for Heribert Steiner and David Schiewitz. The liquid gas driven automobile took the total of three class wins in the Specials ATG class.

Neumüller, father of three children, now wishes to gain himself experience as team manager and combines the project with a charitable purpose. For each completed race lap, an amount X shall be donated to the children’s hospice department in Düsseldorf. “So this is not about fighting for a top position. We will anyway not have a chance against the Porsche and similar race cars. The regulations are not very favourable for us. But what is the benefit in having a fast car when you don’t see the finish line? Our sporting ambitions are not that high”, says Neumüller who would be delighted to gain one or another additional sponsor.