VLN: Three firsts for BMW Motorsport Junior Dennis Marschall at Nordschleife
Dennis Marschall celebrated three firsts last weekend in the fifth round of the 2017 VLN Championship. His first appearance in the endurance championship was also his first official outing as a BMW Motorsport Junior. In a BMW M235i Racing Cup prepared by Team Sorg Rennsport, Marschall raced alongside BMW Motorsport Juniors Beitske Visser and Mikkel Jensen in the SP8T class. The ADAC GT Masters driver also made his debut at the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife in the ROWE 6-hours ADAC Ruhr Cup race, the season highlight of the VLN.
The 21-year-old’s main priority was to gain his first experience of the demanding 20.832-kilometre circuit in the 333-bhp BMW M235i. Further race outings are planned in the M235i in order to get his Nordschleife permit.
He got to know all sides of the world-famous race track on this first outing – including the unpredictable Eifel weather. The BMW M235i bearing start number 693 did not finish the race due to an unfortunate collision.
Dennis Marschall talking about…
… his first time as a BMW Motorsport Junior: “It was really great, and I was very pleased to finally put on my BMW overalls. The BMW logo on my helmet and the famous M-Stripes on the car looked really terrific. It feels really great to be a BMW driver. What’s more, you could see straightaway how professional and well-organised everything is. We as drivers felt really well taken care of for our first time at the Nordschleife by Team Sorg Rennsport. Those guys are real experts when it comes to this particular race track and the VLN, plus, they know the BMW M235i inside out.”
… his first race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife: “‘It was my first outing on the Nordschleife and also Beitske’s and Mikkel’s first time. We got lots of tips from the other BMW works drivers. Dirk Adorf has a lot of experience of the track and is also our mentor on the junior programme. He really helped us a great deal. My first practice lap was tough, as it bucketed down with rain. I’d learned the circuit really well from on-board videos, but the conditions were the most challenging you could ever imagine for your first time here.”
… his debut in the VLN: “I drove the opening stint in the race. As we were part of a group of faster cars, I found myself all on my own after two laps. The faster GT3 cars overtook me later on. The drivers fought hard with one another, and some of them even crashed in front of me at high speed. There was plenty of action, and I had to make sure that I kept the car in one piece. But everything went well. Once my two team-mates had completed their stints, I was back in the car again in the rain for the fourth stint. Unfortunately, I crashed into a slower car at Döttinger Höhe, which ended our race. That was quite frustrating, and I felt very sorry for the team. I was unable to avoid the car which was in trouble due to the strong spray. The team were able to see exactly what happened in the video recording.”
… the challenge of the Nordschleife and his next outing: “The Nordschleife is an absolute test of courage, especially in the fast turns. You know that every mistake will be immediately punished. When you spin off, you can’t just drive along the run-off area as at other tracks. You end up in the crash barriers, and your race is most probably over. Experience here certainly counts for a lot and is the key to being really quick. It was a lot of fun racing at this amazing circuit. More outings in the VLN and in other races are planned with the BMW M4 GT4 during the remainder of the season.”