Nail-biting finish

Møller Bil Motorsport finished third in Saturday’s VLN-race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and it was a nail-biting finish for me.

After a test in March this was our first race of the season. We had some small issues on Friday, but our brilliant mechanics fixed the car before Saturday’s qualifying, where my team mate Kenneth Østvold drove a fantastic lap during qualifying, and secured pole position with the laptime 08.48. Impressive stuff!

Kenneth started the race, and was second when it was time for the first pit stop. We were unlucky and had to wait for the fuel pump to be ready, and lost valuable time. Håkon drove the second stint and was third when I took over.

Already out of the pits I discovered that this was not going to be an easy stint for me. Because of a misunderstanding in the pits, my lower seat belts wasn’t tightened properly, and it was not easy to drive with my bottom sliding around. The brakes were also fading and there was a small hickup in the engine out of some of the corners.

In situations like this you don’t want to hear on the radio that a competitor is just seconds behind you, and that you need to push like hell to keep the podium position. But that’s exactly what happened, and the fourth placed SEAT from the Finnish team LMS Racing was closing in on me.

On the last lap, however, I understood that I had a gap big enough to secure third. But then, out on the last straight on the last lap it suddenly was an accident! Out on Dötinger Höhe it was a speed limit of 120 kph, and on the start of Dötinger Höhe it was a speed limit of 60 kph. Suddenly the SEAT was just behind me, and when we passed the green flag the fourth placed driver tried to use the slipstream to pass me. I did what I could to keep the car behind and in to the very last corner the SEAT tried a pass on the inside, we touched, but luckily I could continue, and we secured third with just 0,3 seconds.

So all in all a good result for us. The best thing with the weekend, however, was that my oldest daughter Emma was with me on her own for the first time.

We will be back for the next VLN-race in June.

Photos: Pål Henning Berg

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