Derbyshire based exhaust manufacturer Milltek Sport has agreed a deal to back a Ford Fiesta ST in the gruelling Nürburgring VLN endurance series. Currently in build, the car will be the smallest car, with the tiniest engine displacement in the whole pack of racers.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife is known, respected and feared all over the world. But while the headlines often fawn cars that make one or two fast laps of the old 20.8km circuit, there are fewer front page stories about the VLN.
With 42 solid hours of endurance racing at a world-class level, the Nürburgring’s VLN series is a single circuit, 10-race endurance championship with an FIA International status.
It’s into this maelstrom of GT3s, Touring Cars, Sports Prototypes and Production cars that Milltek will be stepping into. With a Ford Fiesta ST built and prepared by local team Manheller Racing.
“Campaigning a hot-hatch at the Nürburgring is a massive challenge,” explains lead driver and Nürburgring veteran Dale Lomas. “While it’s easy to watch the top 20 GT3s battling for the lead, the best dogfights are often lower down the field, in the production classes. The overall VLN Championship winner is not decided by who won overall, but by who was the most successful in their class. Previous winners include four-door BMW saloons and Renault Clios. We’re aiming to add a Fiesta to that list.
Each race is four hours long, with one six-hour special in September. Due to the massive length of the combined Nürburgring GP and Nordschleife (nearly 15 miles/25km), starting grids can often be as large as 200 cars, making it the biggest race in the world by numbers.
The Milltek Fiesta ST will be starting in the class VT1, for production-based cars with turbocharged engines up to 1620cc. While the class is strictly controlled to remain faithful to its production status, there are many options open to improve the car.
“We’re confident that with Manheller’s experience and Nitron’s expertise in Nordschleife suspension tuning, we can take the smallest car on the grid and make it into a real giant-killer,” said Milltek managing director, Steve Pound. “Milltek Sports exhausts are already proven at the Nürburgring and racetracks all over the world, both in terms of reliability and performance. But because power outputs are strictly controlled we’ll be working with our partners REVO to keep the power gains within the limits set by the organisers while maintaining the Ford’s reliability.”
The first race of the series is due to be held on April 2nd, boradcast on German domestic channel Sport1 and livestreamed for free at www.vln.de/live/
For more progress on the car www.bridgetogantry.com
For more details on Milltek Sport www.millteksport.com