Ford GT from Jürgen Alzen Motorsport

Stefan Balauf /Robert Kah
Ford GT by Jürgen Alzen Motorsport
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K name this phenomenon, if look alike dogs and their owners? In this particular case, this curiosity can be transferred to a car and its owner. Okay, optically there is little in common between the Ford GT and Jürgen Alzen. But this car and this guy seem to be made for each other: angular, flat, exotic. As distinctive as the shape of the American flounder, so idiosyncratic its owner, who with his head of blond hair reminds a little of a freaky scientist.

Ford GT like an exotic pedigree cat

The surname Alzen speaks for itself. Jürgen's younger brother Uwe also wears his heart on his tongue. Uwe's first reaction a few years ago to his brother's new achievement: 'Do you have to know yourself what you're doing with the drum.'

On his debut in the US race at the fifth VLN run, of all places In the 2015 season he immediately won the overall victory with Dominik Schwager. Jürgen stayed in the background and grinned. Even after his premier triumph at the season finale last year, he knew that the work was worth it.

But he is not running out of it. Because the Ford GT is like an exotic pedigree cat that needs to be treated accordingly. And that's exactly why the kitty goes so well with the man who loathes trends. He doesn't want to hum along with the GT3 crowd, but rather do his own thing. He is known for that. Like the Alzen gang, the black flounder has long been a cult object on the Nordschleife and has catapulted itself into the hearts of fans.

A car that Alzen would prefer to place under species protection. 'It's my darling,' he says. 'I could drive another GT3 car, but there would be nothing to be done about it. I don't have a job.' The 52-year-old's weakness for tinkerer cars goes back a long way. In the past, his heart was still attached to the legendary Turbinchen, the conversion of a Porsche 996. Today he lives for the 518 hp Ford.

He speaks lovingly of his piece of jewelery, which for him is far from being old. While the competing models have grown numerous wings over time, he swears by the concept, which is over eight years old - a pensioner in the steadily growing GT3 fleet. As early as 2007, the Swiss Matech Racing team fielded the Ford GT on their own in the FIA ​​GT3 European Championship and the ADAC GT Masters - and left with itrevive the myth of the long-distance icon Ford GT40.

Porsche, BMW and Mercedes? Can't see Alzen anymore.

Alzen knows about the particular fascination of this model, which made history at the 24h race of Le Mans in the 1960s. He doesn't care about legendary status - technical refinements are important to him. 'It's a real exotic. That's what makes it so interesting.' Porsche, BMW and Mercedes? He can't see anymore. In any case, he considers the puristic Ford GT to be the better racing car. 'It drives great,' he says in the usual Alzen manner. 'It is very low, therefore has a low roll center and is very gentle on the tires.'

Because Jürgen, who leads the rankings ahead of Olaf Manthey with 29 VLN overall victories, is currently 'not in the mood for the speed limit' on the Nordschleife, he prefers to let others take the wheel. As a regular driver with two years of experience, Dominik Schwager knows the strengths and weaknesses of the Ford best.

'We are doing very well, especially in medium-fast passages,' he says. 'The torque curve is also an advantage.' However, the electronics have already gathered some dust. Because only one speed can be programmed, the drivers in the slow zones have to look at the speedometer. Further construction sites: the traction control and the brake, which have reached the limit. 'In terms of aerodynamics, the Ford GT is one of the youngtimers,' says Schwager.

Strictly speaking, he shouldn't even move the gem out of the garage. Because replacement chassis cost hell, the parts supply is catastrophic. 'If we have major damage, we cannot drive the next race. Of course you have that in the back of your head, but it does not affect the way you drive. Otherwise you can stay at home right away,' said Schwager.

Ford GT is allowed into the wind tunnel in Cologne

Spare parts and durability present Alzen with the greatest challenge. Together with partners, he has chassis components such as wheel carriers and plastic parts rebuilt based on the originals. A second car, called 'organ donor' in Alzen's technical jargon, is always with him in the truck. 'It's much too good to drive with it. Maybe I'll put it in my office at some point,' says the native of Westerwald.

From a support engineer on the track such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Co Alzen and his team can only dream. What does not fit is made to fit. Ford is happy to see the commitment, but does not have the means to support the team materially or financially. After all, you can use the wind tunnel in Cologne. The Ford GT has already been a guest twice for half a day.

An important step in the further development, because Alzen is entering the SP-X class instead of the SP9 category with the Ford in a new configuration for GT3 cars. 'With the old homologation we had inthe GT3 no longer has a chance, 'he says.' That's why we sat down with the technicians from ADAC and found a good solution with the SP-X class. '

Fear of your own courage

The modifications include a different gear ratio, shift paddles and the redesign of the 5.3-liter V8 engine. The front lip is now in place 100 millimeters over and thus generates more downforce on the front axle. The rear wing has shrunk by ten centimeters in width and is now located further back. Also new: the Michelin vignette tires. After Yokohama, Dunlop and Hankook, Alzen Motorsport is now cooperating with the French.

If the speed limits disappear from next season, Alzen wants to continue charging with the Ford GT on the Nordschleife. Despite the debut of the new GT3 generation, he believes in his darling: 'Only sometimes, even I have Fear of your own courage. '

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