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VLN before the start of the season: New Nürburgring license causes discussion

Robert Kah
VLN before the start of the season
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T he Nordschleife is not having an easy time these days. As if the old lady wasn't shaken enough by the tug-of-war between politicians and incompetent strategists, the next thunderstorms are brewing. Anyone who is currently planning their VLN 2015 season would like to have a megaphone on their desk - to shout out the frustration that many amateur athletes grapple with. Who is best to hold the megaphone to the ear is the big question. There is no one responsible for the current problems, they are made up of several components.

DMSB in the criticism

The most heated discussion is the newly introduced Nordschleife license, which is in new German Nordschleife permit is called. The original idea behind it: not to send newcomers through the forests of the Eifel in an overly motorized car without track experience. In other words: do not let loose amateur drivers with a big wallet without previous knowledge on a GT3 planer. Even if the business irritates some team bosses with dollar signs in their eyes. Basically, this is a sensible consideration that seems necessary in view of the safety discussions last season.

After the first presentation of the Nordschleife license at the end of last season, however, some drivers were shocked by the graphic that was supposed to explain which Qualifications the license requires. It was more like a wild labyrinth than a clear overview. To want to enumerate the individual errors and confusions here would go beyond the scope. Just this much: The graphic already indicated that there wasn't much left of the original idea. 'I also stood up for the idea,' says VLN boss Karl Mauer, 'but the implementation is suboptimal.'

Some critics accuse the DMSB of wanting to make a profit with the Nordschleife license . Level B costs 49 euros, level A 75 euros, including additional insurance. If you extrapolate the amount to a few hundred drivers, a considerable sum of money comes together. The argument that administrative costs are hidden behind it is not accepted by many. 'Why don't you just put a cross on the usual license like you do with the driver's license for the individual classes?', It says from the paddock. 'And I also have to submit the evidence for my normal license, which I pay for.'

Course for seasoned professionals

On the part of the DMSB, the fee is justified by the fact that the Nordschleife topic ties up more and more resources. There are meetings on the safety aspects, employees are busy with the topic, staff is trained. That causes costs, which the DMSB has to cover from its two sources of income, the license and event fees Whether for work or due to a lack of budget, they have to complete a course before the start of the season. In theory, this also applies to seasoned professionals such as Porsche works driver Marc Lieb, four-time 24h overall winner, or Dominik Farnbacher, second overall in the 2010 24h race .

One can only smile when one imagines how an instructor should teach racing drivers of this caliber what the ideal line in Hatzenbach looks like and what kind of ground ll could be tricky at the airfield. The absurd regulation is obviously not set in stone. You hear of exceptions and case-by-case reviews that are designed to avoid such scenarios. Of course you don't want to make this public, otherwise more people might come up with the idea.

Nevertheless, it remains questionable why an experienced Nordschleife connoisseur should no longer know where to go within two years. Isn't it the same as swimming or cycling? You don't forget that either. The DMSB justifies the period of two years with the fact that in this phase the accidents on the Nordschleife would have increased significantly and the driving style became harder.

Cost spiral in the VLN?

Without a doubt it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. But for that one would have preferred a committee with specialist knowledge that would then individually assess and process the individual cases. The highlight: It costs money. The prices for the license courses vary in any case between 499 and 950 euros - also depending on whether you use your own car or whether the vehicle is provided. Previously there was an appointment on March 12th before the start of the season. Two dates are planned for this during the season. The quality of these courses stands or falls with the instructors and the organization - there is hardly any point in trailing the lead vehicle in tenth place.

In addition, insiders note that by applying for the international B license, the evidence of individuals Skip the race and then only the course is due. The B license is just under 350 euros more expensive than an international C license. If you meet the requirements, some might decide to apply for an international B license in order to get the Nordschleife authorization more easily.

But the Nordschleife license is not the only point that is currently fueling the resentment of the VLN community. Unfortunately come at the same timetwo more financial burdens added. On the one hand, there is the license fee for the GPS system that is due again after two years. Participants are asked to pay just under 700 euros to purchase the use of the GPS system for another two years.

Higher Costs for setting-up trip

Originally, 135 euros were also charged if participants did not pay by March 7th. However, this regulation was due to the efforts of Karl Mauer in discussions with the GPS service provider. The event-related rent is no longer 250 euros, but 200 euros. Anyone who owns fewer devices than cars can now exchange them. In addition, there is the annoyance about the increased prices for the test and setup drives, which were no longer organized by the VLN, but by Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH - a trend that also applies to other events at the Nürburgring.

The entry fee was 1,500 euros instead of 1,000 euros - early bird price, of course. In advance, the regulation also caused discussions that the crash barrier damage must be paid for depending on who caused it. After a great outcry in the social networks and some complaints from the participants, however, the CNG gave in and only demanded a guardrail lump sum of 100 euros, which was included in the entry fee. While the VLN has been striving to cover costs in recent years, the new organizer is obviously more concerned with profitability.

Although none of the three developments actually have anything to do with one another on the cost side, but for the Nürburgring teams and -Driver remains a bad aftertaste. One can only hope that the conflicts will be resolved like in a good relationship: by talking to each other.

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