Owens confirms VLN move
British racing driver Raoul Owens is set for a new challenge in the VLN Championship. The 22-year-old from Pembury, after a highly successful maiden season in GT-style competition last year in the RS01 Renault Sport Trophy, will take part in the first round of the Germany’s endurance series at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, this Saturday, 25th March.
Owens signed a deal with BMW team Walkenhorst Motorsport to pilot a 235i car. Owens will once again be backed by Bright Spark Ventures with additional support from team sponsor Purple Dot.
“I’m really looking forward to racing at the Nordschleife for the first time, it’s a very special place and it’s going to be fantastic to get that on my CV” – said Owens – “After last year we looked at what to do, the Renault Sport Trophy finished at the end of 2016 so we had to do something different, so we took some advice, weighed-up the options, and this is the best choice at this point of my career. Racing in VLN is something completely different for me with the main challenge being the track, there’s nowhere else like it in the world. The car is less powerful than what I’ve been used to but that’s not a bad thing, it’s the sensible thing when you’re having to learn such a long lap and get adjusted to the increase in concentration it requires. Then you can move up to the bigger stuff.”
Initially starting out in VLN with the BMW 235i, as Owens attains the required experience at the immense 24-kilometre Nürburgring-Nordschleife he will ultimately be eligible for the race permit required to compete there in headline events, such as the annual 24-hour race, in a fully-fledged GT3 sportscar.
“We’re playing things by ear at the moment” – he added – “I have to race in the lower class first while I gain the experience of the track, but when I qualify for the permit to race in GT3 we’ll obviously be looking to make the step-up. Manufacturers view VLN very favourably, so becoming involved in the series will hopefully help set us up for the future.”