South African Bentley driver Jordan Pepper heads back to the Nurburgring for the 6-hour qualifying race 22 April. Pepper will compete in one of the Abt team’s Continental GTs in preparation for the 24-hour race at the legendary circuit in June.
“The six hour is quite different to the last two 4-hour races, which were part of VLN championship,” Jordan pointed out. “The track layout is also slightly different for this one – it includes most of the modern grand prix circuit over and above the 20km ‘Green Hell’, which the VLN series does not use and I have not driven that before, so I need to get to know the new bits, but I should be ready thanks to simulation.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as difficult as my first few races though, because I am now more comfortable in the car there and also with some of the teams away racing Blancpain, but it’s still going to be tough. “This race has what is called the ‘blue light’, which means we can pre-qualify for the top ten or top 30 shootout for the 24-Hour, which will earn us a blue light on the front of the car, so slower cars are obliged to give way when you approach from behind at night in the 24.
“So the main objectives for the 6-Hour are to make sure we qualify for the blue light and also to complete our preparations for the 24-Hour over a longer race in race trim – those extra two hours also allow all three drivers to double stint, plus the organisers make their final 24-hour Balance of Performance decisions based on this race.
“The six hour is also the final push before a month’s break before the 24-Hour, which will allow us the chance to analyse and prepare for the big race. “It’s going to be another intense weekend – any race on the Nordscheife is a huge challenge and an incredible experience, so I really can’t wait.