Trogen beavered away in the Asian Lemans series – four competitions a week
Sami-Matti Trogen, driving for the Walkenhorst Motorsport team, succeeded in the Asian Lemans series, which was run within a week. A series of four races was run in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Trogen was able to speed his pace towards the end and the prize awaited at the finish line of Yas Marina Circuit when their team of three drivers won the amateur class.
There were in total of four races in the Asian Lemans series, two on the Dubai Autodrome and two on the Yas Marina circuit. The length of the competition was four hours. There were three categories, LMP2 and LMP3, or so-called prototype cars, and a GT car category. The Walkenhorst Motorsport team competed with the V8-powered BMW M6 GT3. Behind the wheel, there took turns the team manager Henry Walkenhorst, 54, German Jörg Breuer, 53, and 18-year-old Trogen.
The first race was run on the solar-heated Dubai Autodrome. The qualifying left the team in the back. The first driver to command the car was the team manager Walkenhorst. Then next in the line was Breuer, before the young Trogen. The next race day was started with the same order.
"The first races of my life with a powerful GT3 class car went well. In the Dubai races, I drove the last two stints and the pace was good on both days. There were some difficulties with overcrowding in the first race, but already in the second, I knew how to manage that better. The weekend gave a great learn about things that are very important in the future at endurance-type competitions", Trogen says.
After a week in Dubai, the team had a day-off with jetskis. On Wednesday it was time to head to the Abu Dhabi arena. The race days on the lavish Yas Marine circuit were on Friday and Saturday.
"In Abu Dhabi, everything was a little more familiar. BMW was extremely fine to drive and I already knew how it works. The Yas Marina track was a little harder for me than Dubai; slow turns that I don't like that much. Traffic management was also more difficult as the speed difference compared to LMP-class cars in small turns was small. I started the first race of the weekend; I started in the first stint from position eighteen and drove to the top ten during my turn. On my second turn, I was able to drive for positions 7-11, which was good considering we started from the 18th. In the last race, I had the last turn. The pace was good and steady, we were leading our class so I avoided contacts and tried to get to the finish line. We won our class and were twelfth of all GT class cars."
The Asian Lemans series worked as good preparation for the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie (NLS), which starts in Germany in March. Now, for a moment, Trogen is once again focusing on digital motorsport, with Bathurst’s 12h race ahead, which Trogen will drive with a BMW GT3.
"Overall, the series was successful and I gained valuable experience from the car and racing in the big series. I also learned a lot about the Walkenhorst team – it’s great to be part of this well-functioning race family. Next some esports for a moment, and then again jumping into the wheel of the real BMW", Trogen concludes.
Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie (NLS) – Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3
27.03. Race 1
17.04. Race 2
01.05. Race 3
26.06. Race 4
10.07. Race 5
11.07. Race 6
11.09. Race 7
25.09. Race 8
09.10. Race 9
Asian Le Mans – Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3
13.-14.2. Dubai Autodrome, Dubai
19.-20.2. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi