After a whopping 244 days of absence, racing has finally returned to the Nürburgring. The first race in the wake of the pandemic was the newly named NLS championship (Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie) formerly and famously known as the VLN. In order to stay ahead of the curve and guarantee social distancing, a whole new pit system has been invented. To find out how it was to get back to racing, we spoke to Roots Racing driver, and Tim Schrick’s teammate, Lucian Gavris.
Lucian, how did you experience the lockdown and this big break from racing?
It might sound a little funny but from a practical standpoint, it was a perfect opportunity for me. I had just started building my own workshop inside a warehouse and, instead of that becoming a two-year project, I managed to focus myself entirely on it before we went back to racing. So, all in all, it was pretty great timing. Of course, we're all racers and it’s hard not to go racing for so long but now that seems behind us!
It was 244 days since the last race at the ’Ring. That’s a very long time. Can you talk me through that first lap?
It was intense! I’m always a bit emotional at the start of an endurance race because it’s a very special occasion. And indeed, this time was no different. Racing on the Nordschleife is always special. We took it very easy and ended up winning the first race. The pit-lane system was great, and I really commend the organisers on setting up this new pit-lane system. I do think it might have been more challenging had it rained.
How did you join Tim at Roots Racing?
It’s a funny story. Back in 2017, I was racing a Toyota GT86, in the GT86 cup. At one point during a race, I came across Tim, who was racing his Subaru BRZ. Ultimately, they’re similar cars. At that time, it was raining, and I started really pushing him because I thought he was on rain tyres while I was on slicks. He thought the same of me while he too was actually on slicks. So, we ended up having this multi-lap sideways race/drift battle, which was amazing fun. We met up after the race and had a good laugh about it. Later on, I finished my season in the GT86 cup. It was great because we won. A few months before the 2018 season I got a call from Tim asking if I had a seat for the season. His teammate, Holger, runs a big company and didn’t have the time to race another full season in the VLN. I was really happy to join them, and this is now our third season together.
Why is it called Roots Racing?
That is a two-sided story. One part is the car. It’s a very bespoke Subaru BRZ. It has no electronic aids whatsoever. It has a manual gearbox, no ESP, ABS, traction control, or anything else. It’s literally up to the drivers. It’s really back to basics racing. Another reason is the team’s heritage. Both Tim’s (Schrick) and Holger’s (Spelsberg) fathers have also been racing, so it’s literally in their roots.
What does a brand like Motul mean to you?
Motul is without doubt a very strong brand to have behind us. Not just the products but the people who run it. We’ve had such incredible support from the local German team here, and that has really tightened our relationship with Motul. The brand and the team are very passionate about motorsports and go above and beyond to help us during races and events.