- 7th TMG GT86 Cup race coming up
- Ongoing battle for the top
- Pit Lane – AMC Sankt Vith with remarkable team effort at VLN6
Three wins in six races this season, so the outcome is pre-ordained? Not so in the TMG GT86 Cup. Extremely exciting races and thus an ongoing battle for the championship are this year’s TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH’s (TMG) attractive brand cup’s hallmarks. The afore-mentioned three-race winners, Nils Jung and Florian Wolf, Team Ring Racing, have 108 points, only 9 points more than Manuel Amweg and Thomas Lampert of the Toyota Swiss Racing Team. Both duos are among the favourites on 3 September, when the seventh race is held, but so are “Brody“, Bruno-Francesco Barbaro and Olivier Muytjens of the Pit Lane – AMC Sankt Vith team. The winners of the first race this season have scored 91 points and are thus third in the table and still in the race, as it were.
The Belgian team did indeed caught the attention of many a VLN fan, when in the sixth race, on 20 August, they performed brilliantly. Moral winner, having won the spectators’ hearts – those were congratulatory comments when Pit Lane – AMC Sankt Vith ranked third and fifth in the end. And its greatest effort the team had already made before the starting gun could even be heard.
On Friday morning, for no apparent reason smoke was emitted from the engine compartment of the TMG GT86 CS-Cup numbered 532. “I stopped in the first bend and the marshal and I opened the hood only to be engulfed by flames,” boss Olivier Muytjens, then driving, reported. And although the fire had been extinguished soon, the damage was huge. The battery, cables, gaskets, rubber hoses had all melted, but Muytjens and his team of nine wouldn’t give up. “When we found out that TMG had all the spare parts with them in their service truck, we never doubted our participation,” said Muytjens and thanked TMG “for its huge helpfulness and support”.
After a night in the pit, the car was ready again in the morning and Muytjens did indeed drive the best qualifying time. But while the team was still cheering the pole position, news came in that the team’s second car had had an accident, when Jacques Derenne had touched another car in the Schwedenkreuz, then hitting the crash barriers. So the team also repaired the car numbered 531 and its damaged front and rear and the front-left suspension to let both cars be ready for the race in time. “Well, we are indeed quite a team, aren’t we,” was Muytjens comment.
The team at the end had been working for more than 30 hours, from free practice on the Friday morning to the end of the race on Saturday afternoon. “That was our longest VLN effort and it was worse than any 24h race. But I’m proud of our achievement,” sais Muytjens. So it is quite obvious what he wants for the next race. “I would prefer a rather uneventful race,” the Belgian smiled. “But we stick to our goal. We want to win, as we always want!“
Interested teams and drivers will find more detailed information on the TMG GT86 Cup at www.gt86-cup.com.
Royalty-free high-resolution images of the TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH and the TMG GT86 Cup can be found at: www.toyota-motorsport-photos.com