AFRICAN WINS AT THE NURBURGRING
28 August 2013 by RaceMasteR J
Howsit?! Here's a story that makes me "Proudly South African"!
It's about a Capetonian who not only lives in Germany now, but
works and race's at the Nurbergring. And if you think that's
something, what if I told you that he just won the VLN
race there this past weekend! Well done Antony Ashley! We will
be bringing you more info on Antony soon so keep a look out
for that, but in the meantime, here's some info about Antony
and how he got to P1 at the RING.
Winning at the Nurburgring is every racers dream. It’s
the absolute ultimate proving ground! This is a place with such
a strong following that men have been known to sell house and
ship to live here, play all their cards at once and go home
broke. The reputation is one of "Take No Prisoners",
boys become men in just one lap - a grueling 21km long stretch
of tarmac that tests man and machine to its limits. It's no
wonder all the major manufacturers using this track to test
and develop their cars. It’s a proving ground - if a car
is fast here, its proper fast in all conditions.
In pursuit of his automotive dreams, Antony Ashley (above left)
moved to Germany to live at the Nurburgring 2 years ago. Passionate
about anything with wheels since a boy, Antony has made this
his life's ambition to submerge himself in all things cars.
His previous business in Cape Town rented high-end luxury cars
to all sorts of high-profile clients. "It was a fantastic
period of my life, I learned a lot about business whilst pursuing
my passion. After 6 successful years with many industry firsts
it was time for a change - a new challenge". This is when
Antony decided to head to the Mecca of Motorsport, the Nurburgring,
"It felt like home straight away in a strange way…I
wished I had arrived sooner".
"I work for the largest rental company, RSR Nurburg. As
the General Manager, my core duties include marketing, sales,
driver instruction, staff management and I am the South African
agent bringing all sorts of local enthusiasts to the Ring and
Spa Francorchamps in Belgium." As a bonus, I race for the
company in the racing division. At the Ring you meet so many
big personalities who have a real story to tell in racing…my
boss, Ron Simons is no different. A hardened grizzled racer
from an era past, this man has been there, done that, got the
trophy and the battle scars. I am lucky to have learnt so much
Race Series is specific to the Nurburgring. It
features a combined GP Track and Nordschleife (Northern Loop)
layout culminating in a whole 24,358km's per lap… the
equivalent to 10 laps of most normal circuits. In Germany, the
Motorsport fans can be likened to football fanatics. They arrive
in their tens of thousands to crowd around the ribbon of tarmac
that carves a winding curve in their Eifel Mountains.
It's a place steeped in history, where legends were made with
race wins that are now etched in history books. Sir Jackie Steward
nicknamed it the "Green Hell" after a terrifying Formula
1 race win. Niki Lauda crashed so severely he burnt half his
face off so they stopped F1 at the Ring in '76 and deemed the
Nurburgring too dangerous. Since then though, it’s been
business as usual for VLN Series where the best drivers in the
world still drive at insane speeds lap after lap.
The 24th of August saw out the 6th round of the 2013 VLN Championship.
Usually a 4hr endurance race, this was the big one, a 6hr. With
just one other driver, Antony claimed his first win at the mighty
"It was real tough race, we started off with electrical
problems and as such, were dead last after the first lap from
a field of 211 entries. Problems solved and we hit the road…hard!
My teammate drove the first 1,5hrs, then upon my return from
my stint, the team were buzzing! As I climbed from the car,
I heard P1, P1, P1!! We were lying first in class, but as is
common with the Eifel region, the heavens opened. We drove carefully
as the other race cars crashed and crashed.
Antony Ashley on left and team
mate Mark Griffiths on right.
Only 130 something cars actually finished the race - it was
absolute carnage! Seeing the checkered flag was a welcome relief…then
it sank in, we just won at the Nurburgring, the best track of
them all! Special thanks to all involved and my team mate, Mark
Should you be interested in visiting or doing taxi hot
laps at the Nurburgring, feel free to contact Antony via email
or check out RSR's website, www.rsrnurburg.com
or visit their facebook page www.facebook.com/rsrnurburg.
We will be bringing you more info regarding this but at a later
stage. So stay tuned!