A strong commitment to the customer sport
For more than 50 years, the Bilstein brand has been an integral part of the motor racing world. Apart from the motor racing successes, the striking Bilstein logo has also played a vital role on the way to making Bilstein that popular: a stylised top eye of a shock absorber in the colours yellow and light blue. In the coming season, this trademark will be mainly seen at the Nürburgring as Bilstein sponsors the ADAC Zürich 24h-Race at the Nürburgring and in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. For Bilstein, this engagement and the sponsoring activities included represent clearly more: a strong commitment to mass sports.
When a major company such as Bilstein enters into a partnership with a motor racing event or a racing series, this means more than just placing some stickers. “No, it’s about using synergies at both sides,” explains Steffen Zacharias, Bilstein’s Director Motorsport. “With ‘ADAC Nordrhein’ as organiser of the ADAC Zürich 24h Race and the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, we have found great partners for our mass sport involvement.”
Within just a few years, the ADAC Zürich 24h Race turned into the biggest motor racing event on our planet and since 2004, the number plates of the competitors are decorated with the Bilstein logo. The classic endurance event held at the Nordschleife, in front of some 200,000 enthusiastic spectators, features an explosive mix as ambitioned amateurs are battling it out with top-class motor racing professionals such as Marc Basseng or Christian Mamerow. And the grid is just as variegated and features – from nearly Stock-car to the 500 hp Porsche 911 – nearly everything that has got four wheels.
”For nearly 50 years, the Nürburgring and its Nordschleife in particular have been one of the most important tracks for Bilstein’s shock absorber development,” reveals Steffen Zacharias. The majority of the teams involved appreciate this fact and rely on Bilstein dampers. “The level of varied demands a suspension has to cope with, here, can be found at no other circuit. Therefore, the Nürburgring Nordschleife represents the optimum racetrack for Bilstein to demonstrate our competence in the shock-absorber development area.”
”A competitive motor racing series at the world’s most beautiful racetrack”
In addition to the activities in the ADAC Zürich 24h Race, Bilstein opted for a first-time involvement – as VLN partner – VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, thus again underlining its activities around the Nürburgring. Europe’s most successful mass sport series is held under the same regulations as the ‘big brother’, therefore, the ten rounds contested on the 24.433-kilometre combination of the Nürburgring’s short layout and the Nordschleife also feature extremely variegated grids. The race distance of nine of the races adds up to four hours. The season highlight is the 6-Hour ADAC Ruhr Pokal Race.
Two details of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring have been guaranteeing the series’ success for many years: at the one hand, it’s a one-day event, limiting the costs and the time-factor for all those involved. On the other, a special formula makes for justice. While the races use to be won by powerful racing cars, the battle for the championship is dominated by close-to-construction racers. The reason: the more cars you defeat in your category, the more points you are going to score.
”Bilstein’s motor racing involvement is not only the result of our motor racing commitment alone,” says Steffen Zacharias. “At the same time, the knowledge gained on the race track also represents the basis for our tuning products. Therefore, the Bilstein customer with his car used in the day-to-day traffic also benefits from our motor sport involvement. And if you want to achieve this goal you just have to be involved in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring: a competitive motor racing series, held at the world’s most beautiful and challenging racetrack.”