Appearance of the Ukrainian team on "Dubai 24 Hour" in 2009 became the first stage of the serious international performance program in the marathon endurance races. The next step was made when in spring the Tsunami RT crew started in the German VLN series held on the legendary Nurburgring-Nordschleife track from 1977.



Nurburgring welcomed the races for the first time in the remote 1927 and from that time the majority of the racing track (or rather legendary Nordschleife) had no changes in all the past decades. No wonder that the German autodrome now is a real symbol of the races of 20th century hosted the Germany Grand Prix in 20th-70th, so in the pre-war Grand Prix series as in the contemporary Formula-1.


The main Nurburgring decoration is the Nordschleife racing circuit which preserves its unique and inimitable character for almost ninety years. More than 20 km of track laid on the forest slopes of Eifeler mountains counts 154 turns, and the vertical drop is 300 meters! Nordschleife for many years deservedly bears the unofficial name of Grune Holle (Green Hell) and is considered as one of the most difficult, speedy and dangerous racing tracks of the world.


For more than forty years hours-long races on Nordschleife are very popular, including those well-known "24h Rennen Nurburgring". There can be more than 200 crews on the start. From 1977 universal series of hours-long races on Nurburgring is held. Almost any sport and racing car can participate in them under the name of VLN (Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nurburgring).


The Ukrainian team started the 2009 season with the cars of V group, usual cars with minimum alterations, adjusted for the races (analogue of N group in rally). BMW M3 E46 of V6 class (with engine cubic capacity up to 3500 cm3) prepared by the German firm Dizzy Motorsport was rented. Tsunami RT took part in the first three stages of VLN with this car. The crew of Aleksei Basov, Oleksandr Gaidai and Mikhail Ukhov was getting familiar with such a specific track. The highest achievement was the 5th position in V6 class.


Initially the program of competition had no provision for participation in "24h Rennen Nurburgring", but the plans changed at the last moment. It was announced that the united team of Tsunami RT and Racing Team Ukraine would participate in 24-hour marathon with BMW M3 E36 of V5 class (with engine cubic capacity up to 3000 cm3). Accordingly, the new crew included Aleksei Basov, Oleksandr Gaidai, Andrei Kruhlik, Aleksei Mochanov.


Qualification before 24h Rennen Nurburgring was successful due to the best time result in the class. But the race itself became a real challenge for pilots and cars: the crew was struggling for victory in V5 class but the problems revealed later. Firstly, there was a collision with one of the competitors that caused the repairing of the damaged car in the boxes. Later there was a trouble with engine bearer that caused one more long visit to the pit lane for repair. Total loss of time was of about half an hour. As the result of it, the united team of Tsunami RT and Racing Team Ukraine finished with the fourth result in the V5 class. Only half a lap lacked to achieve the podium. The crew passed 3300 km and stayed only 12-13 km behind the crew with the 3rd result.




After the marathon Tsunami RT continued the competition in VLN series in the updated complement, with Aleksei Basov, Oleksandr Gaidai and Andrei Kruhlik. On the next two stages the team started in group V (in V5 and V6 classes) but continuous problems emerged with the reliability of the racing cars. They had passed the qualification but the races were not successful — in one race they didn't start due to the trouble and in another they were out of track on first laps.


There was a change of the racing car after that. On the seventh stage the crew of Tsunami RT (Basov, Gaidai, Kruhlik) started on two cars at a time – BMW 130i of V5 class (prepared by Aust Motorsport) and Porsche 997 GT3 Cup of Cup 3, rented from the Steam Racing (its pilot, Mikhael Schratz, was in the Tsunami RT crew).


Three final VLN stages became the most successful for Tsunami RT in 2009 — Basov, Gaidai and Kruhlik (supported by Mikhael Schratz) were coping well with the new racing car, Porsche. Thus, the Ukrainian team regularly finished in top-20 of the absolute classification and had one of five best results in Cup 3 class (monoclass for Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) in all the three races. The most successful for the team was the ninth, penultimate stage of VLN, where it had the 11th result in the absolute classification and the 3rd result in the class.


According to the results of 2009 season, the final decision on usage of the cars of higher level, Porsche 997 GT3 Cup of 430 HP, maintained by Steam Racing, was taken. Plans for 2010 provided the complete season in VLN and participation in two marathon races — "Dubai 24 Hour", "24h Rennen Nurburgring".