Frikadelli Racing and new Porsche 911 GT3 R raring to go for the Nürburgring 24-hour race
• Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman and Norbert Siedler will be taking turns in the cockpit of the Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 R
• Team owner Klaus Abbelen: “We want to nail it, but most of all we have to avoid problems and penalties”
Frikadelli Racing is looking forward to the season’s highlight on the Nürburgring. The outfit from the nearby Eifel village of Barweiler is one of the few genuine private racing teams that rank among the favourites for the famous 24-hour race. The Porsche 911 GT3 R that many fans lovingly call “meatball” will again be driven by Nordschleife queen Sabine Schmitz, team owner Klaus Abbelen, and four time Porsche Supercup title winner Patrick Huisman from the Netherlands. Austrian-born Norbert Siedler who still holds the record for the fastest Nordschleife lap in a Porsche 911 will complement the trio in oncoming endurance classic.
The ADAC Zurich 24h race will commence on Saturday at 3.30 pm. The first qualifying will run on Thursday evening from 8.00 until 11.30 pm, quali session 2 is scheduled for Friday 9.30 am. On the same day from 7.50 till 8.30 pm the fans will enjoy the final Top 30 qualifying. German TV stations RTL and RTL Nitro are set to broadcast the complete Nürburgring classic in a record-breaking 25-hour format.
Quotes before the 24-hour race Nürburgring
Klaus Abbelen (Tönisvorst, team owner): “We have prepared our 911 GT3 R with all our heart and soul. Everything is double-checked and tested; now we feel ready to go for the season’s highlight. Obviously, we would like to floor the pedal and go the full distance at full throttle. Having said that, out priority is to avoid problems and penalties. Therefore we are inclined not to do any double stints during the night. If everything will develop according to plan and if equal opportunities prevail, then a top ten finish is within reach, sixth place is a feasible goal and the podium would be a dream result.”
Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler, driver): “For me, the most special phenomenon of the Nürburgring 24 hours are the fans. Seeing them camp along the track, smelling the bonfires and the barbecues – I register all that in the car. Driving by night is another special thing, particularly at full moon on a dry track. If it stars to rain that’s quite another matter. Then, I tend to drive by my nose in places, because if a car in front of me had a spin on the grass verge, it smells like freshly mowed lawn. It might not be the nicest thing for the spectators, but I personally wish for a wet track, particularly for my appearance in the World Touring Car Championship WTCC. Since I will be returning from ‘Top Gear’ filming in time, I will be able to participate in practice on Thursday after all. And a good thing it is, because racing the front-wheel drive Chevrolet without proper practice would not be desirable. The car is entirely different to our ‘meatball’.
Patrick Huisman (NL, driver): “Experience is the one thing that counts on the Nürburgring even more than at other 24-hour races like Le Mans or Daytona. On the Nordschleife it is absolutely vital to anticipate the movements of slower cars and eventually holding back before lapping them. That way you can save time and you won’t risk throwing your own car away. In the VLN races you get to know the different drivers and you can assess what they will do. In the 24-hour race, however, there are a whole lot of completely new driver line-ups which makes it an even greater challenge. In general, we will have to survive the first 16 or 17 hours without mistakes or accidents. Then we will see what happens.”
Norbert Siedler (A, driver): “In my book, the Nürburgring 24-hour race is one of the toughest of its kind. Hardly any part of the track is illuminated by night, that’s why good headlights are vital .The last races saw a lot of retirements. We will focus on finishing the race and not making any mistakes. If we manage to do that then we might end up with a very good result.”
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