Frikadelli Racing Shows Brilliant Recovery at Six-hour Qualifying Race
• Cult-team from the Eifel region finishes 18th with new Porsche 911 GT3 R
• Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen and Patrick Huisman show great potential of “the world's fastest meatball”
• Successful test for Nürburgring 24 Hours
Excellent comeback for Frikadelli Racing during the six-hour qualifying race for the classic Nürburgring 24 Hours: The cult-team from the Eifel region showed an impressive performance. Despite being set back by technical issues, Patrick Huisman, Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz and Frank Stippler fought their way back from the end of the field and finished in 18th position. The squad headed by team manager Klaus Abbelen took the opportunity to use this six-hour endurance test at the legendary Nordschleife including the Grand Prix circuit for tuning and set-up work on the new Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The Frikadelli Porsche started the race from 16th on the grid. During the qualifying session it was Patrick Huisman who set the team’s fastest lap time in 8,29.11 minutes – despite being slowed down on his hot lap by some damage at the car: “Mr Supercup” was involved in an accident without own blame in the first corner. “Patrick did a sensational laptime with the damaged 911 GT3 R” team manager Klaus Abbelen commended the Dutchman after the qualifying. “However, our classification in the ‘Balance-of-Performance’ makes life difficult for us.” Background information: In accordance with regulations, the Porsche 911 GT3 R has to cope with limited power which results in lower maximum speed especially on the long straights.
Shortly after the start the sky opened its gates above the ”Green Hell”. Patrick Huisman was the first driver on the wheel. When two competitors in front of him crashed one into another, the Dutchman reacted promptly by wilfully spinning the Frikadelli Porsche to avoid a collision. “Unfortunately, I had to let pass all the other competitors before I was able to continue the race”, stated the 49-year old racer.
A little later, Huisman had to pit the car because of a brake issue. Moreover, he had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop shortly after due to a wrong tyre choice. After that, Klaus Abbelen took the wheel unwinding an eight-lap-stint without any problems and handing over to Sabine Schmitz. The ”Queen of the Nürburgring” showed an impressive catch-up fighting her way forward to 25th position.
Three hours into the race, Frank Stippler climbed into the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The racing driver from Cologne continued the pursuit race fighting his way up to 18th place. With around one and a half hour to go it was again Patrick Huisman who took the wheel of the Frikadelli Porsche, followed by Sabine Schmitz. Klaus Abbelen took over for the last stint and managed to finish in “the world's fastest meatball” in 18th position.
The team manager and driver of Frikadelli Racing was pleased with the result: “We mainly drove used tyres, so we are very happy with this achievement. All of our drivers were able to complete plenty of kilometres and we are in a good position for the 24-hour race.”
Quotes after the Qualifying race to prepare for the Nürburgring 24 Hours
Klaus Abbelen (Tönisvorst, team owner and driver): “This was a good test run for the Nürburgring 24 Hours. We made good progress especially in terms of the chassis set-up and we were able to work on the driver changes. I was happy with my lap times. Now we look forward to the season’s highlight at the end of May.”
Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler, driver): “During my first stint I had to get used to the new 911 GT3 R. But after that, things went very well. Unfortunately I was properly shaken up in the car because of a missing seat cushion. In my second stint I was on used tyres which quite often resulted in oversteer. But it was good fun in the car. All in all it was a good race for us.”
Patrick Huisman (NL, driver): “During my first stint, two competitors crashed into one another in the first chicane and I had to spin the car to avoid an accident. After that, my car was pointed in the wrong direction and I was forced to let pass all the other drivers before continuing the race. Later on I felt some vibrations while braking so I had to pit. It was precisely at this time when it started raining, so we decided to go out on rain tyres. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the right decision so we had to change the tyres again. Thanks to a huge team effort and a great catch-up we managed to fight our way forward and were able to gain important experience. That makes me optimistic for the Nürburgring 24 Hours.”
Frank Stippler (Cologne, driver): “The car was very good. I am happy that I was able to support the team by further improving the chassis set-up. It was good fun at the wheel.”
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