Frikadelli Racing doesn’t meet its own expectations at the VLN season’s penultimate round
• The Porsche of Team Principal Klaus Abbelen, Felipe Laser and Lance David Arnold just missed out a podium finish
• The car number 31 of Norbert Siedler and Alex Müller retired after a collision when lapping another car.
• Misfortune in qualifying led to grid positions ten (Abbelen/Arnold/Laser) and 15 (Siedler/Müller)
• Klaus Abbelen: “It’s a disappointing result. We could have finished much higher up with both our cars, but once again we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Barweiler / Nürburgring (October 8, 2018). The eighth and penultimate round of this year’s Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring saw Felipe Laser (Leipzig), Lance David Arnold (Duisburg) and Klaus Abbelen (Barweiler) finishing in sixth place with their 911 GT3 R, not meeting their own expectations. For both cars entered by the Porsche customer team that has managed two race wins this year, the podium seemed within reach. But as early as on lap four, Austrian Nobert Siedler, who shares driving duties with Alex Müller (Rees), had to retire the car when his superb drive ended in a collision.
Earlier that day, the 90-minute qualifying session didn’t go well either for Frikadelli Racing. Numerous accidents and “Code 60” periods on a damp track didn’t allow the two 911 GT3 R Porsches to find a clear lap. Short before the end of the session, the number 31 car with Norbert Siedler at the wheel also suffered from a damaged tyre, caused by debris on the track. Grid position 15 for him and Alex Müller was the outcome. The Porsche of Abbelen/Arnold/Laser, starting in the GT3 premium class, came tenth in qualifying.
During his seven-lap opening stint, Laser improved to fourth position before handing over the car to Arnold who further improved to second position and was even leading the race when the next driver change was due with 15 laps completed. Laser continued in P3 but had to take a 150-second penalty after Arnold had exceeded the speed limit during a Code 60 period. After 23 laps, Klaus Abbelen took over to bring home the car safely in sixth position.
Quotes after the race
Klaus Abbelen (Team Principal and driver Porsche 911 #30): “I had a clean final stint but I’m disappointed with today’s overall results. We could have finished with both cars within the top three but shot ourselves in the foot. Something we definitely wanted to avoid. However, accidents and speeding penalties can happen – we were pretty unlucky today.”
Felipe Laser (driver Porsche 911 #30): “My first stint was quite action packed and intense. I started on a set of Dunlop tyres that we had used in qualifying. Those were quite okay, although I was missing the short-time peak performance they develop when they are entirely fresh. Nevertheless, the pace was fine and I managed to gain some positions. The second stint was fun too with the Dunlops performing well from the beginning until the end of my eighth lap. Then, unfortunately, the penalty was a set-back. However, such things can easily happen and are part of the game.”
Lance David Arnold (driver Porsche 911 #30): “I enjoyed a good stint with the Porsche working well and me finding a nice rhythm. I settled at the front but, however, couldn’t know where we were going when I handed back the car to Felipe.”
Norbert Siedler (driver Porsche 911 #31): “The start was fine and I managed to catch up. I could have gone even faster but it’s always difficult when you are forced to follow others. Approaching the second carousel, I was about to lap a slower Cayman. This car, however, was just being overtaken by a BMW. I tried to get by in the middle of both cars but the Porsche didn’t see me and touched my car at the rear wheel. I ended up square in the barriers.”
Alex Müller (driver Porsche 911 #31): “This was not the way we fancied that weekend. Qualifying had been tricky already with the damp spots on track and the various Code 60 periods. When the Nordschleife was clear for only a few minutes, we were busy sorting out a damaged tyre. Such a damage happens easily when the circuit is full of debris.”