Frikadelli Racing finishes 24-hour race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in eleventh place
• Lance David Arnold, Alex Müller, Wolf Henzler and Matt Campbell pass the chequered flag after 24 hours just outside the top ten
• Norbert Siedler posted third fastest lap of the Top 30 qualifying in 8:09.824 minutes and put the #31 Porsche on the second row of the grid
• Race for #31 car with von Siedler, Felipe Laser, Marco Seefried and Mathieu Jaminet ended prematurely at 2.15 am following a drive train issue
• Team principal Klaus Abbelen: “By and large we can be satisfied; the team did a faultless job and we had eighth place within reach”
Frikadelli Racing finished the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring in eleventh place with the #30 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The crew with Lance David Arnold (D), Alex Müller (D), Wolf Henzler (D) and Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (AUS) had started from 17th position and worked their way up the field. When the race was temporarily red-flagged due to dense fog after a little more than 22 race hours, the car lost its advantage over the pursuers. In qualifying, the second Frikadelli Porsche #31 had highlighted the potential of a 911 GT3 R with Dunlop racing tyres: Norbert Siedler (A) posted the third fastest time in the Top 30 qualifying. This meant a second row start for the car shared by Siedler, Felipe Laser (D), Marco Seefried (D) and Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (F). In the early morning hours around 2.15 am, a drive train problem ended their race after 70 laps.
The race in brief with Frikadelli Porsche #30
Matt Campbell starts the race from position 17, driving a fast and tactically clever first stint. When he hands over the car to Wolf Henzler he has already made it into the top 12. Shortly before Henzler pits for a driver change to Alex Müller on lap 14, his car is hit from behind in a Code 60 zone without severe consequences. Müller drives eight laps without incidents. At 6.50 pm Lance David Arnold takes the wheel for the first time. After his 30 laps on the Nordschleife, Campbell returns into the cockpit in 13th place. On 9.20 pm and ranking 11th, he swaps places with Wolf Henzler who does eight laps. On lap 46 it’s Müller’s turn again, another eight laps later Arnold enters the car. It is nearly 1 am when Campbell tales over on lap 62 for another eight laps. The Henzler leaves the pits on slick tyres only to return after lap 72 to have rain tyres fitted. The heavy rain marks the start of a very uncomfortable night. Müller (from lap 82), Arnold (from lap 90) and Campbell (from lap 98 in the dawn) experience difficult conditions. At 8.49 am Henzler jumps into the 911 GT3 R with wet tyres on a drying track. After lap 106 he receives slicks, only to witness the rain returning. Consequently, he re-enters the pits in lap 111 to have wets fitted. In lap 119 Müller takes over in position eight. However, his stint is cut short. The race direction stops the race at 11.45 am after the Frikadelli car’s 122nd lap due to dense fog. The restart into the formation lap at 1.45 pm sees Matt Campbell am t the wheel. After 131 laps, at 3.25 pm, five minutes before the end of the race, the Australian has to pit for a splash-and-dash and takes the flag in eleventh position.
The race in brief with Frikadelli Porsche #31
From third on the grid, Marco Seefried witnesses a hectic early phase including a slight collision with another car. The Bavarian returns from the first lap in position four. He is able to keep the pursuers at bay, the gap to the top, however, increases. After seven laps he hands the Frikadelli Porsche over to Norbert Siedler. The Austrian has to pit out of schedule at 5.34 pm following an incident and a spin at Pflanzgarten where he slightly hits the barriers. Later he is caught out by an unexpected Code 60 area and has to avoid the slow cars by a swerve over the grass at high speed. Consequently, he has stopps and leaves the car to clean the cooling apertures from debris before rejoining the race. After lap 22 he hands the #31 car over to Felipe Laser. At around 8 pm the car is 9th overall. When 30 laps are completed, Mathieu Jaminet takes the wheel for the first time in the setting sun. It is already dark night when Seefried starts his second stint at 9.23 pm. Eight laps later at 10.36 pm, Siedler replaces him, re-entering the race in 13th place. This time, the Austrian’s stint stays without incidents. After 54 laps it’s Laser’s turn, after 62 laps it’s Jaminet’s. “Car and tyres are working perfectly. I was able to push from the first to the last lap”, says the driver from Leipzig. In lap 70, however, the race for #31 is over: a problem with the drive train shows up while accelerating from “Schwedenkreuz” at 2.15 am.
Quotes after the race
Klaus Abbelen (team principal): "By and large we can be satisfied. Without the red flag we could have reached eighth place; now it’s eleventh and we have to be content with that. Concerning our team, it was a faultless race, everything worked according to plan. It’s a shame that the #31 Porsche didn’t make it to the flag.”
Matt Campbell (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “With all the different conditions, it was a very interesting 24-hour race. We saw a lot of Code 60 phases, yellow flags und considerable traffic. With our Porsche 911 GT3 R we were able to push all the ways. All four drivers did a good job.”
Wolf Henzler (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “Especially during may last stint, the conditions became extremely challenging. There was a lot of water on the track. We either had aquaplaning or a lose backend under braking. That was a very tiring und uncomfortable stint. I acted extremely careful when lapping other cars. In the curves we usually have to use the racing line – and that line was unbelievably slippery in the rain. However, there were no real problems with traffic, everybody was paying attention. Anyway, after my third stint, I was happy to leave the car for a while.”
Alex Müller (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “My first stint was difficult but ok. The second one in the night felt better. I was running the softer Dunlop compound then and the car worked great. I could match the pace of the top 3 and caught up. During my third stint it rained so hard that I couldn’t even go full throttle on some of the straights. It didn’t play into our cards that the race was suspended five laps into my final stint hat. The red flag cost us our hard earned eight place.”
Lance David Arnold (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “The car worked absolutely perfect. We started from position 17 and worked our way up into 7th without so much as a scratch on the car. The performance was fine. I found a good pace and we didn’t lose time at the pit stops. All that went very smoothly. Nevertheless, we found ourselves in the lower half of the top ten because the rain was a problem. We had to take high risks and still lost time. As long as the track was wet, we therefore focussed on avoiding mistakes. All this considered, I guess eighth place would have been the appropriate result. Had it stayed dry, we could have even achieved more.”
Marco Seefried (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “My first stint was difficult. I had to defend my position instead of attacking and I lost a position. In the beginning, the car oversteered a lot. During the driver change we adapted the set-up and that was the right thing to do. My second stint went well and I had real fun. I hardly recognized our Porsche when she ran on the softer Dunlop tyres. Every time we bring all the parameters into the correct working window, we are real strong. It’s a shame that our race ended even before half distance.”
Norbert Siedler (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “Our effort has not been rewarded. Right at the beginning of my first stint, in Pflanzgarten 1, a slower car didn’t realize I was lapping and hit our Porsche rear axle. That's why I spun and struck the barriers slightly. That episode could have ended real bad but luckily not much was broken and I was able to continue after a short repair stop. Our pace was good then. Approaching Flugplatz, however, there was an unannounced Code 60 phase that surprised me at 230 km/h and I had to dodge left into the grass. Because the temperatures went up after this excursion, I stopped and cleaned the coolers. The car was still ok. My second stint ran for it all the more inconspicuous.”
Felipe Laser (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “I am very sad. It wasn't meant to be. Yesterday we delivered an outstanding performance in the top 30 qualifying. Without our bad luck, we could've been up front. Our night stints were extremely fast.”
Mathieu Jaminet (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “In the last lap of my second stint I flew towards Schwedenkreuz and had just closed in on a GT3-BMW, when suddenly a problem in the power transmission occurred and I had no more propulsion. Unfortunately that was the end of our mission. Up to that point, the race had been pretty tough, but we were back in the top 10 after the problems in the early stages. Everyone did a great job and we were able to show the potential of the car and the tyres especially in qualifying. Too bad it wasn’t our weekend.”