Frikadelli Racing finishes second VLN-race on P16
• Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen and Patrick Huisman started from 22th position after being slowed down by a yellow flag during the last qualifying lap
• Halfway through the race, the Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R was on fifth position after a great catch-up
• Due to small repair work during pit stop and driver change, the team lost several positions and had to write off the chance for a top position
Frikadelli Racing finished the second race of this year’s Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) on 16th place. With the new Porsche 911 GT3 R on Michelin intermediate tyres Sabine Schmitz started from position 22 on a wet track, proceeding quite quickly up to fourth place. But soon the asphalt dried up. Four laps into the race, the “Queen of the Nürburgring” pulled into the pits for the first stop and handed over to her Dutch colleague Patrick Huisman.
The four-time Porsche Cup Champion showed a fantastic catch-up and raced the nearly 500 HP Frikadelli-Porsche up to fifth place. Half way into the 4-hour race Huisman handed the steering wheel over to Klaus Abbelen. Unfortunately this stop lasted longer than expected as the mechanics had to fix a loose tie bar at the right rear suspension. After that, the team owner covered seven laps before handing the GT3 R back to Sabine Schmitz in lap 20. In spite of the still changing weather conditions and despite the heavy rain – which made it very challenging at the end of the race – Sabine finished the race as experienced and as fast as usual.
It was as early as in qualifying on Saturday morning that for Frikadelli Racing luck was a little lacking. After the pit stop – which was perfectly coordinated by team boss Eric Meyer – Patrick Huisman crossed the start-finish line a few seconds before the end of the session on fresh Michelin slicks. Everything was served for a fast last lap under perfect conditions. But then an incident at the short circuit version of the Grand Prix track caused a yellow-phase with code-60-rule, resulting in a time loss of more than 15 seconds. So there was no chance left to put the Frikadelli-Porsche on one of the top ranks of the grid.
Quotes after the second VLN-race:
Klaus Abbelen (Tönisvorst, team owner and driver): “The Porsche felt great, it was a lot of fun to drive – even though the changing weather conditions made it quite tricky. It was very slippery in some parts of the track, but the Porsche was good to drive. I like this kind of weather. But there was a lot of scrap both on and offside the track. The were yellow-phases in almost every lap. The fact that we had to repair the tie bar cost a lot of time and threw us back during the race. Otherwise we surely would have achieved a better result. But I’m very optimistic for the 24 Hours race: Once more, the strategy worked very well and the crew did a great job. We are well prepared.”
Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler, driver): “For the first stint we chose the intermediate tyres from Michelin, which was a good decision. I fought my way forward up to fourth position. During my second stint I was a bit more cautious. But I used the fast corners to improve my driving style – the “Schwedenkreuz” section is nearly flat out now. As the rain started at the end of the race, the action really took off again.”
Patrick Huisman (NL, driver): “We definitely made a big step forward with the Porsche. Especially in the medium-speed and fast corners the GT3 R performs very well now. We still need more mechanical grip in the slow sections, this was an issue during the whole weekend. We had a great strategy and everyone did an awesome job. During my last lap I realized that there was a problem a the rear axle. Of course Klaus couldn’t continue the race with the damaged tie bar.”
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