Last VLN leg before 24-hour race on the Nürburgring ends with 13th place for Frikadelli Racing
• Lance David Arnold, Alex Müller and Frikadelli new member Wolf Henzler worked their way from 20th on the grid up to position 13
• Race for Felipe Laser with new team mates Marco Seefried and Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet ended prematurely
• Team principal Klaus Abbelen: “We had a race weekend with mixed feelings”
Frikadelli Racing ended the second leg of the Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) this Saturday with place 13 for the #30 Pro Porsche 911 GT3 R with Lance David Arnold (D), Alex Müller (D) and Wolf Henzler (D) at the wheel. Beginning with lap four, the #31 sister car had to stop several times at the garage where the team tried to find the reason for a loss of power. The crew utilized the rest of the race for tyre tests. Around three hours into the race, Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (F) finally withdrew the car he was sharing with Felipe Laser (D) und Marco Seefried (D).
In qualifying on Saturday morning, Frikadelli Racing took place 15 on the grid with the #31 car of Laser, Seefried and Jaminet (8,04.353 min). Arnold, Müller and Henzler in the #30 Porsche managed position 20 on the grid (8,05.147 min).
The race in brief
Wolf Henzler drove the start turn in the #30 Porsche. However, shortly before the lights turned green, he had to brake for a slower car in front of him and lost momentum. Still on the Grand Prix circuit, he was pushed off the track by another competitor but then began to catch up. After seven laps he handed the Porsche 911 GT3 R over to Alex Müller in 18th position. Müller had an incident-free stint and swapped places with team mate Lance David Arnold after lap 13 exactly in the middle of the race. Arnold drove an entire eight lap stint before refuelling and also took over the final stint to the chequered flag.
The Frikadelli car #31 was first driven by Felipe Laser who quickly moved up a position to p14. In lap three, however, he noticed a loss of power, drove into the pit lane and handed the car over to Marco Seefried. The Bavarian racer had to pit two more times in short sequence, the second stop lasting 15 minutes. The fault had been corrected by then but the team rebuilt to the former status on lap eight to really understand the reasons for the problem and eliminate it for the future. After this pit stop, Mathieu Jaminet took the opportunity to compare different compounds of Dunlop’s racing tyres before he parked the car in the garage after around three hours.
Quotes from the team
Klaus Abbelen (team principal): “This was a race weekend of mixed feelings for us. It is extremely close at the top this year. In qualifying, a lap time of 8.04,353 minutes was good enough for position 15 only. That was disappointing. In the race just one of our cars took the chequered flag. At least our #30 had no problems at all but we still can’t quite compete with the speed at the top. The #31 car had a few issues that we have to completely sort out before the six-hour race next weekend in order to race in top condition. I really hope that we can enter both cars.”
Alexander Müller (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “My stint was quite ok and our Dunlop racing tyres showed good consistency. The team called me in after only six laps because there was a very long Code-60 zone between Bergwerk and Kesselchen. Like our competitors we tried to use this phase for refuelling before the race was on again. I am quite optimistic for the 24-hour race. The car ran well but although team and drivers have made good progress since the first VLN race we still have some fine tuning to do. I believe that we are in a good position.”
Lance David Arnold (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “The car felt good in qualifying. We changed some things on the set-up and worked in the right direction. Nevertheless, there are still areas where we have to improve before the 24-hour race.”
Wolf Henzler (driver Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 R #33): “In the starting phase I had bad luck. Shortly before the lights turned green, the car in front of me braked so I had to lift the throttle, too. We definitely lost out a little there. Driving through the Grand Prix circuit’s short connection in the first lap another car pushed me into the gravel bed and two cars passed me. I think that contact was uncalled for. After that, I didn’t manage to pass the car in front of me. However, all in all it was a solid race and the car suffered no damage.”
Felipe Laser (driver Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “The first two or three laps went well and I gained a few positions. Then the car lost power and I had to enter the pits ahead of schedule.”
Marco Seefried (driver Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “After I took over the car from Felipe, I went round the sprint circuit twice and re-entered the pits both times. When the guys had eliminated the problem I directly turned onto the Nordschleife where the car worked well and was very driveable. However, we deliberately built back to the faulty parts in order to really understand the issue.”
Mathieu Jaminet (driver Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “Being only 15th on the grid was not what we had hoped for. In the early stages we posted the third fastest lap time but then fell back. When I was on a fast lap with fresh tyres we met a minor problem which spoiled our chances of a top-five position on the grid. The performance, however, was fine. Sadly, I could not drive an entire stint in the race because we were searching for the fault. So our race became more of a test day during which I tried several Dunlop tyre compounds. Concerning our car’s set-up we found a few good solutions. I am reasonably happy and quite confident for the six-hour qualification race next weekend as well as for the 24-hour race as the season’s highlight.”