Nürburgring 24h: Frikadelli Racing as the best Porsche team in seventh place overall
At the 24h race on the Nürburgring Mathieu Jaminet, Lars Kern, Lance David Arnold and Maxime Martin achieved seventh place overall with the # 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The newly formed quartet of drivers ensured the best Porsche result at the 48th edition of the endurance classic in the Eifel. The # 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Klaus Abbelen, Alex Müller, Robert Renauer and Norbert Siedler also saw the checkered flag in the end, despite the difficult weather conditions.
“In view of the difficult circumstances before this race, I am generally satisfied with the result of our # 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R. After all, you shouldn't forget that after the COVID-19 precautionary measures we had to take, we had to replace some staff at short notice before the event. From the drivers to the race engineers, there have been numerous changes in our line-up. Even if this was a great challenge, we mastered it very well together with Porsche, ”explains team principal Klaus Abbelen.
During the training sessions, Frikadelli Racing therefore first had to rehearse the processes in the team and work out the best possible vehicle setup for the difficult weather conditions. In the subsequent top qualifying, Alex Müller was able to achieve the best result for the Porsche brand. He placed the pre-qualified # 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R in 14th starting position in the overall standings.
The # 31 Frikadelli sister car, which was driven by Mathieu Jaminet in the top qualifying, came behind in 18th place. In the race, however, this car should move forward quickly. Starting driver Maxime Martin was able to fight his way into the top 10 in the first lap in the most adverse weather conditions. The driver team stayed in this area for the following hours. Due to increasing rainfall, the race management decided to stop the race at around 10:30 p.m., which should last 9.5 hours.
After the restart, Jaminet, Martin, Arnold and Kern fought their way up to the top 4 of the overall classification at times, depending on the pit stop situation, and fought hard and intense duels with the GT3 competition. In the end, the quartet of drivers crossed the finish line in sixth place. Due to a time penalty, they lost one position after the race and were classified in seventh place.
With the # 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R, Alex Müller, Robert Renauer, Norbert Siedler and team boss Klaus Abbelen focused primarily on winning the Pro-Am classification. Having started from third place, they were able to work their way up to the top in the early stages of the race. However, swapping the alternator threw it back a bit in the evening. Nevertheless, the four experienced Nordschleife drivers did not give up and fought a duel with their brand colleagues from Huber Motorsport for victory in the Pro-Am category in the morning hours. When heavy rain surprised the drivers around 1:45 hour before the end of the race, Abbelen had an accident with the slick-tire nine-eleven in the Pflanzgarten area. Despite the damage, he was able to continue driving and bring the car to the pits for repairs.
“Our team was able to remedy the situation quickly, but we lost time due to this incident that we lacked in the aftermath. In combination with the shortened race distance due to the nocturnal break, it ultimately meant that our fourth pilot was no longer able to cover the required minimum distance of 15 laps. Although we crossed the finish line in 17th overall or third place in the Pro-Am category, we were later taken out of the ranking. Unhappy, but we have to put up with it. We'll attack again next year, ”continued Abbelen.
Voices after the race:
Mathieu Jaminet (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “It was of course a very special situation for all of us in the run-up to this race. After Le Mans, Porsche acted for everyone's safety and made the absolutely right decision. I was happy that despite the withdrawal of the “Grello-Porsche” I was able to work together with Frikadelli Racing in the 24h race. A team that I've known from the past two years. The collaboration worked very well over the weekend. It's a bit unlucky that we missed the top 5 in the end. In terms of performance, it would certainly have been possible. "
Lance David Arnold (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “In terms of the conditions, it was one of my most difficult 24-hour races ever at the Nürburgring. Despite the special weather, we ended up making no mistakes and did a good job. Unfortunately this time we weren't as strong overall as the other manufacturers. We got the best out of the package and crossed the finish line without a scratch on the car. That was certainly not easy, many well-known drivers had accidents on the track. Thanks at this point to the entire team, it was a lot of fun. "
Lars Kern (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Best Porsche, that's a good result in principle. But we could never get our rain tires into the right working window. We were fast in the dry, but unfortunately it rained all the time except for four or five dry laps. Despite the short-term change in staff, we delivered a reasonable team effort. "
Maxime Martin (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “It was an extremely difficult race from the start until the black and white checkered flag fell. We haven't had a stint in which it was completely dry. In previous years we mostly only had to struggle with such tough conditions at times in the 24h race. Surely our result could have been better in the end, but we got through without incident. "
Alex Müller (# 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We gave everything, unfortunately in the end it wasn't enough to achieve our Pro-Am victory. Nevertheless, a big thank you to the entire Frikadelli Racing Team. Our Porsche was well prepared and the pit stops also worked perfectly. We'll attack together again next year. "
Norbert Siedler (# 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Of course we imagined the race to be very different. About three laps before the red flag we had to change the alternator, which of course was a very unfortunate time. But we are satisfied that we were able to finish the race under these difficult conditions. "