Sabine Schmitz returns to the wheel of the Frikadelli Racing Porsche
• Comeback: For the first time after defeating cancer, Sabine Schmitz will get into the Porsche 911 GT3 ‘s cockpit on Friday
• Sabine Schmitz: “I wanted to drive again as soon as possible. I missed the team, the Nordschleife and the fans”
• Frikadelli Racing will enter two cars for the third leg of this year’s Endurance championship Nürburgring
• #31 Pro Porsche shared by Lance David Arnold and Felipe Laser; Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen and Alex Müller drive the #30 “Meatball”
This is the news that fans of the “Speed Bee” had been longing for: next weekend, Sabine Schmitz will return to racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Having recovered from a serious cancer attack, the highly popular Top Gear presenter will share a Porsche 911 GT3 R with her life companion Klaus Abbelen (D) and Alex Müller (D) during the third leg of this year’s Endurance championship Nürburgring (VLN). The second Frikadelli Racing Porsche will be driven by a professional line-up consisting of Lance David Arnold (D) and Felipe Laser (D). Schmitz will drive her first test laps on Friday on the traditional track’s Grand Prix Circuit. The four-hour race will commence on Saturday, 12 noon.
“Let’s wait and see how that works. I can’t guarantee a 100 per cent that I will race the car on Saturday but I will certainly try. Even if it is only for two laps on the Nordschleife,” says Schmitz who is still the only women to have won the 24-hour race in the “Green Hell” when she triumphed twice in 1996 and 1997 and who is rated a Nürburgring icon around the world. “A few days ago, I was out there on the track in a production car for filming with Skoda and I had tears of joy in my eyes. During my illness I have always stated that I want to drive again as soon as possible. The fact that I’m allowed to unleash such a car as the Porsche 911 GT3 R on the north loop gives me more than enough reason to be happy. I missed the team and everything that happens around it. To stay in the garage only as a guest is not my style. It’s great that Klaus simply said: If you want to drive, then drive…”
While Schmitz, Abbelen and Müller will fight for points and positions in the Pro Am category, Lance David Arnold and Felipe Laser are aiming for an overall top result in the #31 Frikadelli Porsche. “It is still our ambition to have the Pro car fighting for the top – that hasn’t changed a bit,” says Klaus Abbelen.
In 2018, the Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring (German for “endurance championship”) again consists of nine legs and started on March 24. The 4-hour races are held on Saturdays on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife plus the Grand Prix track’s short circuit that together form a 24.358 kilometre lap. The race on August, 18 will be this year’s only six-hour event. The season will end on October, 20. The 24-hour race on May, 12 and 13 was the undisputed highlight of the season although it does not count towards the VLN championship. Competitors tackled a lap of 25.378 kilometres that consists of the Nordschleife plus the Grand Prix circuit without the stadium section.