Six-hour qualification race emphasizes Frikadelli Racing’s rising form curve
• Alex Müller, Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell and team principal Klaus Abbelen see the flag in 13th position
• Number one in qualifying: Norbert Siedler takes pole position for the Top 30 qualifying but #31 Frikadelli Porsche early out of the race
• Team principal Klaus Abbelen: “Our pole position in qualifying proves that our hard work is paying off”
Frikadelli Racing finished Sunday’s six-hour qualification race for the 24-hour season highlight with a tearful and a joyful eye. The #30 Porsche 911 GT3 with Alex Müller (D), Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (AUS) and Klaus Abbelen (D) took a fine 13th place. The #31 sister car with Norbert Siedler (A), Marco Seefried (D) and Felipe Laser (D), however, took pole position for the Top 30 qualifying but retired after only 30 minutes into the race. Seefried was hit by another car that spun while being lapped.
A Frikadelli Racing car was fastest in the first qualifying session o Friday night. Norbert Siedler marked a 8,16.758 min lap for the Grand Prix circuit plus the Nordschleife. Since the track was still wet from the night’s rain on Sunday morning for the second session, the Austrian’s time remained unbeaten. Siedler not only took pole for the qualifying shoot-out but also secured a slot for the vital Top 30 qualifying for the 24-hour race as well as the all-important “Blue Light”. This light informs slower competitors that one of the top cars is approaching from behind. Later on Sunday morning, Felipe Laser posted the seventh fastest time in the Top 30 quali, still hindered by the drying track. Alex Müller in the #30 sister 911 marked the 15th fastest lap on Saturday night (8,21.023 min), Matt Campbell confirmed this position on Sunday morning.
The race in brief
Marco Seefried took the start turn in the #31 Frikadelli Porsche and fought in the leading group when he was taken out of the race by another competitor after only 30 minutes. A car he was about to lap in the track section Wippermann spun and hit Seefried’s Porsche. The collision meant the end of the race for Seefried and his team mates Norbert Siedler and Felipe Laser.
In the #30 Frikadelli car Matt Campbell drove the first stint and handed the car over to Alex Müller after five laps as scheduled. The German drove eight laps and returned the car in 14th position to the Australian. 21 and 29 laps into the race, they swapped places again. For the final stint, team owner Klaus Abbelen entered the cockpit on lap 35. After six laps, he brought the Porsche 911 GT3 R home in 13th position.
Quotes from the drivers
Klaus Abbelen (team principal chef and driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “Our pole position for the Top 30 qualifying proves that our hard work is paying off. We have eliminated a lot of smaller issues. When the team, the car and the Dunlop racing tyres all work together we will fight for the top. I believe that we are working in the right direction.”
Matt Campbell (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “I drove the first and the third stint and I felt very comfortable in the car and on the track – even if there was a lot of traffic while lapping. Unfortunately, we lost contact to the top after some time. But the Porsche handles well and is also fast.”
Alex Müller (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “We tried a few things and toyed with the tyre pressure which felt promising. Everything runs according to plan so I think that for the 24-hour race we will be in our envisaged position.”
Norbert Siedler (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “I definitely managed a good lap in qualifying. I knew that we have a good car and that we can go real fast. After free practice, we found something with the set-up which has helped us. That said, I never imagined that we can take pole position. There is still room for improvement on the car especially for the long-runs so that we can drive eight laps consistently quick until the next tyre stop.”
Felipe Laser (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “The Top 30 qualifying was exciting! We opted for a different strategy and choose a different tyre than our competitors. Being the first car on the track in the shoot-out made our life a little difficult. It was wet from Adenauer Forst up to the Karussel and I really had to fight. All in all I guess the qualifying lap was ok, seventh on the grid is a nice result.”
Marco Seefried (driver Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “I was right behind Richard Lietz when we caught up to a slower BMW at the Hohe Acht in lap four. The driver wanted to do us a favour and opened the door. Only he ran too wide, came on the marbles and started to lose the car. He saved it three times but the car finally spun and hit our Porsche. That was the end of our race. Up to that point I could match the Manthey Porsche’s pace. I’d very much like to see what we could have done today.”