First win of the season for Frikadelli Racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife
At the second round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the Frikadelli Racing team clinched their first win of the season. "Jules", Klaus Abbelen and Felipe Fernandez Laser defied the difficult mixed conditions with the #111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup and won the AM classification of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. David Pittard, Nick Catsburg and Earl Bamber collected valuable data ahead of the 24-hour race on their debut in the new #30 Ferrari 296 GT3.
“Almost everything worked as we had imagined this weekend with our Cup car. Despite the changeable April weather and some set-up problems, we were able to keep up the pace without any problems and finally secured victory. We are accordingly happy and satisfied. As far as the Ferrari is concerned, we still have a lot of work to do. Since the two test days on Monday and Tuesday of this week on the Nordschleife could unfortunately not take place as planned due to the delivery of material and the weather, we had already decided in advance to use this run for setup work. All in all, it worked very well and we were able to make some progress. The numerous pit stops in the race were therefore planned as such. Unfortunately, some basics caused problems that could have been avoided in advance. However, the basic pace of the vehicle is there. We're taking a lot from the weekend and I'm confident that the rest of the work will be done before the next race," explains team manager Klaus Abbelen.
The Frikadelli Racing team coped well with the difficult weather conditions right from the start. In qualifying, Felipe Fernandez Laser already positioned the #111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup on pole position in the AM category of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. Within the CUP2 class it was enough for a strong third place on the grid.
The difficult mixed conditions continued in the race. “Jules”, Klaus Abbelen and Felipe Fernandez Laser didn't make any mistakes and kept the #111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup on the track without incident. At the finish, the driver trio was waved off as class winners in the AM classification of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring. After third place at the start of the season, it was already the second podium success for Frikadelli Racing in the strong one-make cup class.
The weekend was worth its weight in gold for David Pittard, Earl Bamber and Nick Catsburg, all of whom celebrated their debut at the wheel of the #30 Ferrari 296 GT3 Platz. In addition to the aspect that they gained their first laps and experience with the new vehicle on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, an extensive test program was successfully completed. In addition, the Ferrari 296 GT3 covered the first few kilometers in wet conditions.
Felipe Fernandez Laser (#111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup): “It was a lot of fun driving the Cup car on the Nordschleife again. I'm particularly happy about the victory for Jules because we were able to give him a very special birthday present. Overall, I have to say that the coaching sessions with him and Klaus on Friday paid off. Together we were able to take another step forward this weekend. What made me particularly happy was Jules' starting stint when the weather conditions were at their most difficult. He did a great job and got the car safely through the first laps despite the changeable conditions.”
Jules (#111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup): “I couldn't have wished for a better birthday. Everything really came together this weekend and everyone in the team did a perfect job. The joy about this victory is huge, I'm super happy. It was very difficult track conditions where it was easy to lose the car, but we all kept a cool head together. Many thanks to the entire Frikadelli team for this great birthday present.”
Earl Bamber (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “It was nice to be back with the Frikadelli Racing team and to be able to drive the new Ferrari around the Nordschleife for the first time. We got through very well with our test program and have thus achieved our main goal. I am really looking forward to the next races together.”
Nick Catsburg (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “We have had an extensive and successful weekend of testing, using the hours to collect as much data as possible with the new Ferrari. That was important because the time window until the 24-hour race is quite manageable. From a basic point of view, the car already feels very good, but we still have a few tasks ahead of us that have to be done step by step rode to work off. I really enjoyed working with the Frikadelli Racing Team at the weekend and felt right at home.”
David Pittard (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “The first weekend on the Nordschleife with the Frikadelli Racing team is over. It wasn't easy because of the weather, but looking back we can say that we drove in all conditions and made progress with the car. For me it was also the right decision to test as many different things as possible on the car over the course of the race and not to drive for the result. I was particularly impressed by the rain tires from Michelin, which convey a good feeling around the Nordschleife in the wet. I'm really looking forward to the next racing events. It is a pleasure to work with Klaus, Nick, Earl, Felipe, Frikadelli and Rinaldi Racing.”