Second place overall at the debut of "Bella 2.0
David Pittard, Nick Catsburg and Felipe Laser finished second overall in the penultimate round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series season. With this podium finish, Frikadelli Racing's new "Bella" celebrated a more than successful race debut on the Nordschleife.
"We are very satisfied with the debut of our new Ferrari 296 GT3. Even more important for us than the result was the data we were able to collect over the course of the weekend, because especially with regard to the next season and the 24h race, these findings are of great importance. We will continue our development work at the last NLS round in a fortnight' time," explained team boss Klaus Abbelen.
In qualifying, David Pittard and Nick Catsburg, who celebrated their comeback in the Frikadelli Racing team after their triumph at the 24h Nürburgring, lined up together with Felipe Laser in seventh starting position. Due to lengthy Code 60 phases, the chasing of times during the 90-minute session was only possible to a very limited extent.
At the start of the four-hour race, however, David Pittard immediately worked his way forward successfully and was already able to turn onto the Nordschleife in third place overall. A few laps later, he managed to take the lead of the field and thus also cover the first leading kilometres with "Bella 2.0". His two team-mates Nick Catsburg and Felipe Laser continued the Briton's strong performance in the following stints and brought the #30 Ferrari 296 GT3 across the finish line in second overall despite changeable conditions in the final hour of the race.
"At the last pit stop we changed the brakes, which was also part of our testing programme. In doing so, we took a bit more time as the prospect of overall victory was no longer there. Due to the new BoP adjustment for the Ferrari, we were not able to match the pace of the BMW this weekend. The fabulous time of 7:51 min. alone expresses that they were simply in a different dimension than us. Felipe did his job perfectly with slicks in the mixed conditions and didn't take any more unnecessary risks, so we were able to successfully conclude today's test with second place," said Abbelen.
Nick Catsburg: "I had a nice duel with the Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 in my stint. He was very fast at the beginning until I was able to catch up again when his tyres started to weaken a bit. With rain coming down in places, I then just tried to keep the car on the tarmac. It's nice to finish the race in second position, even though the focus today was primarily on testing."
David Pittard: "It was good to be back at the Nordschleife with Frikadelli Racing and the Ferrari 296 GT3. The weekend was extremely positive for us as we were able to gather important data in a wide range of weather conditions. Many thanks to Klaus for the renewed confidence and to my two driver colleagues Felipe and Nicky, with whom the development work is a lot of fun."
Felipe Laser: "Because I was also driving a Porsche 992 GT3 Cup at the same time, I had to get used to the Ferrari 296 GT3 again quickly for the last stint. But all in all everything worked very well and in the end the slicks were the right choice despite the roulette game in the first laps afterwards."