Frikadelli Racing Happy with Seventh Place with the BMW M6 GT3 in the VLN Season's Highlight
• Faultless race by Klaus Abbelen, Patrick Huisman, Sabine Schmitz and Norbert Siedler in the unfamiliar BMW M6 GT3
• Frank Kräling, Marc Gindorf and Christopher Brück recover from tyre failure and end up on the category SP7 podium with their Porsche
• Herbert von Danwitz and Thomas Leyherr finish in the top ten of the BMW M235i Cup
Frikadelli Racing had a successful premiere in this year’s only 6-hour race within the Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN): The cult team from the Eifel village of Barweiler tried out a BMW M6 GT3 by BMW Motorsport. Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman (NL) and Norbert Siedler (A) qualified the unfamiliar coupé for 12th place on the grid. “We got along quite well with the BMW right from the beginning”, said Abbelen after practice and quali. “We probably could have gone a little faster but there were also a few things to adjust on the car which cost us some time.”
Patrick Huisman drove the first stint and gained four positions. After lap seven the Dutchman handed the BMW M6 GT3 over to Norbert Siedler in P8. The Austrian ran without incidents and passed the Frikadelli-M6 GT3 on to Sabine Schmitz on lap 15 in seventh place. The ‘Queen of the Nürburgring’ posted some fastest laps before swapping places with Klaus Abbelen in lap 23. The team owner defended seventh place with a constant run. In the final stint Patrick Huisman took the car home in seventh.
The three customer cars from the Frikadelli Racing garage also showed well in the seventh VLN leg. Frank Kräling (Winterberg), Marc Gindorf (MC) und Christopher Brück (Köln) started from the pole position of category SP7 in their Porsche 911 GT3 MR. Eight laps into the race they lost valuable time due to a tyre failure. The Porsche dropped back to fifth in its class. The trio however demonstrated great fighting spirit and took the chequered flag at second in their category.
Janine Hill (GB), John Shoffner (USA), Arno Klasen (Karlshausen) and Duncan Huisman (NL) started in the Cup-Porsche 911 GT3 from fourth in the CUP2 category. For most of the 6-hour-race distance they had a podium finish in sight until braking problem forced them to retire the car.
Herbert von Danwitz (Tönisvorst) and Thomas Leyherr (Dillingen) started from 16th on the grid in the BMW M235i. Beating several competitors, they ended up tenth in the same named BMW cup class.
Klaus Abbelen (Barweiler, team owner and driver #20): “All in all a very successful test with the BMW. There were absolutely no technical issues. We could have even extended the distance between refuelling and might have won the odd position or two. However, we decided not to risk anything and we are satisfied with this result.”
Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler, driver #20): “I quickly felt very confident with the car. It was surprising how fast we could go in several turns. Under braking the BMW feels very good, too. It’s a shame that I haven’t had a real clear lap due to the traffic and the yellow flags but even so we had the fastest car on the track for some time. I’m very happy with the result.”
Patrick Huisman (NL, driver #20): “A quite successful weekend for us. At the beginning we had to sort out minor problems with the seating position and tyre pressures. After that, all went well. From a driver’s point of view, the BMW makes it easy to go fast.”
Norbert Siedler (A, driver #20): “The car handles good. I could only do three laps before the race with the M6 GT3. However, it feels a little different, especially in fast corners. Regarding the lap times we were on eye level with our rivals.”
Christopher Brück (driver #62): “We have been the fastest SP7 team for the entire weekend and grabbed pole position with four seconds advance. After the start I managed to open a 40 second gap but then the tyre failure robbed us of a nearly certain win, which is really a shame. Taking that into account we are quite satisfied with second place.”
Marc Gindorf (driver #62): “When you lose three minutes due to a tyre failure, then second place is not bad at all. In my stint there were a lot of yellow flags and Code 60 zones, so I hardly had a clear track.”
Frank Kräling (driver #62): “Because of the high temperatures we suffered from a lack of grip from the rear tyres. Therefore we changed to the harder compound. P2 is okay, we were able to collect good points.”
Arno Klasen (driver #109): “We were running a safe third when we had to retire the car due to braking issues. Nevertheless it was a positive weekend. The Porsche ran well and the atmosphere within the team is great. Once again, our mechanics did a great job with their fast pit stops even when we weren’t rewarded in the end. But that’s racing. Now we are looking forward to the next race.”
Janine Hill (driver #109): “Until our retirement we posted real quick lap times. Having to stop so late in the race is disappointing, but a technical problem can always occur.”
John Shoffner (driver #109): “It’s a shame that the podium position didn’t happen. Before the braking problems occurred the car went very well. We will attack again next race.”
Duncan Huisman (driver #109): “The car felt fantastically today, even a bit better than in the 24-hour race. There was some gearbox trouble in my second lap, but soon the car was ok again. Until the retirement, that is.”
Thomas Leyherr (driver #672): “A fantastic race. Though we started way back we finished in the top ten which was our goal. The set-up work after the last test has really paid off.”
Herbert von Danwitz (driver #672): “After two difficult races where we didn’t finish because of collisions that were not our fault, we have brought the car home without a scratch in the 6-hour race. P10 is a great result.”