Frikadelli Racing wins the 9h race Kyalami
The Frikadelli Racing Team has won the new edition of the 9h Kyalami (South Africa). Nick Tandy, Dennis Olsen and Mathieu Jaminet brought the team of Klaus Abbelen & Sabine Schmitz a perfect end to the season. In addition to the overall victory, thanks to the points won, they also had two title wins in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the unofficial world championship for GT3 vehicles. This is how Dennis Olsen secured victory in the driver championship and Porsche triumphed in the manufacturers' championship.
"We have a weekend behind us which was absolutely not for the faint of heart. I have rarely seen a race that was characterized by so many ups and downs. But despite all the setbacks that have struck us in the meantime, our team has not give up. It is terrific that this fighter's heart was ultimately rewarded with this sensational success. My thanks go to the entire team and of course to our three lightning-fast pilots. A unique team effort that culminated with the two championship titles, ” says team boss Klaus Abbelen.
The roller coaster ride of emotions started for Frikadelli Racing in qualifying when Nick Tandy slid into the track barriers in the third section on a wet track. Thanks to a quick repair by the Frikadelli crew, the Porsche 911 GT3 R could be sent back in time before the session ended. The result: not only the successful qualification for the top 10 shootout but also the pole position for the 9h Kyalami. "Honestly, taking the pole was the best reparation I could offer for my little crash," said Tandy afterwards. For the Frikadelli Racing Team, it should by no means be the only adrenaline rush.
At the start of the race, everything went according to plan. Dennis Olsen was able to convert the pole position directly into the leadership and successfully defended it in the initial phase. Despite two less than perfect pit stops at the start of the race, the driver trio of the Frikadelli Racing Team was able to establish themselves in the top group in the subsequent stints. After a little more than two hours of driving, the dreams of a top result almost seemed to be over. So they fell out of the top 10 after a collision and drive-through penalty. Thanks to a fabulous catch-up by Jaminet, Tandy and Olsen and a perfect pit stop strategy, however, they worked their way back to the top group until nightfall.
The last racing district was dominated by monsoon rain. For safety reasons, the race management therefore decided on a long safety car phase. The start could only be released just 20 minutes before the end. Final driver Nick Tandy was not impressed by the difficult external conditions. From third position, the Porsche works driver managed to take the Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R to the top in the final laps. After 37 years of abstinence from the 9h Kyalami, the Frikadelli Racing Team is once again the first winner of the South African long-distance classic.
Voices after the race:
Dennis Olsen: “It is definitely the best day of my career so far. Winning the drivers 'championship in the Intercontinental GT Challenge and the simultaneous success of Porsche in the manufacturers' standings mean a lot to me. We have had a fantastic year with an extremely exciting season finale here in Kyalami. Many thanks to the entire Frikadelli Racing Team and everyone else who contributed to this fantastic result.”
Nick Tandy: “Our Porsche 911 GT3 R was the fastest vehicle in the field under all weather conditions. We had the pace to fight our way back despite the setbacks in the meantime. I am incredibly happy that the race was restarted again after the long safety car phase and overjoyed that it was enough to win in the end. It was a perfect performance by the entire Frikadelli Racing team. ”
Mathieu Jaminet: “Behind us is an extremely crazy race with an emotional ascent and descent. All the greater is the joy about the overall victory and the two championship titles. The entire team did a fantastic job and our Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3 R was a "real rocket" throughout the weekend.