Sixth-place finish for Frikadelli Porsche with Klaus Abbelen and Alex Müller
• #30 Porsche in the top six after clean and tidy run in the sixth leg of this year’s VLN championship
• Lance David Arnold and Felipe Laser in the #31 Porsche had a top result in sights but had to retire their car after 2.5 hours into the race
• Felipe Laser’s outstanding qualifying lap hampered by yellow flags; Frikadelli Racing cars eighth and eleventh on the grid
• Klaus Abbelen: “I’m happy with sixth place for our #30 car but the sister car’s retirement definitely cost us a top result and that hurts”
Barweiler / Nürburgring (September 3, 2018). Frikadelli Racing finished the sixth round of this year’s Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) with a sixth place after a faultless and trouble-free race by Alex Müller (Rees, D) and team boss Klaus Abbelen (Barweiler, D). The sister car, driven by Felipe Laser (Leipzig, D) and Lance David Arnold (Duisburg, D), had to retire after 2.5 hours of the four-hour race. One hour into the race, Arnold had handed over the 911 GT3 R in fifth place to Laser. During the pit stop, however, the left rear wheel wasn’t completely tightened due to a damaged wheel gun. Consequently, the car suffered from serious vibrations that led to an unscheduled pit stop and a long repair. Laser resumed the race but was one lap down. With some fantastic lap times he worked his way up from 52nd to 24th position but was forced to retire the car with a consequential damage.
The qualifying on Saturday morning didn’t quite fulfil the team’s hopes with eighth on the grid for the #31 Porsche but demonstrated the great potential of the Dunlop-shod 911 GT3 R: Felipe Laser posted a lap of 8:02.883 minutes in his final qualifying attempt even though he did lose six seconds in a double-yellow phase in the first sector and couldn’t improve on his fastest time of 8:01.565 minutes, driven right at the start of the 90-minute session. Alex Müller put the sister car on eleventh place on the grid, having done a lap of 8:03.116 minutes.
Quotes after the race
Klaus Abbelen (team principal and driver Porsche 911 #30): “I had two really good stints despite heavy traffic and several yellow phases. We all know you just have to handle these things here on the Nordschleife. Anyway, I’m happy and the car worked very well. Maybe I could have found some more seconds but certainly not many. All in all, P6 is a more than acceptable result for our car. The retirement of our #31 Porsche, however, hurts – particularly because there was another top result within reach.”
Alex Müller (driver Porsche 911 #30): „The qualifying was ok. On my fastest lap though I was stuck behind a Mercedes from the Grand Prix circuit right up to the Karussel and lost aero performance during that phase. I had a trouble-free race. During my second stint I was soon able to catch the Schnitzer-BMW but then a Mercedes held me up for more than a minute. The Porsche ran absolutely fine. We drove consistent lap times and the mechanics did a great job.”
Felipe Laser (driver Porsche 911 #31): “After P8 in qualifying I was quite frustrated because I had a double-yellow zone on my final lap. I think we could have equalled the pole position lap because our car felt really nice. The retirement is a shame, too. Two laps after my pit stop I closed the gap to the Audi on P4. Then the problem at the left rear occurred and I had to return to the pits. Thy guys fixed it in record time and for some time I was able to post top lap times. That shows how perfectly our car and the Dunlop racing tyres worked together. Third place was absolutely within reach. We will go for it next time round.”
Lance David Arnold (driver Porsche 911 #31): “My first stint was difficult. I started the race on a used set of tyres and we didn’t have much experience with that kind of strategy. So we lost some of the performance we had shown in qualifying. We are going to analyse this issue thoroughly. Apart from that, the Porsche worked very well and showed a great balance.”
In 2018, the Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring (German for “endurance championship”) again consists of nine legs and started on March 24. The 4-hour races are held on Saturdays on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife plus the Grand Prix track’s short circuit that together form a 24.358 kilometre lap. The race on August, 18 was this year’s only six-hour event. The season will end on October, 20. The 24-hour race on May, 12 and 13 was the undisputed highlight of the season even though it does not count towards the VLN championship. Competitors tackled a lap of 25.378 kilometres that consists of the Nordschleife plus the Grand Prix circuit without the stadium section.