Frikadelli Racing eager to start into new VLN season
- Klaus Abbelen, Patrick Huisman and Norbert Siedler fell well prepared for this year’s first leg of the Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN)
- New Porsche 911 GT3 R has seen its race debut in Daytona, was tested on the Nürburgring a few days ago and is now ready for the Nordschleife challenge
- Race event on Saturday starts with qualifying practice at 8.30 a.m., four-hour race to commence at 12.00 a.m.
Motorsport fans and especially friends of races on the famous Nordschleife can now breathe a sigh of relief: Next Saturday the new Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring (VLN) will start its new season. Once again, Frikadelli Racing will receive much attention. The Porsche customer team from Barweiler only a few kilometres from the world-famous track, will enter their new Porsche 911 GT3 R that is based on the recent model generation 991. The 500 plus horsepower sports car will be driven by team owner Klaus Abbelen and Eifel-born racer Sabine Schmitz as well as Porsche specialists Patrick Huisman from Netherlands and Norbert Siedler from Austria. 33-year old Siedler has joined the team this year to contest several VLN races and the 24 hour race on the legendary track.
The new Frikadelli-Porsche gave its Nürburgring debut on March 19 at the traditional test and setup day. In the light of the very cold and damp weather and poor track conditions the team restricted itself to only a few laps on the Nordschleife. The great potential of the “world’s fastest meatball” has been highlighted earlier this year when the Frikadelli-911 GT3 R lead its class at the Daytona 24 hours twice during the night and took the chequered flag in a remarkable 12th position.
In 2016, the Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring (German for “long-distance endurance championship”) again consists of ten races, all of them on Saturdays. Nine of the ten legs will be held as four-hour races, the seventh VLN race on September 3 is going to be a six-hour event. The season will end on October 22. One VLN lap of 24.358 kilometres length consists of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife plus the Grand Prix track’s short circuit. The undisputed highlight of the season is the 24-hour race on May 28 and 29 which is not part of the VLN. Competitors will tackle a lap of 25.378 kilometres that consist of the Nordschleife plus the Grand Prix circuit without the stadium section.
The 90-minute practice and qualifying session for the season opener on Saturday, April 2 will commence at 8.30 a.m. The race starts at 12.00 a.m., the chequered flag will drop shortly after 4 p.m. Podium ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Quotes ahead of the season opener 2016
Klaus Abbelen (Tönisvorst, team owner and driver): “We start the season with the new 911 GT3 R and a new driver line-up. We are quite confident und are very much looking forward to race against our competitors. Despite the poor conditions during the test und setup day we have gained some useful insights. In order to reach sensible tyre temperatures we tested nearly exclusively on the Grand Prix track. The Porsche seems to have improved on its predecessor in each aspect. The new ,Balance of Performance‘ however, requires us to use an even smaller air restrictor and to take 45 kilograms of ballast on board.”
Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler, driver): “The US audience at Daytona was really great but it will always be nicest to race in front of your home crowd. I hope that we will see a few of our fans at the Brünnchen. Unfortunately, the modern cars don’t give you much leisure to wave to the crowd except in the formation lap. It’s really a piece of work to race a GT3 car. However, I expect the paddock to be like a big family reunion which is something I’m very much looking forward to.”
Patrick Huisman (NL, driver): “On the test and setup day I only did one lap at the Nordschleife with the new 911 GT3 R so I haven’t learned much about the new car. One thing, however, has been striking: With the new ,Balance of Performance‘ classification the car certainly lacks power and I’m afraid that Porsche will be particularly affected. It reminds me of last season when the ,Slow Zone‘ regulations didn’t help us at all…”
Norbert Siedler (A, driver): “What I observed as a competitor at Daytona has been confirmed at the test and setup day: Frikadelli Racing is nicely positioned outfit with an impressive workshop. There is a great atmosphere within the team which I consider vital but not self-evident. Basically, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R has made a good impression on the Nordschleife. It is better than its predecessor in virtually every aspect. The optimized aerodynamics helps in fast corners, the brakes bite even stronger than before and the prolonged wheel-base provides a smoother handling.”
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