Frikadelli Racing starts with P23 in new VLN season
• “The world’s fastest meatball” showed its potential with a best lap of 8,15.267 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife
• Cult outfit from Barweiler suffers from damaged underbody after a collision
• Patrick Huisman, Norbert Siedler, Klaus Abbelen and Sabine Schmitz – all four drivers for the upcoming 24-hour race in May took turns at the wheel
The first leg of this year’s Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) ended after 28 laps on the legendary Nordschleife with P23 for Frikadelli Racing. Patrick Huisman, Norbert Siedler, Klaus Abbelen and Sabine Schmitz took turns at the wheel of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R that had started from P22 on the grid. When driving the first stint, Huisman managed a best lap of 8,15.267 and emphasized the car’s potential. The Porsche from the SP9 category even took the lead for a short time just before Huisman’s pit stop after lap 8.
Two laps into the second stint a collision compromised Norbert Siedler’s turn when the team’s Porsche was hit by a following car in Hatzenbach. The car’s rear underbody was damaged in the incident. The Austrian therefore took an earlier than scheduled pit stop in lap 12 and stayed in the car. For several laps he put on a great show for the spectators when he fought intensely against a Ford GT in front of him and a Mercedes-AMG behind. Next one to take the wheel was Klaus Abbelen. In lap 22 he left the cockpit for Sabine Schmitz who took the chequered flag in “the world’s fastest meatball”.
Quotes after the season opener
Klaus Abbelen (Tönisvorst, team owner and driver): “With the loose rear underbody the Porsche was simply undriveable. Particular from the fourth gear up the rear axle became very light in fast corners. That was pretty nasty in places. The gear ratios didn’t quite suit the Nordschleife, we had to shift much too often. We still have some work to do before the 24-hour race, but you could also see: The team works perfect. A big thank you to all our girls and boys.”
Sabine Schmitz (Barweiler, driver): “When I started my stint the underbody was virtually gone. With a car from the top category SP9 that depends so much on downforce this is not what you want to experience. Anyway, I have nursed the ‘Frikadelle’ safely to the finish and simply tried to enjoy the final laps. That way I could at least wave a little to the fans.”
Patrick Huisman (NL, driver): “We had changed the set-up on Friday evening. That was perhaps a bit premature. The set-up felt a little too hard for the Nordschleife, the car jumped too much. Our classification in the ‘Balance-of-Performance’ cost us a lot of power. On the straights, we can’t go the speed of several competitors.”
Norbert Siedler (A, driver): “The guy behind me hit the car’s back twice in the second lap and forced me sideways in Hatzenbach. As we saw later, the underbody was badly damaged which in turn took a lot of downforce from the rear axle. Especially in fast corners the car became nearly undriveable and we suffered worst over the bump in the ‘Bergwerk’ section. There was no way past the Ford GT that was in front of me later. It simply was too fast on the straights.”