Frikadelli Racing wins third VLN race and celebrates successful comeback of Nürburgring queen Sabine Schmitz
• On partly wet Nordschleife to victory: Felipe Laser and Lance David Arnold win for Frikadelli and tyre partner Dunlop after hard-fought VLN race
• „SpeedBee" celebrates her Nürburgring comeback at the wheel of the Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 with an impeccable fifth place
• Sabine Schmitz: "I want to thank all fans for the great support and encouragement during my illness"
• Klaus Abbelen: "I am very satisfied with first and fifth place; we deserve that"
Frikadelli Racing finished the third round of the Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) on Saturday with the best result in a long time: Lance David Arnold (Duisburg) and Felipe Laser (Leipzig) drove their #31 Porsche 911 GT3 R to first place and won the race together with tyre partner Dunlop after an impeccable performance. The duo took the lead 17 minutes before the end of the four-hour race on a partially wet track. Shortly behind them, "SpeedBee" Sabine Schmitz reached fifth place in her VLN comeback in the #30 sister car together with Alex Müller (Rees) and Klaus Abbelen (Barweiler). For large parts of the race, both Frikadelli Porsche flew only seconds apart around the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring plus the short connection of the Grand Prix circuit and entertained the spectators with exciting fights for positions.
The two Frikadelli Porsche finished qualifying just outside the top 10. Felipe Laser, who led the time table for a long time despite some yellow phases, had to abandon the #31 car in the sixth lap after a contact in the "Adenauer Forst" area. Shortly before the end of the 90-minute session, the #30 sister car came to a halt almost the same place with a technical problem. Thanks to the outstanding work of the Frikadelli mechanics, both were able to return to their designated positions on the grid.
Quotes after the race
Klaus Abbelen (team principal and driver Porsche 911 #30): “We definitely deserved this first victory for our start #31 after this morning’s mess with the accident. I'm very satisfied: first and fifth place, we really can't complain.”
Sabine Schmitz (driver Porsche 911 #30): “My first race this year, and it was great – finally the smell of a hot clutch in the cockpit again. I was even able to improve my position on the track, overtook an Audi R8 and a BMW M6 and of course let our #31 pass, albeit somewhat reluctantly (laughs). I am glad that everything went well and that both our Porsche finished the race. I would like to thank all the fans and Frikadelli supporters who have given me such great encouragement with postcards, gifts and calls. I'm really grateful for that.”
Alex Müller (driver Porsche 911 #30): “My stints were top, our Frikadelli Porsche ran absolutely super. From the lap times we burned down a nice firework with both cars. I was closing the gap to Lance on my second turn and I like to believe he got nervous (laughs). In the final laps while lapping, I had a lot of traffic. However, the gap between our cars stayed roughly the same; both Porsche are really identically prepared. I have to say, our guys have done a tremendous job after the 24-hour race. Well done!”
Lance David Arnold (driver Porsche 911 #31): „Both stints were a lot of fun. The GT3 R feels really good. I was able to push right till the finish. It is a comfortable situation when you feel like one with the car. The result shows that both Frikadelli Porsche are consistently fast and can post top lap times. The team has really deserved this success!”
Felipe Laser (driver Porsche 911 #31): “I’m nothing but happy. I want to thank the team because there was this little moment on my fast lap during qualifying. The guys didn’t hesitate a moment but hurried to Breitscheid where the Porsche was stationary. Together we had half the car dismantled before we even reached the paddock. Now we stand on the highest step on the podium. I can’t think of a better way to thank the mechanics. I hope they all love me again now (laughs).”
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 will be 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 although 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.