Frikadelli Racing without racing luck at the 'Eifel Sprint' on the Nürburgring
The Frikadelli Racing Team missed a top position in the shortest 24-hour race in history. After a brilliant preparation, both Porsche 911 GT3 R were able to keep up with the pace of the overall top at the season highlight, but this time the team from Barweiler was denied the necessary racing luck. A total of 14.5 hours of fog interruption made the 49th edition of the legendary “Eifel Marathon” a nine and a half hour “Eifel Sprint”.
“The pace was there, but it just wasn't meant to be this weekend. At the 24h race at the Nürburgring you also need a bit of luck, which we unfortunately missed with both vehicles. We'll try again next year. However, a big thank you goes to the entire team. From the engineers to our team manager to the mechanics and drivers - everyone did an excellent job, ”praises team boss Klaus Abbelen.
Due to the strong appearances in the races for the Nürburgring endurance series as well as in the 6h qualifying race, the two Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 Rs already had their ticket for the decisive “top qualifying”. A change in the weather with thunderstorms and heavy rain made for the most difficult track conditions immediately before the session. Dennis Olsen “swam” with the # 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R to 12th on the grid. His team-mate Matt Campbell lined up behind in 17th place with the # 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R after it fell victim to severe aquaplaning at his second lap. However, the Frikadelli Racing Team managed to get the car back to the start perfectly prepared the next day with a night shift.
In the race, the two nine-eleven from Frikadelli Racing should initially move forward quickly. While Frédéric Makowiecki with the # 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R made it into the top 5 at times in the first laps of the race, Matt Campbell, as the starting driver in the sister vehicle, made contact with the top 10.
After a little more than two and a half hours, Earl Bamber, who had taken over the # 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R from Campbell, had to drive into the pits on an unscheduled basis. Damage to the power steering forced the Frikadelli team to take a longer break for repairs and the loss of more than two racing laps to the top. But even after that, the streak of bad luck should not end. When he came into contact with another vehicle in the Hatzenbach area, Bamber suffered a tire damage and had to do almost an entire lap of the Nordschleife at slow speed. The lap loss compared to the competition increased significantly again, which is why the # 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy was parked in the pits early that evening. From now on, the focus was on the # 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Frédéric Makowiecki, Dennis Olsen, Maxime Martin and Patrick Pilet.
Due to increasing fog, the race management decided to stop the race at around 9:30 p.m. for safety reasons, which should last 14.5 hours. At this point Makowiecki, Olsen, Martin and Pilet found themselves in seventh place in the overall standings. Due to a new regulation when the race was stopped, Frikadelli Racing had caught the worst scenario and had to return to the pit two laps after the restart to refuel. As a result, they had one minute more pittime than many other teams. Nevertheless, the driver team gave everything to fight their way back.
Half an hour before the end, however, the race was over for Frikadelli Racing when a BMW M6 GT3 suddenly suddenly slowed after a lap-long duel right in front of Patrick Pilet and the Frenchman had no way of evading.
“Unfortunately Patrick didn't have a chance to react in the situation. The bottom line is our double victories in the two preparatory races, which we are still very happy about. At this point I would also like to take the opportunity once again to congratulate our Porsche brand colleagues from Manthey Racing on their overall victory in the 24h race. They deserve it, ”said Abbelen.
Driver voices after the race:
Frédéric Makowiecki (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “It was a very tough race, especially at the very beginning with the rain and choosing the right tires. We made a few small mistakes that meant that we lost touch with the very front. By shortening the race distance, we couldn't catch up any more. Even if it didn't go as we had hoped, I'm very happy about the overall victory of the "Grello pilots."
Dennis Olsen (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Unfortunately we lost a bit of ground in the difficult early phase of the race, which is why we had to risk a lot during the 3.5 hours after the restart. It's a shame that we didn't have more time. When zhe race was stopped in the evening, I was sitting in the car and it was still okay for me personally at this time. But of course we accept the decision of the race management. I very much hope that we will return even stronger and that we will be able to achieve victory for Sabine in the 24h race at some point."
Patrick Pilet (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “The red flag came out at the wrong time for us. But that's how it is in motorsport, sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're unlucky. Overall, with Manthey Racing's overall victory, it was a great weekend for Porsche, even if we wanted to achieve a top result especially for Klaus and Sabine. Unfortunately, I couldn't prevent the collision with the BMW after it was standing in the middle of the road with its technical problems. I am extremely sorry for our team that the race had to end like this."
Maxime Martin (# 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We once again experienced a very special and this time extremely short 24-hour race. The conditions were extremely changeable and presented us with a great challenge. We fought for a place in the top 6 right up to the end, unfortunately we couldn't do more. At this point, congratulations to the Manthey Racing team on their overall victory."
Matt Campbell (# 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Unfortunately we have had a very difficult weekend. Shortly before the red flag, we had to withdraw our car after a few setbacks that were beyond our control. That is extremely unfortunate, because we had a great preparation with the Frikadelli Racing Team and our Porsche 911 GT3 R was at a very good level in terms of performance."
Mathieu Jaminet (# 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We were on a very good strategy with which we could have quickly forgotten the difficult qualifying. At the right time, we went for the cut slicks, so we could have brought ourselves back into the game. Unfortunately then the problems arose afterwards. It would have been nice if we could have achieved a top position for Klaus and Sabine. I very much hope that we can do that in the future in the 24-hour race. Many thanks to the entire Frikadelli Racing Team for the work they have done."
Earl Bamber (# 30 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Of course we are disappointed because we were so well positioned that we could have fought for victory. With the right timing at the first pit stops and the tire choices made there, we would have been able to work our way up again under the difficult conditions. Unfortunately, it was at this point in time that the power steering was damaged. It's a shame, but I still want to thank the Frikadelli Racing Team very much for this year's season."