In the VLN series on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Frikadelli Racing takes the chequered flag in first place for the second time in row
• Norbert Siedler and Lance David Arnold repeat the #31 Frikadelli Porsche’s success from the previous VLN race
• In qualifying, #31 car takes pole position; #30 sister car third on the grid
• Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen and Felipe Laser rewarded with fifth position after a belligerent drive
• Klaus Abbelen: “Position one and five – I can’t be happier with Saturday’s result”
Two weeks after the victory in the third round of this year's Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN), the #31 Frikadelli Porsche again took the chequered flag in first place. Norbert Siedler (A) and Lance David Arnold (Duisburg), the winner of VLN leg 3, started from pole position, took the lead and brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R home in front after the four-hour race. In the #30 sister car, Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen (both from Barweiler) and Felipe Laser (Leipzig) experienced some very intense fighting for positions and ended the race in fifth place, equalling the car’s finishing position from two weeks before.
Both Frikadelli Porsche laid the foundation for this success in qualifying. Norbert Siedler opened the 90-minute session with a 7:56.644 m lap in the #31 car, thus posting the current season’s fastest VLN qualifying lap time overall. Felipe Laser in the #31 car had to wait until his third attempt to find a reasonably clear track and then lapped in 8:00.601 m. At that time, his lap was the second fastest. In the end, it was good enough for third on the grid. Both drivers also did the start stint in their respective cars.
Quotes after the race
Klaus Abbelen (team principal and driver Porsche 911 #30): “I had a good stint and didn’t lose too much time. The Porsche’s set-up worked perfectly. We changed a little thing for me which was built back when Sabine took over. During the end of my stint there was a pile-up at the beginning of the finish straight with dozens of cars in front of me which is something I hadn’t seen before… I can’t be happier with the team’s result, repeating first and fifth place from the race two weeks ago. We didn’t experience any problems and are very satisfied.”
Sabine Schmitz (driver Porsche 911 #30): “No incidents in the race and a lot of fun! Maybe it was a bit boring at times due to the many Code-60 phases. The car was set up quite stiffly and I was pretty shaken but not stirred… I was really surprised that everything worked without failure considering the scorching heat. Also the Dunlop tyres withstood the torture very well.”
Felipe Laser (driver Porsche 911 #30): “My qualifying lap and third place on the grid were extremely satisfying. That said, as a racing driver you always think there might have been an even faster time on your hands. During the first two quali laps, I had a lot of overtaking to do, so we decided to put in another lap. Until then, our package had of course lost some performance. Considering that, I rate the lap time as quite a good effort. At the start, I was wedged in by two Ferraris coming up from behind. During the first lap, I had an intense fight with Frank Stippler in the Audi. And when you follow another car very closely your car’s aerodynamics are inevitably compromised. My second stint was exciting, too. After a strong out lap I reckoned forth place was safe. But then two cars re-entered the track in front of me and I was stuck in a fighting group once again. In the last but one lap, I was able to get the better of Frank Stippler and opened up a good gap. Then I came up to a group of slower cars, the advantage was gone and on the Döttinger Höhe the Audi passed me due to its higher top speed. However, I think we can be happy with fifth place.”
Norbert Siedler (driver Porsche 911 #31): “I went out right at the beginning of the qualifying and that was a smart move. There was hardly any traffic, the Dunlop racing tyres worked perfectly and so we ended up on pole position. Consequently, I started the race in front and was able to hand over the Porsche in first place. So I guess the first stint couldn’t have worked out any better. The second stint also ran very well and I was able to push. The Porsche’s balance stayed perfect during the entire race.”
Lance David Arnold (driver Porsche 911 #31): “Evidently, our plan was to stay in front and that worked out during my first stint. I found a nice rhythm and was able to save tyres. The Porsche ran faultlessly and also harmonized well with the Dunlop tyres in my second stint. That’s why we could deliver.”
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.