Mixed feelings after the Road to Le Mans
At the second major highlight of the season, the "Road to Le Mans", the Frikadelli Racing Team was able to show an impressive catch-up race in Saturday's race. From 31st place after qualifying, Felipe Laser managed to bring the #30 Ligier JS P320 into the top 10 in the first half of the race. However, an incident on the track meant that the LMP3 car had to be parked early in the pits despite the strong performance. In the first race on Thursday, the team from Barweiler saw the checkered flag in 22nd place overall out of a total of 50 vehicles.
“The disappointment that we couldn't finish the second race is of course very big. Up until the incident, Felipe was doing extremely well and was able to prove that the car's performance is very good. That's the positive thing we can take from the weekend for the next LMP3 outings this season. Nevertheless, you obviously have to get the car to the finish first, which unfortunately we only managed to do in the first race on Thursday. We were happy with the first race so far, although we would have liked to have gone further. In terms of strategy and dealing with the unfortunately very vague regulations, we still lack the experience,” sums up team boss Klaus Abbelen.
The Frikadelli Racing Team had big plans for the "Road to Le Mans", mainly because of the strong performance in the previous season. After good approaches in the free practice sessions, a large number of slow zones during the qualifying made the hunt for times more difficult. After the end of the two sessions, the #30 Frikadelli Ligier JS P320 occupied starting positions 22 (for race 1) and 31 (for race 2) in the strong field of participants in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, which had grown to 50 vehicles just in time for the highlight of the season.
Klaus Abbelen took over the start of the first race. During his stint, he successfully stayed out of the many turbulences on the track and was able to hold his own among the top 30. In the second part of the race, Felipe Laser managed to make up a few more positions and finally brought the vehicle to the finish in 22nd place overall. In the second race on Saturday, which took place immediately before the 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Felipe Laser worked his way up from 31st on the grid to ninth place with a real tour de force during the starting stint. But the forward drive of the Leipziger was abruptly ended after the sixth lap.
“My goal was to get the car as far forward as possible to give Klaus the best possible basis. In doing so, I took a certain risk, which initially paid off in full. We made good progress until, unfortunately, we went a bit over the limit in one corner. I slightly touched a stack of tires, which is why we couldn't continue the race afterwards due to the damage. That was my mistake - I feel so sorry for Klaus and the whole team. Despite the disappointment, we can say that we took another step in the right direction this weekend. I wish so much that the work will finally pay off at the next event in Monza,” says Laser.
His team boss and driver colleague Klaus Abbelen adds: “This weekend we saw again that there is a lot of potential in the car, which we have to use. We simply need more test kilometers so that I too can gain confidence in the vehicle on the fast corners. For Monza, I intend to continue working on my pace in order to make a significant leap forward in this strong field. The aim must be to be among the top 5 gentlemen drivers.”