Successful performance by Frikadelli Racing goes unrewarded in the short edition of the 24-hour race


Frikadelli Racing once again put in a successful performance this year at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, which was shortened to just over seven hours of racing due to dense fog. Team boss Klaus Abbelen's squad with the #1 Ferrari 296 GT3 was mostly in the top five overall and also achieved the fastest lap time in the race with a time of 8:12.460 minutes. In the end, the car driven by Felipe Laser, Daniel Keilwitz, Nicolas Varrone and Luca Ludwig finished 12th overall.

‘First of all, I would like to congratulate Scherer Sport Team PHX on their overall victory! Our conditions at this year's edition were certainly not the best. Nevertheless, as a team we approached the race with confidence and could be quite satisfied with sixth place overall at the time of the race interruption in the evening, especially because the tyre choice in the difficult mixed conditions was an absolute poker game. Unfortunately, a final offensive failed to materialise on Sunday due to a lack of race clearance. Nevertheless, it was a great weekend all in all. My thanks go to the entire team, the drivers and to our partners, sponsors and fans,’ summarised Abbelen.

Frikadelli Racing's first priority on Friday evening was to qualify for the decisive second top qualifying session. With a time of 8:10.889 minutes, Nicolas Varrone was the fastest driver in Top Qualifying 1 and thus ensured a confident entry. In the second top qualifying session, Daniel Keilwitz then put the #1 Ferrari 296 GT3 in a promising sixth position on the grid.

In the race, Frikadelli Racing initially opted for wet tyres, which is why they were able to make up positions in the early stages and establish themselves in the top five. As it got drier and drier later on, they lost ground to the teams on slick tyres. In the evening, the race was red-flagged at around 23:23 due to difficult visibility conditions.

From sixth on the grid, the #1 Ferrari 296 GT3 then started the five formation laps set by the race organisers on Sunday. Frikadelli Racing decided to make a pit stop for refuelling during these laps in order to be as well prepared as possible for the restart. However, race control did not allow the race to continue, which is why the Ferrari 296 GT3 was ultimately classified in twelfth position overall.

Driver's comments:

Nicolas Varrone: ‘What a week that was! The debut at the Nürburgring 24 Hours was a dream come true for me. We had a super-fast car and a top line-up. The only downer was the fog, which meant we couldn't contest the full length of the race. I would like to thank all the team members for their efforts this week, especially Klaus Abbelen and Michele Rinaldi, who made this commitment possible in the first place. I would also like to say a big thank you to my team-mates, who have given me tremendous support in getting to know the Nürburgring Nordschleife even better.’

Felipe Laser: ‘Of course, we are a little disappointed that the race had to be interrupted for so long and that we were unable to play to our strengths during the night and into the morning hours. I think we could have been in contention for a place in the top three overall, as all the team members did an impeccable job. I therefore hope that we can attack again together and make it back onto the podium. A big thank you to the entire Frikadelli Racing team for their hard work.’

Daniel Keilwitz: ‘Everything was going well up until the night and we were within striking distance of the leaders, which is why a lot would certainly have been possible if the race had gone normally. But safety simply comes first. I think we put in a strong performance, especially in top qualifying. The car was also fast in the race and well prepared by the team. Above all, you mustn't forget that the team was up against many big and well-known manufacturers. Therefore, the team's performance cannot be overestimated. I am therefore satisfied and would like to thank the team for their trust and hard work.’

Luca Ludwig: ‘It was a very bizarre 24-hour race with only about eight hours of driving time in total due to the weather conditions. In the end, everyone tried to make the best of the situation and sometimes made pit stops to improve their position. All in all, it was a weird race, the result of which is still under appeal. For me personally, it was particularly disappointing because I wasn't able to show anywhere near the potential I have this weekend and I've already proven that with many fast laps on the Nordschleife in the past. Due to the planned driver allocation in the strategy and the long interruption, I unfortunately didn't get to drive properly, which is a particular shame.’