Interview with vln-fanpage.de (german) after the race.
The 6h race is our second most important race of the season and I am very happy with the outcome…..HATTRICK.
For the first time this year I was starting on two cars. My own and the Wochenspiegel car. So on Friday I just did two Laps on the Wochenspiegel to get familiar with it. Its more like a Cup S-Manthey. I could feel that a lot in the medium to fast corners because of the less downforce it was generating. But for that on the straight I gained some Km/h. It was interesting to see which car is performing better the RSR or that one.
Marc was qualifying the RSR and me the Cup S-Manthey. What a surprise, I was just in front of the RSR and qualified third while Marc qualified 4th. So I would guess the cars are very close to each other with different advantages.
I started the race so I could later join my own car for the third stint.
I directly moved to second position and even attacked the Ford. But I didn’t want to risk too much cause my teammates were not so lucky lately and I really wanted to give them the car back in perfect shape. Everything was cool and I could hold second position while it was changing from dry to rain and back and forth. I nearly lost it coming back to the GP track but lucky wise I could catch it. Now I was definitely awake 😉 .
When it started to rain all over the track I was calling the Pit and ask for a driver change and wet tires. Apparently it never happened because when I was in the left hand corner before Schwalbenschwanz I spun while downshifting without touching the wall. When I tried to start again I had no push forward and at this time I thought it is the Gearbox. We had problems with it the whole weekend. Later we found out that a driveshaft broke. So the race was over. I felt really bad for Georg and Michael because they couldn’t race again….
While I was busy with all that Arno handed over the car to Marc and we could take the lead by nearly 50 sec. When it was my turn, I continued to push and before Marc took over from me we had a comfortable gap from around 1,45min.
The conditions were exceptional hard because some parts of the track were extremely wet and some dry and the next lap it was again somewhere else. That’s the moments when you need your experiences and try to survive but at the same time try to open the gap even more.
I was very happy for the team that we could win this 6h race for the third time in a row under this difficult situations.
Now we have a long brake and I will use the time for some holidays and training.
You know: The older you get, the more you have to train yourself to be still quicker then the young guys…..
Interview with vln-fanpage.de (german)
that was fun!
Last race I had the chance to take my girlfriend, sister and her husband around the Nordschleife.
My good did the screamed loud. 😉
I had so much fun to scare them and of course to show them a bit what my work is.
It always looks easier from the outside and if you sit next to a pilot, you finally see how much work it can be, driving a race car.
There are not many chances you have to be able to drive with a 5 times 24h winner on the Nordschleife except you book a ride with me on my website….. ;-).
have a nice day,
sorry that I get back to you that late but I was traveling all the time. After the last race I stayed in Germany/ Hamburg for some business and private stuff. As well, yesterday I was at the Manthey Trackday.
But lets talk about to the 4th race of the VLN.
We really struggled in Qualifying. The car was exactly the same as in the 24h but Michelin gave us different set of tires, that didn’t work out that well. To explain it shortly: In the front we had a lot of grip and in the back it was extremely loose.
…massive oversteer at turn in.
That also explains, why we only started from 5th position.
For the race we found a set of tires that worked well for us last year. So we decided to start on that. I was sure it couldn’t be worth than what we had for the qualifying.
I had a good start and went directly to 4th position before the first corner. We were all very close together and were fighting hard for our positions. When we came to the Breidscheid Brige I could attack Chris Mamerow. I braked really late for the left and passed him. Same happened with Dirk Adorf. When we came to the Brünnchen I knew I have to take the chance again on the brakes and it worked out well again. You probably can imagine how good it felt to finally be again the starting driver and making my way thru from 5th to 2nd position!
With Mark Basseng it was no different. I already knew that my car was strong on the brakes and at turn in. So coming to the NordschleifeI could take some more speed for the slow left corner and outbreak Mark.
From there on I had a clean Lap and until the end of my stint I was leading by around 20 sec.
That felt good 😉 .
When Arno took over, after a view laps the race was red flagged. By than we were in second position. It was Arno’s first race since lat year and I think he did a very good job also considering that we had the problem on Friday and in Qualifying.
Now it was again up to me to trying to gain back first and finish the race.
The restart was ok but I had no chance to pass the Ford with Thomas Mutsch on the wheel. He was extremely strong and I think we could really see the full potential of the Ford GT. I could only follow for one lap but than my laptimes dropped and I was lost lap by lap some time. We knew that their third driver Hermann Tilke still needed to drive and will probably jump into the car for the last 3 or 4 laps.
So I was continuing pushing to be on the safe side and by the time we had a our splash and dash for the last 3 laps we got back first position.
As you can see on the picture below, it was not an easy one….
it was a fantastic race for me starting twice and being able to make my way thru first in 2 laps. Especially with all the strong cars and drivers now.
I know the next race is only 4 days away and I will do my best to give you my view of the race earlier than this time. 😉
isn’t it funny, this year we had already so money weird races. But this one tops the other two before.
Qualifying was really good for us. With an 8:24.16 we were standing on pole. I was just a bit disappointed with the Audi’s, because I expected them faster than 8:28.96! I am not convinced that they show there full potential.
The race itself started good with Marc leading the field and after the Mamerow car lost some cooling fluid and retired + that the Alzen car and too Audi crashed because of that we had bigger gap between us and the second.
For my stint it was the same. While there was a lot yellows out there I was able to keep the gap consistent before I handled the car over to Marc for the last time.
We were than back to P2 because Audi pitted 2 Laps earlier than us and took the lead. I was confident we will take the lead back again on the last quick pit-stop. We had to come in for a splash and dash and we thought the 81 Audi as well but instead, they stayed out there was absolutely no chance to catch them. So for the last race-lap we came right behind the 77 Audi and Marc was able to push really hard and overtook Marc Basseng (after the race he was really upset with his self about that. I asked him why? because he should be used to it after last year. Either it was Marc or me who did this to him than ;-)). Of course it was a joke, but a true one!)
The 81 got slower and slower and at the end we were right behind him, before he went into the Pits to let us win!!!
How strange is that? Did they really messed up their whole strategy or did they wanted us to win, so maybe they get some more weight out of the car or something else? I am not sure anymore but it looked really strange to me… As well the qualify-times should have been quicker. A Porsche Cup car was just 3 sec slower than the slowest Audi with a 8:31.48.
Of course there is a lot speculation and we know how much they want to win the 24h. The Balance of Performance is making it really difficult to show the full potential. Especially if you have a good chance to get some advantage out
of that ;-).
All this will stop as soon as the 24h is started at 16.00!
Don’t forget, we get more and more hungry to win the race again and of course we will push as hard as them and even harder but fair!
I guess most of you had a great party yesterday. I am just sitting in the Hotel am Tiergarten. There was always free Wifi but now they really improved it and its available in all the rooms. So now I am sitting in my room at the window, facing the Nordschleife section Tiergarten and writing you a view lines.
When it comes to racing, nothing special happened to me the last 2 weeks. It just looks like we will have a sunny weekend and not like the last one 😉 We had all conditions, so its perfect preparation for the 24h.
My good friend and administrator did a great work last week to put in some extra interviews that some great guys always doing on the race weekend. You should also check out there side and other videos…..
Yeah, racing wise nothing happened but privately, yes…My sister Fabienne had a her Civil Wedding in Vitznau, Switzerland. Great place at the Immensee. It was a absolute fantastic weekend. We had a great party and celebrated tiil early morning ;-)). My other sister got married last year and I have to say that her party was as well amazing.
Strange feeling that my sisters are both married now, but their husbands are pretty cool, so I am happy for both of them.
I am promised them, that I take them both around the Nordschleife one day. Let’s see if they can take it!!! ;-).
My girlfriend and me decided to go one day earlier to Vitznau for some hiking. It was beautiful. We went up the “queen of the Mountains” the Mount Riggi. We had a great time up there. We both love the mountains, so it couldn’t be better to start the “Party weekend”.
With some discipline to go running in between at the Immensee, it was also possible to handle the good Wine. 😉
Anyhow guys, I would like to tell you more but Claudia from Manthey Racing needs me for some things, so I will get back to you soon…
Interview with vln-fanpage.de (german)
It didn’t look that good for us on Saturday morning. Already on Friday we found out that we do have a problem with our rain tires when its under 15 degrees celsius. The car is just snapping on the rear end, caused by the tires loosing the grip suddenly and leaves us with massive oversteer in fast corners.
So we were prepared to work on it in the qualifying session. But than when Romain Dumas was on his first timed lap, at Wehrseifen he was just rolling out with a problem. At the end we found out that there was something wrong with a shaft between the differential and Gearbox.
So no time for us and starting from the rear in the first group.
To make it short, our tire problem was still there and we lost more than 2 minutes in the first half of the race.
When I jumped in the car, we tried a different set of tires and also modified the car. This was supposed to give us a better balance.
At the beginning of my stint, I was able to hold the pace while I was fighting with a Porsche Cup car. Later I found out that it was Christopher Mies. He did a great job and was probably happy to play with me and the green and yellow Porsche 😉 . But there I could see again how dramatic our problem was. He could take a speed into the fast curves, I was dreaming about!
But my time was coming, because with slightly drying condition the rain tires and our modifications started to work great and I was able to catch up to the front by nearly 10-15 sec a lap. That put me into P2.
Near the end, I had to come in for a splash and dash and a new set of rain tires. After that we actually lost our position to Audi that by than was driving 10 seconds faster than me.
Still we managed to end up P3 coming from the back of the field!
I think we learned a lot this rainy weekend and we know, that we have to work closer with Michelin to give us the tires we need. Temperatures at the end of May in the night won’t be much higher and to win the 24h again we need to solve that problem.
Overall I believe that with the “Balance of Performance” the GT3 cars are in a slightly better situation than us for the moment…..apparently.
More work and preparation has to be done….! 😉
…a rainy cold day.
With 7 degree celsius, we had a hard time to get our tires to work. The Grip level was below drivable. Every time you tried to push out of the corners the Traction control (TC) started to work and even on the straight in 5th gear it always kicked in. On a Grand Prix track its better. First, you don’t have different asphalts and a track that has a lot of bumps, jumps etc. and second the safety is much higher. Even if you push to the limit and spin you mostly end up in a run off area or a grabble bed. On the Nordschleife that means barrier or wall! No good.
This kind of weather conditions you usually don’t find anywhere else than on our Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Tomorrow I hope that at least the temperature is higher, so I can get more feedback from the tires. The weather, lets see.