Muhlner Motorsport unsatisfied with Nurburgring 24hrs result
123 only 8th and 124 no chance after early accident
Francorchamps / Nurburgring. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport Team ran two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S at the Nurburgring 24 hours.
Changes to the regulations for this year allow GT3 cars to get close to the times of the GT2 cars which has shaken up the existing order. At the same time, changes to the refuelling rates so that not all cars can refuel at the same rate of litres per second has taken away the possibility for the slower cars to compensate their lack of speed with good tactics and strategy. Thus the "FIA Balance of Performance" has in effect been set aside.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S is allowed a tank capacity of 90 litres but the flow rate restrictor means that it takes as long to refill as the 120 litres tanks which the Audis are allowed to run.
The Muhlner Porsche with the start number 123 driven by Tim Bergmeister (Langenfeld), Heinz-Josef Bermes (Willich), Oliver Kainz (Kottenheim) and Frank Schmickler (Rosrath) came home in a respectable 8th overall, 6th in the GT3 cars class.
The sister car (nr. 124) with Ulf Karlsson (Sweden), the double-starting Oliver Kainz, Mark J. Thomas (Canada) and Dieter Schornstein (Aachen) lost any chance of a good result with an accident on the Saturday night. The considerable damage was repaired once again in lightening fast time by the Muhlner mechanics and the car had fought its way up from the back of the field to be back in the top 30 when noises from the gearbox told of a major problem on the way. The Muhlner crew changed the gearbox in record time in order to be sure of getting to the finish and thus both cars saw the chequered flag.
"We cannot be satisfied with 8th place - our aim was to finish in the top five, which would have been possible. An extra stop when one of the headlights packed up and a problem with the right rear at one pit stop cost us time but the major delay was having to change a split exhaust manifold which cost us 4th place" was Bernhard Muhlner's analysis.
"Tactics and strategy are not important with the new regulations. This year's race was a sprint from start to finish and the reduced fuel tank capacity and slower refuelling rates took away the fuel consumption advantage of the less powerful cars" reckoned a disappointed team boss Renate-Carola Muhlner.