CARTteam.de finishes 13th in Leipzig after thrilling final couple of laps
Leipzig (January 30, 2011) In CARTteam.de's racing debut at the 24 hours of Leipzig, the team secured a solid 13 th position at the finish line. A thrilling end to the Leipzig 24h saw CARTteam.de move up a position in the final five minutes of the race, while holding of tough competition from behind. After 24 hours of racing, the gap between the #16 BOOF Pizza CARTteam.de kart and two closest competitors was only 12 seconds.
After a successful qualifying, CARTteam.de was able to start the 24 hours of Leipzig in seventh position. Eric Neuber started the race for the German squad and showed a perfectly executed 'Le-Mans-style'- start, after which was able to win one position by taking the outside lane in the first corner. However, in the second corner the 19-year old driver was hit from behind and dropped back to eleventh position. Eager to win back the lost ground, Neuber went full-throttle to get back into the top ten, but found himself making mistakes that dropped him back to 15th position after the first stint.
With Max Wissel and Manuel Nees pushing the #16 BOOF Pizza CARTteam.de kart to its limit, the team was able to compete for a tenth position in the early part of the race. A small problem with the kart forced Yonny Weeden into making an unscheduled pitstop, which made the team fall back. A couple of slower stints during the evening cost the team even more positions.
Coming from the tail end of the field, CARTteam.de had to fight back up the rankings. With consistent fast lap times, the squad of Lars Buchweitz was able to make up a lot of places. During the night the team had to lower the tire pressure, to make sure the tires could last the entire 24 hours. In the morning CARTteam.de had closed a 4-lap gap with the 12th position and was even make the pass. During the following pitstop, the team suffered a malfunction with the balance weight security mechanism, which cost the team 45 seconds and made them drop more than a minute behind 12th position.
To prevent any more problems with the weight security system, the team had to decide to keep the balance weights unchanged until the finish, with a heavier kart as result. Nees still was able to put the in 12th position running Krauth Motorsport under pressure, but a 'splash & dash' just before the final stint made the time fall back to 14 th spot.
Neuber, who would start and finish the race, had a big challenge ahead when he started the final stint, with one kart close in front and behind. With the team cheering him on from the sideline, the young driver was able to keep his head cool and went flat-out, without making any mistakes. Just ten minutes before the finish, Neuber was able to pass the #4 Kartworld Salzburg kart for 13 th place, but only a couple of laps later he got on his pit board the message that the #2 10for Racing kart was closing down on him. In a thrilling final couple of minutes, Neuber was able to keep the #16 BOOF Pizza CARTteam.de kart in front to take 13 th position. After 24 hours of racing, the gap between CARTteam.de and 14th and 15th was respectively just 3 and 12 seconds.
Selected CARTteam.de race quotes:
"Tino Herrmann (Team founder / Driver): "I think we can be pleased with this result, especially because it was our first time. This field was extremely competitive and the track is very challenging. I'd like to thank our sponsors and partners BOOF Pizza, Dasistgut.de and OpenWheelWorld.net for making this possible."
Eric Neuber (Driver): "It was a tough weekend, because we've got quite some differences between our drivers. But I think we had a pretty good team and I had a lot of fun the last couple of days. The final half hour of the race was very exciting, My team gave me a 'Push'-sign and thought 'Ok, let's push!' The final laps were unbelievable hard and hot, but I managed to pass one kart and keep another behind me."
Andreas Wirth (Driver): "I certainly have had a lot of fun this weekend. This was my first 24-hours race in a couple of years. The team has a great group of people and many of them I haven't seen for a long time. We've gained a lot of important experience and our focus should now be on finishing next year in the top 8."
Manuel Nees (Driver): "We didn't have the best start of the race, but at least we had a decent finish. This was my first 24 hours-race and it was a good experience. As a team we had our ups and downs."
Yonny Weeden (Driver): "For me it was a hard race, First of all it was hard for me to get back in to the swing of things as I haven't driven a four-wheel racing machine for three years. So it wasn't easy to get quickly up-to-speed and the fact that I have had the flu all weekend for sure didn't help. I'm certain there was a lot more time in myself. The karts of Sax Racing were amazing and the organisation was very professional. I'd like to thank Patrick Straver and Pieter Slinger for inviting me in this team, Tino Herrmann for letting me drive with this team and the other CARTteam.de drivers for being such great team mates. Next year I will be back to win!"