Muehlner Motorsport leads the class at season half-way point Jochen Krumbach and Heinz-Josef Bermes second despite puncture Francorchamps / Nurburg. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muehlner Motorsport Team entered two cars in the...
Muehlner Motorsport leads the class at season half-way point
Jochen Krumbach and Heinz-Josef Bermes second despite puncture
Francorchamps / Nurburg. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muehlner Motorsport Team entered two cars in the hard fought Cup4B at the 47.ADAC Reinoldus - Langstreckenrennen. Alongside the two regulars, Heinz-Josef (Juppy) Bermes (Germany / Willich) and Jochen Krumbach (Germany / Eschweiler) in the number 696 Krimskoye Porsche were Ulf Karlsson (Sweden) and Jonathan Baker (England) in the number 695 NAVO Porsche.
Whilst this was a third race with the Muehlner Team for Ulf Karlsson, and was preparation for the 24hrs, for Jonathan Baker it was to be the first race with Renate Carola and Bernhard Muehlner's successful team. For Baker, the 5th round of the VLN was to serve as a test for a possible outing in the marathon race in 14 days.
Jochen Krumbach started the race from third place and came round at the end of the first lap already up to second. After several changes of position, Krumbach, who stayed out a lap longer than his competitors, was able to take over the lead in the class. He then handed over to regular partner Juppy Bermes, who rejoined after the stop in 2nd place.
Baker drove the first stint in the NAVO Porsche before handing over to Karlsson for the middle stint. Unfortunately Karlsson had an accident with a BMW at Wehrseifen on the last tap of his stint and was unable to continue.
In the meantime, Bermes had completed his stint and handed over to Krumbach in 2nd place for the final stint. Time for the drama to start. The leader was overdue so the Muehlner Team Krimskoye Porsche took over the class lead. But on the same lap, Krumbach got a puncture of the front left and had to drive almost 2/3 of the 25km lap with a puncture. He made it back to the pits on just the wheel rim for the unplanned pitstop and rejoined 47 seconds behind the new leader. Krumbach pushed hard in the last laps and was able to reduce the gap to 20 seconds but he couldn't make it back into the lead.
"Today a puncture cost us the win - we lost over 2 minutes and then finished second with only a 20 seconds deficit" said the disappointed team boss Renate Carola Muehlner after the race. "Particularly disappointing is the puncture because we had fitted a third new set of tyres on the car for Jochen's final stint so that he could push "
"Ulf has always been quick and reliable driving for us - in his last race for us, in September 2006 he shared our Supercup Porsche 997 with Juppy Bermes and Peter Venn in its debut on the Nordschleife and they won their class and group. But accidents can always happen and rather today than at the 24hrs, where Ulf will be one of the leading drivers in our squad" stated team boss Bernhard Muehlner and continued "that we still got a 2nd with the Krimskoye Porsche notwithstanding the puncture, was good."
With the fifth round over, the German Endurance Championship has now reached the midpoint in its season and it is possible to reflect on the year so far. With two group wins from the five races so far, Muehlner Motorsport is the only team to have won more than one race in the hard fought Cup4B class. And with two further podiums (a 2nd and a 3rd), Jochen Krumbach is leading the championship table despite a non-score after the accident in qualifying for the 3rd round.
"Our target is to get further group and class wins in the 2nd half of the season so that we can win the class for the season as a whole. I hope that we can get a regular pairing in our second Porsche for the balance of the season. But first of all there are three 24hour races for us to concentrate on the Nurburgring in two weeks then Tokachi (Japan) in mid July before our home race at Spa (Belgium) at the end of July" said team boss Bernhard Muehlner, previewing the coming weeks.