Lanik makes successful return to FIA GT3 2009 FIA GT3 Porsche manufacturer champion Niki Lanik marked his return to the category with a brace of second places in the Porsche manufacturer category from the weekends racing at the fantastic ...
Lanik makes successful return to FIA GT3
2009 FIA GT3 Porsche manufacturer champion Niki Lanik marked his return to the category with a brace of second places in the Porsche manufacturer category from the weekends racing at the fantastic Portimao Algarve circuit.
After sitting out most of the 2010 season through budget restrictions the young British based Austrian was called up to partner the experienced Gilles Vannelet in the Muehlner motorsport Porsche GT3 RSR. Missing the first session of testing didn't help with Niki's quest to shake off his "rustiness", not having driven a GT3 car since last season.
Qualifying went well, earning 4th place and 17th place starting slots for the weekends two races. Vannelet started race 1 from the 4th slot on the grid, and used his experience to bring the car into the lead by the driver change. Time lost in the pit stop brought Niki out into 3rd place and his lack of time in the car was highlighted by a spin early in his stint which dropped him 7th, which he was to hold to the end of the race, earning 2nd place in the Porsche standings in the process.
Niki started the second race from 17th and made good progress, bring the car up to 14th on the first lap. An abortive overtaking manoeuvre later in his stint dropped him back down, but an early pit stop and a solid stint from Vannelet brought the car back up to 7th, again earning 2nd place in the Porsche standings.
Niki says "It was great to be back in a GT3 car again, and a bit more time in the car would have sharpened me up. If I hadn't made a mistake early in my stint in race 1 I'm sure we would have been on the podium. I'm happy that in race two my lap times were better and I was mixing it with several of the quickest drivers in the category, a couple of 2nd places from the weekend was pretty nice too! I hope that I can work out a deal to drive with the team again at Zolder"