N?rburgring race notes

Jamie Campbell Walter – nr 1 Lister Storm– 1st overall : "It is nice to be back on the top step of the podium - it has not happen since Magny-Cours. However, the race did not go perfectly for us. It was very difficult with the spray at...

Jamie Campbell Walter – nr 1 Lister Storm– 1st overall : "It is nice to be back on the top step of the podium - it has not happen since Magny-Cours. However, the race did not go perfectly for us. It was very difficult with the spray at the beginning. I just decided to make my way carefully. It started to dry up and I managed to catch up with the Carsport Viper and the Prodrive Ferrari and I was leading when I went into the pits. Mike did a fantastic job, managing to hold up Peter in the Ferrari for several laps until the tyres started to go off in the dry conditions. Then I got back in for the last stint on slicks and the car was fantastic. In my second stint, I spun on the way down to the first corner. One of the Vipers spun in front of the Lamborghini and I just dived on the inside. I decided to spin the car to avoid the collision. I was pretty gutted ! We gambled on a mid-way set-up, not quite dry, not quite wet, so we had a perfect car. We are very pleased to have won. "

Mike Jordan – nr 1 Lister Storm– 1st overall : "It was a fantastic way to start in the FIA GT Championship - with a win ! Although I drive a Lister in the British GT Championship, this is a whole new step upwards. Laurence made a very good call. He could see that initially, when I went out, I was a bit wide. The tyres were really hard. We were going to lose a lot of time there. So we talked on the radio and he was the one to make an early call for slicks which helped a lot !"

Nicolaus Springer – nr 2 Lister Storm - 6th GT: "We made one stop too many, coming in for slicks too early, but otherwise it went well. We’ve scored points in our last three races, and we’re always the fastest Pro-Am driver combination. I got some confidence back today, and I had a good fight with one of the Belmondo Vipers until my tyres were quite worn out. Then I had a problem telling the team I was coming in, as the radio didn’t work. So I went down the pit straight desperately flashing my headlights to try and warn them. But no-one seemed to be looking !"

Mike Hezemans – nr 3 Carsport Viper– second overall : "I took a good start as I had lots of grip. Then the track dried and my lap times got slower. Rickard in the Prodrive Ferrari passed me. And then it started again and I could re-pass him. Jeroen drove the middle stint. He stayed in the car for one and a half hours, and then I did the last stint. I just had the Lister in front of me. So I did 5 - 6 laps on the maximum. I was quick. If it had been dry for the whole race, we would not have been second !"

Jack Leconte – Team Manager, Larbre Competition Chéreau– 7th GT : "We got the Championship today. We had problems with our rain tyres, which did not stand up well to a drying track, so we finished out of the points. But the title is ours, and we’re going to lose a bit of weight, so we’ll be back in the fight at Jarama. I want it to be hot there, I want it to be dry, and I want to finish on the podium !"

Anthony Kumpen – nr 11 Belmondo Viper– 5th GT: "After losing our qualifying times and missing the Superpole, we lost so much time in the beginning starting behind the Porsches. Visibility was practically nil, and they heat up their tyres so much faster that they are very fast and difficult to pass. After five or six laps I was making progress, passing Jarier, Derichebourg and Bouchut, and got up to fourth.

When they pitted, I led for around 8 laps. I asked for intermediates when I pitted, but the team didn’t have enough confidence in my decision, so they sent Belmondo out on rain tyres which proved to be wrong. So we had to make another pit stop after eight or nine laps, which lost us a podium place. The car is better ; there haven’t been many actual changes, but they were prepared very well so we had no problems whatsoever. It’s important that we now try to get a podium in the last two races. We should have three cars back again, and I will have a new team-mate."

1Rickard Rydell - nr 15 Prodrive Ferrari– 3rd overall : "I had a 10 seconds penalty for crossing the white line at the pit exit. In any case, we were not lapping as fast as the Lister and the Carsport Viper. It took a while to bring the tyres to the right temperature at the beginning. We also stopped too late for slicks in the last stint. I was driving very carefully at the start as the tyres take some time to get up to temperature. But afterwards, it went well"

Peter Kox – nr 15 Prodrive Ferrari– 3rd overall : "I started off with new rain tyres and I struggled. When Jordan came out, the Lister was already far. Then the windscreen wiper broke, I could not see anymore and I did not want to take a risk. We gambled on a rain shower that never came. And then finally we had the stop-and-go penalty."

André Ahrle – nr 50 Larbre Porsche– 4th N-GT : "The rain tyres were very good in the rain, but when it began to dry, they wore right down. I could only really enjoy the first laps in the wet. When we put slick tyres on, everything was OK, and we made good progress to finish fourth, but our early problems cost us a certain podium. But I’m very pleased to be back with Larbre and to have scored points– as Jack Leconte told me, without points, you do not exist !"

Michel Neugarten – nr 55 Perspective Porsche– 3rd N-GT : "The weather was bad at the beginning. I took a good start from 5th on the N-GT grid. I was really happy when I passed Stephane Ortelli, I had a good fight with him. He was quite hard with me, he didn’t make any gifts to me this weekend ! I drove for one hour and thirty minutes in the car. The team did a very good job. When I came back to the pits to hand over to Thierry, we were second. I was so happy as he did a fantastic job. And we finished third."

1Thierry Perrier – nr 55 Perspective Porsche– 3rd N-GT : "I like to race in the rain. Michel did his best at the beginning of the race and I tried to keep the position. It was not so easy. On the last lap, I was on the reserve so I was lucky !"

Stephane Ortelli – nr 57 Freisinger Porsche– 2nd N-GT : "It was a wonderful race for us and I am glad that three Porsches are on the podium ! We chose the right tyres at the right moment. It was hard at the beginning. We tried to push harder when it got drier and when the tyres were on the right temperature. When I handed over to Robin, we were second. Robin really impressed me. He was catching up with the N-GT leader. The last time I drove with a Scottish driver, it was Allan McNish. Robin did not know the car. We came second, so close to first… I am very proud of him ! Manfred Freisinger has become the new Ross Brawn as he did a very good strategy with only one pit stop. The last three races were excellent on strategy!"

1Robin Liddell – nr 57 Freisinger Porsche– 2nd N-GT : "It was a real pleasure to work with Stephane Ortelli this weekend. Coming to the FIA GT Championship was a fantastic experience for me. Stephane’s qualifying lap yesterday was stunning ! Stephane did an excellent job in the worst conditions at the beginning of the race. It was really unpleasant. When I got into the car, I did the best job I could. Unfortunately, not just quite enough as we came second again. I think we had a good time and I was really happy to be part of the team with Stephane this weekend:"

1David Terrien – nr 62 JMB Ferrari– 8th N-GT : "We had two main problems– we weren’t very quick this weekend, either in the practice sessions or in the race. And we made a wrong tyre choice, coming in for slicks too early, then staying out on rain tyres too long, which meant four stops instead of our competitors one or two. Then I got a stop and go penalty as well, for crossing the pit lane exit line. So we lost the race due to our strategy. But basically we lost because we are two seconds off the pace, and what is worse is that we don’t know why. We haven’t lost the Championship yet, we’ve really got to put in a final effort and work hard if we want to get this title. If not, we’ll only regret it later."

Philip Peter – nr 69 Orlando Porsche– 1st N-GT : "We were the only team to start on intermediate tyres and Marco did a perfect job. He first tried to survive the first laps out there and then his laps were getting faster and faster. From 8th, he took the lead. He was also able to run on a low fuel consumption. I took the car over after one hour and 35 minutes. Unfortunately, at that moment, we made the wrong tyre choice by putting intermediates on. After 5 laps, I had to come back in to put slicks on. From then, I tried to control the race. I could not push more as we were very close with fuel consumption. I am happy that everything went so well as I pushed hard to have Marco with me. I have to thank him too !"

1Marco Werner – nr 69 Orlando Porsche– 1st N-GT : "I had a good week with my win last week in the Porsche Supercup and now here ! It was very hard at the beginning as it was not the best conditions for our tyres. Nevertheless, after ten laps, the tyres were at the right temperature. I did my best."

Luca Riccitelli – nr 77 RWS Porsche– 6th N-GT : "We made a mistake, but you can’t really say it was a mistake as it was a very difficult situation with the weather. We came in two laps too early for slick tyres, and then two laps later it started to rain. We lost too much time changing back to wet tyres. But luckily the JMB Ferrari did exactly the same, on the same lap. But effectively we lost everything there. At the beginning the car was really good, and I was easily in the front. At the end, I was fast on slicks, and I tried to do my best and get some points, but I was too far behind. One point is better than nothing, but to score one point in two races is not a good result, especially when the car is so competitive. Ferrari had a bad day too, so we go to Jarama with a five point lead, and I’m very optimistic for the last two races. If we have a race without so many difficult situations as today, I am sure we can start to win again. I’m optimistic for the title, and I think we still can win."


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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Robin Liddell , Stéphane Ortelli , Ross Brawn , Peter Kox , Marco Werner , Anthony Kumpen , Mike Hezemans , Luca Riccitelli , David Terrien , Michel Neugarten , Nicolaus Springer , Rickard Rydell , Jack Leconte , André Ahrlé , Philipp Peter , Thierry Perrier , Manfred Freisinger , Mike Jordan
Teams Larbre Competition