Muhlner Motorsport start their 2008 season with a podium Markus Lonnroth and Manfred Gottschlich take third, Marcel Engels goes off whilst leading Francorchamps / Nurburgring. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport Team...
Muhlner Motorsport start their 2008 season with a podium
Markus Lonnroth and Manfred Gottschlich take third, Marcel Engels goes off whilst leading
Francorchamps / Nurburgring. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport Team entered two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the opening round of the Germance Endurance Cup at the Nurburgring, the 33rd. DMV-4-Hour Race.
Wilfried Schmitz (Baesweiler), Marcel Engels (Willich) and Florian Fricke (Nienstadt) were on the pace in qualifying, starting the race from 2nd place. Manfred Gottschlich and Markus Lonnroth (both Sweden), who were starting just their second race on the Nurburgring restricted themselves to their mandatory laps.
Just after the start, Engels took the lead of the both qualitatively and, with 14 starters, quantitatively strong class for 997 series Cup Porsches. He was able to extend his lead to over 20 seconds before he ran out of road at the right-hander before Carousel and damaged the 778 car too heavily to be able to continue.
"I slid off on oil and had no chance" reported Marcel Engels later. "A real shame as we could have won today." "We have prepared well. The car is perfect and we've done quite a bit of testing to make sure that we are more used to the Porsche. Our qualifying position and the lead prior to the accident show that we are heading in the right direction" said Wilfried Schmitz and Florian Fricke added "Accidents can happen to anyone -- that's unfortunately part of Motorsport."
The two Swedes, who had only entered the race to get more mileage on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, were suddenly the Muhlner Motorsport Team's sole remaining hope in the race. After a quick change to the pit stop strategy, Lonnroth and Gottschlich ran as high as second as competitors pitted, and finally took a sensational third place in class.
"I'm really pleased for Markus and Manfred, that they managed such a good result" summarised team boss Renate-Carola Muhlner and continued "Marcel was really quick, both in qualifying and in the race right up until the accident. A shame that it wasn't converted into a good result but we have another chance in two weeks time and hopefully we'll also have drivers for our third Porsche by then."
The Muhlner Team's brand new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S attracted a lot of attention in the paddock. The newest piece of kit for the European FIA GT Championship and ADAC GT Masters was put through its paces at Zolder on Thursday and then on the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit on the Friday morning.
"Next weekend we'll be running two of these newly developed Porsches at Silverstone. For Mark Thomas we're still looking for a second driver, but with Tim Bergmeister und Tom Cloet on the other Porsche we are well set" reported Bernhard Muhlner