Muhlner Motorsport fall well back in points standing despite podium in second race Bergmeister and Schmickler one non-finish and one third Haring and Konstantinou 10th and non-finish after...
Muhlner Motorsport fall well back in points standing despite podium in second race
Bergmeister and Schmickler one non-finish and one third
Haring and Konstantinou 10th and non-finish after accident
Francorchamps / Hockenheim. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport Team ran two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S in the ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim.
At the third race weekend of the ADAC GT-Masters in Hockenheim, it wasn't just the weather which was changeable - so were the fortunes of the Muhlner Motorsport team. Regular pilots Tim Bergmeister (Langenfeld) and Frank Schmickler (Rosrath) were able to improve from 12th to 7th from first free practice to the second but the gap to the dominant Audis was just too big. Jurgen Haring (Bubsheim) and Dimitris Konstantinou (Stuttgart) achieved 9th and 15th position and were among the frontrunners of the amateur rankings.
Saturday qualifying was wet and Schmickler achieved the minor miracle of qualifying in third. Haring also did a good job, achieved a respectable 12th. In the immediately subsequent second qualifying, Bergmeister gambled on slicks for the drying track but it began to rain again and he only qualified 11th with team colleague Konstantinou in 15th
Schmickler was barged out of fourth place in the first race and as a result of the contact, a driveshaft broke just before he was due to come in for the driver change. With another null points race, after the out in the first race in Assen, the pairing went down from 3rd to 11th in the points standings. Haring once again demonstrated his ability with a serious of perfect laptimes so that Renate-Carola Muhlner, deciding team tactics and strategy from the pitwall, opted to leave him out for as long as possible so that he finally pitted in 4th place. Konstantinou lost too much time in his stint and was finally chequered in 10th place.
In the second race, Bergmeister made up for the poor qualifying in the first lap when he came around in 4th place. By contrast, Konstantinou didn't come round at all at the end of the first lap, have been knocked off by one competitor and then hit in the side by another.
On the third lap it started raining and by lap four the rain was so heavy that most of the field headed to the pits for wets. Bergmeister also came in but it was too early to make a driver change, these only being allowed between the 23rd and 37th minutes. Shortly after half distance, Bergmeister was duly called in and Schmickler took over in 5th place, behind four Audis!! He was able to deal with two of them by dint of his driving abilities but better than third was not possible - the first two were too far away.
"We won the "B-Class" but the "A(udi)-Class" are in another league, we simply cannot compete" explained Bergmeister. Schmickler added "An honest Audi driver admitted that their car is streets ahead and he sympathized with our fate"
"Despite our excellent third place, we are now 14 points behind. However, given that we dropped down to 11th after the non-finish in race one, we've done well to be back up to 4th in the championship. Even though it looks very difficult, we will continue to try to defend our 2008 title until it is mathematically impossible to do" was the fighting talk of team boss Renate-Carola Muhlner, hoping that the FIA Balance of Performance will soon see an end of the Audi dominance.