Muhlner Team 2nd in Bahrain despite accident Muhlner Porsche ran throughout without any technical problems The Spa Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Team completed the 24 hour race in the Bahrain desert on Saturday afternoon with a 2nd in ...
Muhlner Team 2nd in Bahrain despite accident
Muhlner Porsche ran throughout without any technical problems
The Spa Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Team completed the 24 hour race in the Bahrain desert on Saturday afternoon with a 2nd in class notwithstanding a heavy accident.
The race started on Friday afternoon in bright sunshine. The Muhlner Porsche was driven by Heinz-Josef Bermes, Stefano Rosina and last-minute signing Tim Bergmeister. The latter started the race from the second row, having qualified in 3rd place, and was easily able to stay in the front group.
In the last lap of the fourth stint of the race Heinz-Josef Bermes spun off into the gravel trap. "This in itself was not too bad but unfortunately another Porsche flew off at the same place and collected our car in a big way" explained Bermes later.
The front end of the Porsche 997 GT3 was completely destroyed and it took an age for the car to be recovered to the pits and the extent of the damage ascertained. What then followed is something we know from the Muhlner crew: a 24 hour race lasts 24 hours and so came the short and sweet instruction from team boss Bernhard Muhlner: "Keep going!" The Porsche was heavily damaged, large parts of the front had to be completely rejigged or replaced. Much later, and with a huge time deficit, the driver trio Bermes/Rosina/Bergmeister resumed the race.
The team was able to steadily make up places and when flash-flood rain arrived at 5 in the morning the drivers continued to push to the limit but by race end no more than 9th overall and 2nd in class was possible. "Without the accident we would have been right up there; at the time of the accident we were ahead of the subsequent winner. We had prepared our Porsche well, everything on it was new and we didn't suffer any technical problems, but that's motorsport -- we have no influence on what happens out on the circuit" reported team boss Bernhard Muhlner.
For Muhlner regular Heinz-Josef Bermes it was a tough race "the circuit is really hard, you can't compare it with the Nurburgring or Spa. Here we have to go from really high speed down to second gear so often; it's a real strain on man and material."
"I know lots of big teams, but none which works so professionally and is as motivated as Muhlner Motorsport. They could be in F1!" praised Stefano Rosina who was driving for the Muhlner team for the first time.
"The Muhlner Porsche and the whole package were very good"reckoned Tim Bergmeister after the race. "We showed that with our 3rd place in qualifying. Just a shame that the hard work of the team, who had a perfectly prepared car, was not rewarded with a better result."
For the two Muhlner Porsches the journey now continues to the next 24 hour race: "a third car is also already en route to Dubai" explained Bernhard Muhlner.