Norbert celebrates second place at Nürburgring-Nordschleife
Tiroler misses second victory of the VLN-season only narrowly
Adenau, 23rd September 2018
With the second place at the seventh VLN race of the season, Norbert achieved another podium-result at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. From starting position seven the Tyrolean and his team-mate Lance David Arnold (D) quickly moved up into second place. After four hours, the Frikadelli-Racing drivers missed the victory by a few seconds only.
In the qualifying session Norbert was leading the standings right from the beginning. “We covered the provisional pole-position quite long. It was clear that the track would become a little faster in the end and we thought about a second attempt. But we decided to stay in the pit-lane and dropped back to seventh unexpectedly. With another try, a better result would have been possible.”
In the race on Saturday, Norbert quickly corrected the qualifying result. Already after four laps, he had improved to position two with some spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. “In the first laps of the race you can quickly loose a lot of time against the leader. That’s why I had to take full risk to move up in the field,” the Porsche-driver explained after he had handed the car over to Lance David Arnold.
Fight for the victory until the last laps – only Code-60-zones save the opponent
In the second part of the race, Norbert’s Porsche fought for the victory against a Mercedes AMG. “The AMG had done its first pit-stop already after four laps. Therefore, we did not know the exact gaps between the cars until the final part of the race,” the Austrian explained. Five laps before the end, the Frikadelli-Porsche was nearly half a minute behind the leader. But Norbert managed to decrease the gap by several seconds per lap.
“We were expecting an extremely close battle in the end. But then we had bad luck with a code-60-zone, in which the Mercedes won many seconds in comparison to us,” Norbert described. After 28 laps he crossed the finish-line 14 seconds behind the leader in second position. Right after the race, it became clear that it was even closer. “We crossed the finish-line just after four hours and a few seconds. Without the code-60-zone in the end, the race would have been one lap longer. The Mercedes would have run out of fuel or had to make an extra pit-stop”, the race driver from Oberau explained.
But Norbert was happy with the second place as well. “You can always be proud after a podium result in VLN. After our victory at VLN 4 it is my second trophy this year. Lance and the whole Frikadelli Racing team did a great job. The Mercedes-team was rewarded for a very risky strategy, we have to accept that.”
At the next weekend Norbert travels to the Blancpain Endurance Cup season final in Barcelona. At the Circuit the Catalunya the 35-year-old will start with an Emil Frey Racing Lexus RC F GT3. There he hopes for a top-result as well. „The track was equipped with the new Formula one tarmac, which suits our Lexus perfectly,” the endurance-specialist looks ahead.