Le Mans Series, round 4 on the Nürburgring
The Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) take up the fourth round of the Le Mans Series from the third grid position in the GT2 class. Lieb qualified the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the German Felbermayr-Proton team with a lap time of 1:58.228 minutes on the 5.148 kilometre Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring. The top Porsche duo Lieb/Lietz had lost the championship lead at the third LMS round in Portimao after they were caught in a collision and now sit two points shy of the points’ lead in second. The French works driver Patrick Pilet (IMSA Performance Matmut) secured fifth in qualifying, Horst Felbermayr Jnr (Austria) was twelfth.
“After two fastest qualifying times in a row, third on the grid is a little disappointing,” the 29-year-old Lieb said about the result. “But still, we are pleased that our rivals start behind us which means they didn’t receive any extra points for pole position and therefore couldn’t extend their lead. We knew it wouldn’t be easy at our home race as the track characteristics of the Grand Prix circuit don’t particularly suit our 911. We lose time especially in the twisty third. Our motto for tomorrow’s race is full attack.” Richard Lietz adds: “I’m confident that with Norbert Singer we have a hugely experienced strategist onboard. And our pit crew has done an excellent job at every race this year. We will do everything to add another win to our three and take back the lead – or at least keep within striking distance.”
Works pilot Patrick Pilet from France is also satisfied with his fifth qualifying position in the GT2 class, albeit with a down side. Pilet and partner Raymond Narac (France) lost ten positions because the engine had to be opened up for repairs after the Algarve race. “That’s racing,” said Pilet. “We made the most out of the situation and used the 20-minute qualifying session to work on our race set-up – that counts in a 1,000 kilometre race. The grip level is still very low which leads to understeering in the narrow corners. We are looking forward to the race because from experience when the grip improves on the track the balance of our car improves.” Whilst Pilet contests his first race on the Nürburgring, his teammate Narac is a real fan of this track. “I simply like this circuit. And I’m very confident that, with a consistent performance, we will make up places.”
It was Austria’s Horst Felbermayr Jnr. who qualified the second Felbermayr team Porsche 911 GT3 RSR this time. He shares driving duties with team boss Christian Ried (Germany) and the young Portuguese racer Francisco Cruz Martins.
The race on the Nürburgring takes off on 23 August at 12.30 hours and receives the flag after 195 laps or a maximum of six hours. TV station “Eurosport 2” broadcasts the race live from 12.30 to 15.15 hours and shows the end of the race later at 19.30 to 19.45 hours. The freeview TV station “Eurosport” telecasts 30 minutes of highlights from 23.00 hours.
Qualifying result GT2 class
1. Pierre Kaffer (DEU), Ferrari F430 GT, 1.57.982 minutes
2. Antonio Garcia (ESP), Ferrari F430 GT, + 0.116 seconds
3. Marc Lieb (DEU), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.246
4. Robert Bell (GBR), Ferrari F430 GT, + 0.454
5. Patrick Pilet (FRA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.942
6. Tom Coronel (NDL), Spyker C8 Laviolette, + 1.132
7. Anthony Beltoise (FRA), Ferrari F 430 GT, + 1.308
8. Jonny Cocker (GBR), Aston Martin Vantage GT2, + 1.832