Alexandre Imperatori had to forgo victory in the 41. RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen. Although the Swiss and his co-driver Stef Dusseldorp performed at the top of their game in the sixth VLN race of the season, it was the Falken Motorsports’ sister car that took the win. Despite missing out on the top step of the podium, the BMW M6 GT3 racer feels happy about his team’s dominance.
RACE REPORT | GALLERY | INTERVIEWS: MARTIN RAGGINGER | KLAUS BACHLER | STEF DUSSELDORP | MICHELE DI MARTINO
“I have to say, I’m happy for the team—it really was a strong team-effort,” Alexandre Imperatori says.
“One-two, for Falken, it’s fantastic and a great reward for the team.
“Of course, I think both cars really wanted to win it and we came really close: 4 seconds at the end is nothing. We had the pace to be able to win it today, but in the end, it was about managing traffic and luck—as always here at the Nordschleife.
“I congratulate the sister car, they did a great job. Now we need to have our revenge next time.”
The most significant moment that quite possibly cost Imperatori and co-driver Stef Dusseldorp the win, he says, was halfway through the race when he had to slow down on the long Döttinger Höhe straight.
“In the first stint we had a bit worse traffic in the way we hit it in lap 3 and 4, but this can happen. Where I think we really lost it, was when I went in the car for the third stint of the race—my second stint—and we had a double yellow on Döttinger Höhe when the Audi broke down. We had to do the whole Döttinger Höhe at 120 kph while our sister car didn’t, and then they immediately boxed.
“Instead of jumping them in the pits as it looked like we would, they exited the pits about 12 seconds in front of us. I still managed to close the gap and pass them, but in the end, it was not enough because of the strategy. The way we were offset, we knew we needed to be 15 seconds ahead of them at the last pitstop. But, this kind of thing can happen here at the Nordschleife.”
While Imperatori took the lead in the second-to-last stint but lost it again during the pitstops, team-mate Dusseldorp made a bold but failed attempt at catching up with the leading Falken Porsche.
“But we are very happy for the team, it’s a fantastic result and I’m not complaining. I think everybody did a great job: Stef did a great job and the other two guys also worked their ass off. I have no regrets, I think we got the maximum.”
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