Porsche test driver Lars Kern lost his Nürburgring 24 Hours ride with Manthey Racing earlier this week when the team was forced to pull out on short notice. Within 24 hours he was back in the game instead racing the #31 Frikadelli Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R together with Mathieu Jaminet, Lance David Arnold and Maxime Martin. Lars was disappointed with his seventh-place finish, feeling the team’s pace on Sunday deserved a podium finish.
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Lars Kern: “At the end we are not happy. To be honest, a P6 finish is not where we wanted to be before the start of the weekend and we clearly knew that we should have a good pace in dry conditions – I think we showed this today. When I went into the car at the end it was pretty dry and I thought I’m the lucky guy going for the dry laps and a full stint in the dry because yesterday evening I did this pretty horrible stint in the night with having zero grip so I thought, OK, that’s pretty great, I get a reward to be able to do this stint in the dry, and performance was pretty good.
“Then it started to rain again and even before the team told me, I was sliding around with the slick tyres just trying not to hit anything or anybody. I was pretty careful bringing the car back to the pits – maybe a little too careful, I lost a little bit of time but for me it was more important to bring the car back in one piece. You saw a lot of cars crashing and spinning so I thought it’s not worth it, I thought it would be more chaos and I was pretty impressed that not that much happened during that time.
“On top of that we are going to get a one-minute penalty for this little tap that Mathieu gave to Philipp Eng in the Rowe car in turn one and two. I mean, it’s a joke, they were fighting door to door and Mathieu tried to go on the inside and Philipp just stayed tight on the inside so he touched him a little bit. There was nothing really going on and for this we got a one-minute time penalty.
“I think this is just not right because we are racing for the fans and unfortunately they could not be there this weekend but I think the show we put on was pretty great. I hope everyone enjoyed it, but if we are not allowed to race door to door or have a little touch in GT cars then I think that is absolutely bullshit.
“Everything came together so late and in a hurry racing here at Frikadelli but after the race I can say I felt really good with the team. It was the first time not racing for Manthey Racing on the Ring. It was special on the one hand and I met a lot of nice and hard working people. They did a great job over the weekend and unfortunately they didn’t get what they deserved. A podium is what we would have deserved because we didn’t make any mistakes, we had no offs or contacts.
“I think this doesn’t show the big picture but with the rain tyre we never had the performance we were aiming for. In the dry it was okay but with the rain tyres we never got them into the right window, really struggling no matter which ones we took – full wet or drying wet. This is something we have to analyse after the weekend, why we didn’t have pace in these conditions because in the dry the car was running great but 98-percent of the race was wet, so yeah.
“The team did a great job. I think they changed the axles on Thursday and Friday five times front and back so they did a mega job. On the other hand, we didn’t put any wheels wrong in the race so they had a fairly relaxed race, they didn’t have to repair anything.
“In the end, maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it will feel better but for the moment it feels like we did everything wrong because P6 is not what we really wanted.”
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