Wednesday, October 16, 2013

VLN: Phoenix Racing again with no racing luck at the penultimate VLN round

Phoenix Racing Press Release

Just like two weeks before, fortune again failed to smile on Phoenix Racing at the penultimate round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring.
The driver trio of Frank Stippler and the brothers Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck that has scored a previous VLN race win this season in the Audi R8 LMS ultra finished in a disappointing 27th place overall in the field of 165 vehicles that had started the race. Suspension damage had caused the team to suffer a two-lap gap.

After qualifying was started with a delay due to morning fog and reduced to 60 minutes Frank Stippler in the white-blue TÜV-Rheinland R8, because of long yellow periods, did not find a clear lap on the Nordschleife for setting a top time so that Stippler/Stuck/Stuck had to start the race from an unusual position 19 on the grid.

However, after the start the seasoned Nordschleife campaigner Stippler managed to battle his way forward to fourth place, with a gap of just two seconds separating him from the front runners. “That shows that we were absolutely in contention,” said the former DTM driver. On lap six though his quick drive was stopped by a suspension defect and a lot of time was already lost on the slow drive back to the pits. Despite the swift action by the Phoenix mechanics, following the repair the Audi went back out with a gap of about two laps, the chances of clinching a top position having vanished into thin air. “We’ve got to analyse this damage now,” commented Stippler. “At the season’s finale we’re going to give our best again once more.”

The Stuck brothers were naturally disappointed as well. “We’d have had good chances of winning this race or at least finishing on the podium because our car had superb performance just like the whole team. Now we need to fully concentrate on the last VLN race,” said Ferdinand Stuck. And his brother Johannes added, “Of course, we’re not happy on the whole. But looking at the race from the driver’s perspective and seeing the lap times puts a smile on our lips after all. This minor defect had a major effect and robbed us of all chances. That was really a bitter pill. At the finale we need – and are determined – to do better.”

The last VLN race of the 2013 season will be held on Saturday, 26 October.   

Photo credit: Phoenix Racing