Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team: Win at the German Speedweek!
Oschersleben, Germany. The Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team took a back-to-back win of the German round of the FIM Endurance World Championship at Oschersleben today. Pedro Vallcaneras (ESP), Bastien Mackels (BEL) and Markus Reiterberger not only took a history breaking first ever Endurance World Championship pole position of a Superstock bike yesterday, but also the race win today. The BMW S 1000 RR fired squad got fourth overall in today’s race.
Reiterberger rode the Start and did a decent pace right from the word go. Also Mackels took the BMW S 1000 RR to it’s limits and helped to class the team of Rico Penzkofer to a sensational second overall and – of course – the lead in the Superstock.
The second pit stop brought a small problem, when both wheels had to be changed, which cost the squad approximately 1.5 laps. This meant a drop down in the order to the end of the Top Ten and P3 in Superstock.
But Reiterberger, Mackels and Vallcaneras know their handcraft and fought hard. After a downpour – which luckily came more or less to the time of a planned pit stop – Mackels was able to take over the Superstock lead once more.
With two hours to go the SafetyCar had to go out on track due to an oil spil in the wet. It stayed out on track for about 45 Minutes, in the mean time the track started to dry out. After that Mackels came to the pits and fetched a new set of intermediate tires and head out for a double turn.
With 30 minutes to go Mackels returned to the pits after riding the BMW S 1000 RR for 2:23 hours! Reiterberger took over the handle bars and brought the bike home.
With the win of Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team and the second place of Qatar Endurance Racing (Anthony West, Alexander Cudlin, Mashel Al Naimi) as well as third for Junior Team LMS Suzuki (Etienne Masson, Gregg Black, Baptiste Guittet) the Superstock World Cup title is to be decided at the finals at Le Mans (20./21. September 2014) only. Junior Team LMS Suzuki has earned 82 points so far, Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing is following with a lag of 9 points only. At the finals there are a maximum of 60 points to grab.
"It was an amazing race. I had very good team mates and the team worked brilliantly. The only thing is, that I didn’t have the chance to go faster, but that’s a team sport and finally we won – that’s absolutely great. I am happy for all my team as it was their home race and we couldn’t have said ‘Thank you’ to all of them better.”
"It’s my birthday and my team and my team mates made me the best present ever! Yesterday we earned the pole already and today we’ve won a race, which wasn’t easy at all. We really had to push for it, to work for it – in the box as well as on track. Wow. We got all that we wanted. It was a perfect weekend for us, so thank you to all the team, to my mates Markus and Pedro and all the guys that always trusted in me from the very beginning.“
"Awesome race! The start was ok, but maybe I was a bit too slow then. My first two stints went well, but we had a small problem at the pits that cost us some time. On my second stint I was able to make up 30 seconds. That was awesome. The bike worked brilliantly as always and also the team did a great job. On my next stint I was out there on slicks but it started to rain. Bastien took over and made up most of the ground – he gained a huge huge advantage. On my last stint I was on intermediates and tried to manage the gap to the finish line. It’s been a bloody marvellous first World Endurance race for me! It’s been a pleasure to ride in such an awesome team, that’s been a dream. Also thanks to all my IDM guys that helped me this weekend a lot!“
"Amazing shit! At the end it went pretty well, but at the beginning I got a bit mad. We had a problem with the rear brake last year, this time it was with changing the front wheel. If that had not happened, we could have had calmed down a bit as there was no need to push that hard and it could well have been the podium in the overall standings of the race. But anyways, we took a back-to-back victory here in Germany and that’s just amazing!“
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:
SUZUKI FIGHTS BACK AT OSCHERSLEBEN 8-HOUR
Defending World Endurance Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team heroically fought from the back of the pack to sixth position in today’s Oschersleben 8-Hour World Endurance third round in Germany.
The 13-time series winners crashed on the opening lap when Anthony Delhalle slid-off the GSX-R1000 and was forced to pit for repairs immediately; restarting five laps behind; and right at the back of the field.
However, Delhalle and team mates Vincent Philippe and Erwan Nigon clawed-back throughout the remaining seven-and-a-half hours to finish on 287 laps – four laps behind the race winners- and fourth overall in the EWC class which has moved the team from 10th to fifth in the series with one round remaining.
The race was won by Honda Racing ahead of series leaders Yamaha GMT 94 and Team Bolliger Switzerland third.
Oschersleben 8-Hour Results: 1 Honda Racing (Honda) 291 laps, 2 Yamaha Racing GMT 94 (Yamaha) 289, 3 Team Bolliger Switzerland (Kawasaki) 288, 4 Penz13.com Autowelt Racing (BMW) 288, 5 Qatar Endurance Racing Team (Kawasaki) 288, 6 SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 287, 7 Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers (Kawasaki) 285, 8 Junior Team LMS (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 285, 9 Monster Energy YART (Yamaha) 284, 10 SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 282.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Oschersleben 8 Hours Race - Early crash denies Team SRC Kawasaki a podium
Sadly Team Kawasaki SRC did not reap the expected rewards at the prestigious Oschersleben 8 hour race.
Just a few laps after a perfect start, Gregory Leblanc was in contact with a backmarker and crashed unhurt into the gravel of the last corner. Second before this incident, he came back to the Kawasaki SRC garage and passed the damaged number 11 bike to the Kawasaki SRC mechanics.
After a swift fifteen minutes spent rebuilding the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, Fabien Foret re-joined the race as rider number two but was too far from the leading machines to realistically expect a podium finish. Despite this dramatic gap, the Kawasaki riders didn’t give up and set about a heroic task of achieving a top ten placing.
At the end of the race, Gilles Stafler, the team manager was clearly frustrated but not disappointed overall, commenting:
“For sure it’s not the result we were expecting but that’s endurance racing ! To be honest, I would have preferred to get this problem here rather than at Le Mans.
I want to thank my riders and my team for their efforts. When you are used to winning it’s really difficult to stay motivated to simply score points. But that is the way it goes today and tomorrow will be different.
We have to concentrate our effort now on the Le Mans 24 hour race. This race will be the most important one for us this year. The target is to set a new record with a fifth victory in a row. If we failed here in Oschersleben you can be sure that we will re-double our efforts for Le Mans and get this result for sure !”
Grégory Leblanc said :
“In a way it’s my mistake and we didn’t get the reward we expected. That’s racing and endurance as well. Anyway we will take our revenge in Le Mans.”
Fabien Foret added :
“For sure it’s a bit of a disappointing result. We know that our race pace was good and fast but in endurance it’s not always the fastest team who gets the top spot at the end of the race. Anyway Le Mans will be a very different race – you can count on that!.”
Matthieu Lagrive concluded :
“I have spent three hours an thirteen minutes in a row on the bike. I’m really sore but that’s life. We can have regrets tonight but the positive is that it will make us even stronger for Le Mans.”
With this 10th place team Kawasaki SRC save precious points in the World Endurance championship standings. Before the last round Team Kawasaki SRC is in third position 22 points behind the leader (Yamaha GMT 94) and only one point behind team Bolliger, also riding a Ninja ZX-10R.