28.04.16 Wolfgang Kaufmann gets a podium finish at the N24 dress rehearsal
3rd place in the qualifying race on the Nürburgring
The 24h race on the Nürburgring is getting closer. As part of his preparation for one of Europe's toughest races, Wolfgang Kaufmann took part in the qualifying race in the Eifel this past weekend with Cologne's Team Porsche Kremer Racing.
This time out, the professional racer from Molsberg, Germany had to do without the spectacular Kremer Porsche 997 K3. Cas prepared to Group H specifications are not eligible for the 24 Hours. The team therefore went back to its car from last season, the Porsche 997 GT3 KR. This year, however, the car was entered in the SP7 class instead of SP-PRO. This meant healthy competition for Kaufmann and his team mates Eberhard Baunach and Edgar Salewsky.
For the qualifying sessions, the changeable weather in the Eifel made for varyiung track conditions - with a slippery racing surface on Saturday, dry asphalt on Sunday. "Sadly, I didn't catch a clear lap on Sunday", Kaufmann was unhappy after the second qualifying session, "I had hoped for more than P5 on the grid."
Six hours of racing meant ample opportunity for moving up the order. Kaufmann took the start of the race and lived up to his nickname: with every mile, "Piranha" chewed up the opposition and made his way through the field. At the end of his first stint, he handed the Kremer Porsche 997 GT3 KR to his team mates in 3rd place. Eberhard Baunach and Edgar Salewsky took the wheel for one stint each and left the car for Kaufmann to drive a double stint that took them to the chequered flag.
In typical, sometimes teacherous "Eifel weather", Kaufmann put pressure on his competitors and managed to reclaim 3rd place in the SP7 class, all the time drawing closer to the 2nd placed Porsche. In the end, there was no time for a final attack; Baunach/Kaufmann/Salewsky crossed the line in P3 in their class, with a deficit of only 35 seconds.
"This qualifying race was good preparation for the Nürburgring 24 Hours on the last weekend of May", Kaufmann summed up a successful dress rehearsal for the N24.