16.10.17 VLN: Pole position and fastest lap for Wolfgang Kaufmann
For the second time in a row, fastest Group H qualifyer at the Nürburgring.
It was the last outing in this year's VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring for Wolfgang Kaufmann with Porsche Kremer Racing. He shared the Kremer Porsche 997 K3 with team owner Eberhard Baunach and Japan's Kenji Kobayashi. In a rainy Friday practice session, Kaufmann worked on the cars setup and also acted as Nordschleife coach for Kobayashi. "Kenji last drove with us in VLN in 2013, so we used the Friday for some practice", the German professional racing driver says. Qualifying on Saturday morning was also on the experienced Kaufmann's agenda, and he promptly turned the fastest lap on the 24 kilometer course.
As his team mates got their mandatory practice laps done, and as their competition also found its speed, the Kremer Porsche slipped down the order. Just before the end of practice, Kaufmann again got behind the wheel of the Kremer Porsche, andused the last dry lap for his second Group H pole position in a row.
And as the race got underway, he immediately converted his grid position into the class lead. He fought with his Group H competitors for several laps, and always kept the upper hand. And in spite of these fierce but fair battles, Wolfgang Kaufmann again, just as in theprevious VLN round, managed to lay down the astest lap in Group H!
But he headed for the pits one lap earlier than planned: "On my last lap, I had the distinct feeling that a slow puncture was making itself felt", Kaufmann says. However, a cursory check showed no damage and the car was sent out again with no significant loss of time. As the race was sarred between three drivers this time, Kaufmann's work day ended earlier than usual.
Kobayashi and Baunach then took turns at the helm of the Kremer Porsche 997 K3, and brought it home in 2nd place in Group H. "Sadly we didn't score that win we've been chasing all year", Kaufmann sums up his race, "the beautiful 997 K3 was again immaculately prepared, the duels during my stint were exciting, and fun to watch for the fans along the Nordschleife. I hope we can bring the car to the Nürburgring 24 Hours next year because that's definitely where the Kremer Porsche 997 K3 belongs. And it is a perfect fit for the SP-X class."