Mixed feelings after race debut at the Sachsenring

The second race weekend of the 2016 ADAC GT Masters seasons at the Sachsenring did not quite go to plan for Patric Niederhauser and his Attempto Racing Team. The Swiss driver and his Lamborghini Huracán GT3 were forced to retire from the first race on Saturday after a collision caused by an opponent. Niederhauser had better luck in the second race. The Lamborghini GT3 Junior squad member staged an impressive charge up the field to finish 16th, an improvement of eleven places on his grid position. A better result might have been achievable had it not been for a less than satisfactory pit stop.

Patric, you’ve just had your first race weekend at the Sachsenring. How would you sum it up?
As a team, we’re still not quite where we would like to be. On Saturday, the best we could have managed in qualifying was 15th. We then worked on the car and tweaked the setup. Unfortunately, the race went badly for us. My team-mate Daniel Zampieri was rear-ended early on. The other driver was penalised for the incident, but that doesn’t help us much. Consequently, I didn’t get to do much driving on Saturday, which was annoying because I had hardly any prior experience of the Sachsenring.

In Sunday’s race, you improved from 27th on the grid to P16. What happened there?
The qualifying lap was OK. With a better setup, more would certainly have been possible. Basically, we’re slightly lacking in top speed and in acceleration out of the corners. I did a good job in the race itself, even though we lost some time on the pit stop. My belt jammed, which unfortunately cost us two positions. The race pace wasn’t bad, and we were especially good on the brakes. All the same, we’re some way off the leading group. We need to make sure we do something about that very quickly.

All racing drivers rave about the Sachsenring. Do you feel the same way after your race debut?
I think the track is really ace. It’s very challenging, and you have to stay constantly focused. The first section is relatively easy, but from Omega onwards, it gets quite tricky. That’s when the fun really begins! It’s a sequence of one fast corner after another. You have to know the circuit really well to compete with the front-runners.

Next weekend, you’re in the Blancpain Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch.
I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch – it’s another circuit I’ve never driven on before. I’ve heard only good things about it. The Sachsenring was new to me, and I was impressed. Brands Hatch is also a lot of fun, because the layout is challenging. But before that, we’ll be doing some more tests at the Lausitzring. I hope that we’ll find out some things there that will help us to do well at Brands Hatch.