A mixed weekend at the Nürburgring
A mixed weekend for official Lamborghini GT3 Junior Patric Niederhauser and his Attempto Racing team at the Nürburgring. In qualifying for the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, everything went pretty much to plan for the Swiss driver and his team-mate Daniel Zampieri. In a field of 37 drivers, they qualified in 13th place, i.e. just outside the Top Ten. But in the weekend’s two races, fortune did not smile on the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 duo. Despite promising grid positions, Niederhauser and Zampieri had to settle for a P12 and a P19 finish.
Patric how would you sum up your outing in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at the Nürburgring?
It was something of a mixed bag. It didn’t go as we had planned, and we failed to live up to our personal expectations. We had good starting places for both the qualification race and the main race on Sunday. I drove the first stint in the race on Saturday and lost four places on the first lap, which I then had to claw back later on. We ended up in twelfth position but could have made it into the Top Ten.
By contrast, qualifying was quite promising. You came 13th in the third part of qualifying and were knocking on the door of the Top Ten.
I’m very satisfied with the way qualifying went. The times everyone set were within a tight margin. The standard of competition is very high in this series, and on my fastest lap everything went according to plan. On my first two laps, minor errors crept in, but at the third attempt, I had an open track ahead of me. The car felt great. We may only have come in at 13th, but considering how tight the competition is, we were more than satisfied with the quali time.
In the main race on Sunday, you got off to a great start but then lost several places in Turn 1. What happened there?
I tried to take the first corner on the outside in Saturday’s race. But a car took avoiding action in front of me, and I had to slam on the brakes. A similar thing happened to Daniel in Sunday’s race. I advised him to also try going round on the outside in the event of a good start. Unfortunately, he too was out of luck, with cars jostling for position ahead of him and leaving the track. So despite our mega start, we suffered a massive loss of places. I’m not blaming Daniel for this. He tried his best, and it didn’t work out.
And how did your stint go?
I initially had some problems with my seating position. When I finally got into my rhythm, I was struggling with oversteer. This phenomenon always occurs when we have less fuel in the tank. In this respect, we need to do some more work on our race pace, especially in view of the upcoming 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. We still have some leeway with the setup. That’s why I am confident that we will get it under control. Up to now, we’ve been concentrating on teasing more speed out of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3, so now it’s time to improve the driveability.
You now have a break of almost three weeks before you’re back in action on 22nd July at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in the context of the ADAC GT Masters. How do you rate your chances there?
I know the Red Bull Ring very well and hold it in high regard, but I fear that it will be a difficult weekend for us. The Red Bull Ring is a typical power circuit where we will ultimately lack the necessary level of performance. As for top speed, we will probably be struggling a bit more than at the Nürburgring. Even so, I’m feeling upbeat and looking forward to the ADAC GT Masters weekend in Styria.