‘Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit‘ experienced an exciting, tentative, but in the end disappointing weekend at the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race in Hockenheim. The positions 12, 19 and 21 for Sascha Maassen, Sean Edwards and Khaled Al Qubaisi respectively, didn’t shed the real light on the ups and downs of the race.
During qualifying on Saturday, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup drivers put in the most thrilling qualifying session of the season so far, which saw the pole setter and the 21st position separated only by less than a second. Former Porsche works driver Sascha Maassen again fought with finding the optimal tyre temperature: “The sprint format of the Supercup races is simply not to be compared with the endurance racing competitions during the past years. I am still stuck in a learning process and hope that I can proceed as soon as possible. Position 18 was all I was able to achieve in the end, although I was only 7 tenths of a second behind the pole sitter.”
In the race, the 40 year-old showed his full extent of experience and caught up six positions: “Qualifying is the crux of the matter. In the race I was always able to catch up some places.”
Briton Sean Edwards faced a disappointing qualifying, too: “Traffic, mechanical issues and bad timing – everything went wrong. That’s annoying, because the car was great and the teamwork as well.”
His streak of bad luck continued in the race. In just the first lap, the 23-year-old was turned around by a competitor and his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup suffered from a flat tyre. Nevertheless, the thought of withdrawing never crossed his mind: “The boys quickly changed the tyre and I went out again. I do have some pretty good experience in putting the cart before the horse.” In the end, he ranked 19th.
The regular instant starter and third driver of ‘Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit’, Khaled al Qubaisi, was once again able to catch up some positions in his race: “Later on, Thomas Messer touched me and caused a spin. I had to do a pit stop which was very annoying. From there, I fought until the very end.”
Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit Team Manager, Michael Seifert, sums up: “It was a very turbulent race weekend for us, yet Sascha was still able to collect some important points for the team. It is astonishing how tight the competition is in this championship, however, we expected better results and are fully aware that we are able to achieve them. For us now, the most important thing is not to lose motivation and to attack again in the upcoming race in Budapest.”
tolimit Managing Director, Hans-Bernd Kamps, adds: “We can’t be satisfied with the race result in Germany, especially when we consider how much energy and effort we’ve put into the team. I know that every team member did his utmost; unfortunately we didn’t have the luck needed to give us the extra edge. I hope we do in Budapest next week. A special thanks goes to our partners from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Windreich and Deutsche Post. Their more than 50 guests supported us throughout the whole weekend.”
Round eight of Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes place on August 1, 2010 in Budapest, Hungary. Eurosport 2 will show a re-live of the race in Hockenheim on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 11.30 a. m.
Coming off the back of two successful race weekends in Spain and Germany, ‘Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit‘could not continue its good run of form at the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race in Silverstone after Sean Edwards, Sascha Maassen and Khaled Al Qubaisi finished 12th, 13th and 19th respectively.
Abu Dhabi’s Emirati star, Al Qubaisi, was the first casualty of the weekend, after a spin out in Friday’s practice meant the tolimit crew had to work through the night to get the car back into racing condition.
Saturday saw an improved performance from the team with England’s Sean Edwards achieving a respectable third position in qualifying, just a few hundredths of a second shy of snatching pole. However, his time was canceled later on when stewards decided to disqualify his best lap time, dropping him to the back of the grid, for ‘disrespecting the course’ after all four wheels left the track.
“It’s annoying. Above all, because the track was really fast and had a lot of grip. Maybe I underestimated my speed when I left track. However, it cannot be changed,” said Edwards.
In the race, Edwards was keen to make amends and put in a solid opening assault, climbing up to 10th before rival, Tim Bridgman, caused him to run off the track again. In the remaining three laps, Edwards fought back to eventually secure 12th position
“In my first lap I overtook at least five cars in front of me. Especially at the end of the race, the car was super fast. I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we weren’t rewarded with a good position due to the qualifying incident,” said the 23-year-old.
Maassen’s race weekend could have gone better too. In qualifying, the German ace struggled to produce a solid lap time: “I made a mistake in my first fast lap, which was annoying as the track offered a great deal of grip from the Formula One tyres. In my second fastest lap, the track was unfortunately already more than a second slower.”
Al Qubaisi, who was making his UK debut, also found the Silverstone track a daunting task, as he span-out into the boundaries in practice after under-steering his Abu Dhabi-emblazoned Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Yet a strong race day performance saw the Emirati driver snatch his second competitive points haul of the season – adding to the six points collected by Edwards and Maassen.
“The tolimit mechanics are the true heroes of this race. They twice worked on my car all night long. I am very thankful for this. I simply didn’t want to crash again and didn’t risk a lot,” added Al Qubaisi.
‘Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit’ team manager Michael Seifert sums up: “It was definitely a busy weekend. I have to thank the whole team for supporting each other and working long hours in order to get all cars on track. Unfortunately, the result again doesn’t show the true potential of the team. The penalty against Sean needs to be accepted, however, we would be pleased if the stewards penalized more consistently. It was not only Sean who left the track with all four wheels.”
tolimit managing director Hans-Bernd Kamps agrees: “This was a result that had to be earned with a lot of effort. However, same as the German soccer squad, our team didn’t let the result get them down and kept on fighting. That’s how racing goes.”
A summary of the race in Silverstone will be shown on Eurosport 2 on Tuesday, July 13, 10.00 a. m. and on Eurosport 1 on Wednesday, July 14, at midnight. The next race of Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes place on July 25 at the Hockenheimring.
This title wasn’t only given to the Porsche Carrera Cup race at the Norisring because of the fascinating atmosphere and the Monaco-flair. Sean Edwards and Sascha Maassen from “Team Deutsche Post by tolimit“ finished on position 4 and 5, achieving the best result of the running season so far and the best team result of the weekend. 26 points were added to the team account.
Being the first time at the short-haul track in Nuremberg, Sean Edwards is satisfied with his result: “Qualifying could have gone a bit better. However, with a track only 2.3 kilometres long, it’s clear that the times are tight.” Position 6 on the grid was the best he could do on Saturday.
In the race on Sunday, the 23-year-old Briton had a very good start, however, was blocked by Nick Tandy, who started from position 4. The next laps were dominated by a British duel including some spectacular overtaking manoeuvres for the spectators until Tandy had to resign with a damaged tyre. Fallen back due to the exciting duel, Edwards focused on catching up more than two seconds to the fourth placed Christian Engelhard in the second part of the race. Again fighting with his competitor, Engelhart had to resign due to a damaged gearbox. “I had just passed him, when he got slower. The car was way better in the race than in qualifying. Nevertheless, from that point, I was scared that also my gearbox would not stand the many gear changes. There was no opportunity to catch up any further and from behind, no danger was to be expected. So I concentrated on keeping the fourth position.”
His team mate Sascha Maassen sings from the same hymn sheet: “This weekend went well, although we had a few problems in getting enough brake force on the rear suspension. I was able to pass four competitors on the outside during my start.” During the following laps, the Porsche old-hand lead and competently controlled the runner-up group. A bit of luck was necessary, when Schlegelmilch missed the breaking point and shot off Maassen’s direct follower Renauer. “That was tight, but he didn’t hit me. During the race, I added brake force by breaking with the engine. Of course I was a bit scared to suffer from gearbox failure. So in the end, I tried to just keep the position. ” In the end, he ranked fifth, achieving the best result of his season so far.
Team manager Michael Seifert, who again acted in place for Jörg Michaelis, sums up: “With this result, we more than doubled our team points. This weekend, Sean proved that he is able to bring a constant performance. His lap times were all among some tenth of a second’s time. Sascha had a clever start and controlled the runner-up group. We can definitely be satisfied with this result. We dedicate it to Jörg who can’t be with us due to sickness. That’s what’s great in sports: if you continue training and working hard, once the moment of rewards comes. From this point, we can continue improving.”
tolimit managing director Hans-Bernd Kamps adds: “This race clearly shows that we continue to learn from previous races and improve constantly. We perfectly know what we have to do in order to further improve. The spirit both in the team and in the “DTM Business Lounge powered by Deutsche Post” was great during the weekend, of course also because of the four goals of the German soccer team against Argentina yesterday. It was furthermore a very nice picture when Deutsche Post Speed Academy David Mengesdorf finished directly after Sean and Sascha, achieving his best result of the season and completing the yellow “Deutsche Post train”.“
A summary of the race will be shown in “DTM-Magazin” on channel Sport1 tonight at 9.15 p. m. The whole race will be shown on Motorvision at 9.30 p. m. A highlights programme will be broadcast on n-tv, Sport 1 and DMAX on Tuesday, 4.25 p. m., Thursday, 10.30 p. m. and Sunday at midnight, respectively. The next race of Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland will take place on August 8, at the Nürburgring.
The pilots of ‘Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit’ Sean Edwards, Sascha Maassen and Khaled Al Qubaisi finished the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race weekend in Valencia on positions 5, 9 and 19. Team manager Michael Seifert is “generally satisfied”.
It was a comfortably quiet race weekend which ‘Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit’ faced at the 4th round of Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Valencia. Although especially Sean Edwards and Sascha Maassen weren’t fully happy with their qualifying performance, the race result was completely favorable with view to the team success. “This weekend, a good team result was the most important thing for us“, says team manager Michael Seifert.
With little restrictions, Porsche old-hand and former works driver Sascha Maassen was satisfied with his race: “It could have gone better in qualifying. There is a high performance density in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup which means that it is very difficult to catch up positions during the race. The starting place is vital. Unfortunately, I made one or two smaller mistakes and had to start form position 9”. After some duels at the start and the end of the race, the experienced pilot also finished on position 9. „Other than that it was a very satisfying weekend. Especially with view to the team standings.
The Briton Sean Edwards agrees with his team mate: “A weekend without penalties and other issues. I wasn’t able to perform 100 per cent, as the braking balance of the car didn’t fully work out. But the race result today is a success.” The 23-year-old also unfortunately had some smaller mistakes in qualifying. Starting from position 4, he lost another position to Jaap van Laagen due to dismantling tyres, however, was able to stand the pressure from other competitors successfully.
Khaled Al Qubaisi however, wasn’t able to stop grinning after the race: “I am absolutely happy. The Valencia race track has become one of my favourites this weekend. I am very happy that I was able to gain more experiences on a street course and as well in dueling with competitors. Again I had a great start and was able to catch up five positions. Later I fought among others with former Supercup champion Alessandro Zampedri. It was very exciting.”
Team manager Michael Seifert thus doesn’t have a reason to complain: “The clear strategy for this weekend was to gain points for the team standings. All pilots abided to that strategy and held back in critical situations. With view to the race season so far, this was extremely important for us. Now we look forward to the Porsche Carrera Cup race weekend at the Norisring. The track offers the same conditions than Valencia. We want to at least repeat this weekend’s result.”
tolimit managing director Hans-Bernd Kamps sums up: “We promised our partners from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Windreich AG, aabar and Deutsche Post AG to gain some good results. And we managed to keep the promise. Now we can work on that and continue to improve.”
The next race of Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will take place in Silverstone, England, on July 11, 2010.