Martin Öhlin impressive in 24-hour debut

Postad av Mediaempire 2010-05-17 14:56

Fourth overall and second in the SP 9 GT3 class. Martin Öhlin made an impressive 24-hour debut at the demanding Nürburgring Nordschleife with over 200 participants and in front of over 200,000 people. Driving a BMW Z4 GT3 for Need for Speed Schubert Motorsport together with Edward Sandström, Patrick Söderlund and Marko Hartung Martin didn’t put a foot wrong and secured a fourth place overall.
– I’ve just now realized what a great result this is and what kind of drivers we have beaten, Martin says. It’s a fantastic feeling. The four of us formed a great team and Schubert Motorsport prepared a car that was fantastic to drive. We didn’t compete within the team and all of us were genuinely happy when we saw each other setting fast lap times. This was a real team effort where we all focused on the overall result.

There is never a lack of drama in a 24-hour race at Nordschleife but Martin drove fast and without any big scares. But on the very last lap, when the field bundled up for the finish, the last few seconds became very dramatic. Martin got the honors of driving the last stint and near the end of the last lap he got a puncture. At the same time the Black Falcon Audi-team behind tried to pass Martin and the leaders to get another last lap that would put them ahead on fourth place. Martin was forced, and with a punctured tyre, to put himself in between the Audi and the leaders without passing the leaders himself and being forced to drive another full lap. A dramatic finish to a long race,
– I probably had over 200 kph when the tyre went which was exciting and then the team told me I had to put the Audi between me and the leaders. It was a little bit of tricky games the last 300 metres but it turned out well, Martin smiles.

This was his first 24-hour race and Martin planned the race his own way.
– I wasn’t quite sure how you plan a 24-hour race so I prepared myself mentally to be up the whole time. It worked well during the race but it will take a few days to get back to normal shape again, he explains. It was never a problem while driving though, the car just got better and better. The only difficulty was my seating position, it wasn’t very good so I’m quite bruised now but it’s all worth it.

Martin drove a total of six stints during the race including several stints at night. This is in race time more than one and half season of Carrera Cup performed in just 24 hours.
– It’s probably fair to say I’m up to speed now with racing. Driving at night was never a problem, actually it was better at nights.  The traffic with slower cars was better and the whole experience with the fans barbecuing and partying around the track is unique. This was a fantastic race weekend that far exceeded my expectations.

Schubert Motorsport teammanager Stefan Wendl praised the team and their fourth place overall after the race.
– Fourth place for car # 76 is a very good result. This is far more than we and the drivers expected before the race. It’s very easy to forget that this was actually the first time both Edward and Martin did a 24-hour race and the performed brilliantly, he concluded.

Martin Öhlin now prepares for the next round in Carrera Cup Scandinavia already next weekend.

Result Nürburgring 24-hours top 10:
1: BMW Motorsport, BMW M3 GT2 154 varv
2: Hankook Team Farnbacher, Ferrari F 430 GTC + 3:54.191
3: Phoenix Racing, Audi R8 LMS + 1 varv
4: Need for Speed by Schubert Motorsport, BMW Z4 GT3 + 2 varv
5: Black Falcon, Audi R8 LMS + 2 varv
6: H & R Sepzialfedern, Porsche GT3 CUp S + 3 varv
7: BMW Motorsport, BMW M3 GT2 + 4 varv
8: Team Rowe Motorsport, Porsche GT3 Cup S + 5 varv
9: Dörr Motorsport, BMW Z4 GT3 + 5 varv
10: Scuderia Offenbach, Porsche 997 GT3 Cup + 6 varv

Complete standings at http://adac.24h-rennen.de/Ergebnislisten.3846.0.html