Hankook Team Farnbacher Racing finishes second at Nürburbring
Hankook Team Farnbacher Racing scored second place overall at the 38th ADAC Zurich 24 Hours Race at the famous German Nürburgring race track last weekend. After a crash during qualifying, the team started from 46th position and made an impressive drive through the field to finish on the podium.
Marco Seefried drove the Hankook Farnbacher Ferrari F430 GTC over the finish line just 3 minutes and 54 seconds after the overall winner, the BMW works team. It is the second closest finish in the history of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. In addition, the Hankook Team Farnbacher Racing Ferrari was the winner of the SP 7 class for racing cars with up to four liters engine displacement.
“This finish is an excellent example of how Hankook’s investment in motorsports R&D is paying off,” said Bill Bainbridge, director of brand communications for Hankook Tire America Corp. “A move from 46th to second is a major accomplishment, and a good analogy for Hankook, as we are growing our brand recognition and market share in the U.S., and globally.”
Team manager Horst Farnbacher’s young drivers Allan Simonsen (Denmark) and Dominik Farnbacher (Germany) were supported by Lehman Keen (U.S.A.) and Marco Seefried (Germany). This race was American Lehman Keen’s first ever start at the Nürburgring.
The team drew attention on Thursday, capturing the provisional pole in wet conditions. However, an unlucky crash on the first lap of the second qualifying session Friday resulted in a 46th place starting position. The team then worked to repair and replace several suspension parts until Saturday morning.
During the first stint of the race, Dominik Farnbacher drove the Hankook Ferrari through the field to 14th position. Longer stints and a reduced number of pit stops helped the team move further up the grid. Once in the top 10, the drivers drove an aggressive race during the last 12 hours of the race, consistently running fast laps and gaining on the field.
“We were competitive all weekend long, and we were able to act, as well as react, to our competitors’ strategies,” said Horst Farnbacher. “The pole position in the wet qualification on Thursday showed our team’s potential and demonstrated the high class of our Hankook rain and intermediate tires.
“Because of the accident in the second qualifying, we fell back heavily, but we more than compensated this with a perfect racing strategy. The Hankook tires were extremely consistent and were a key factor in our success at the Nürburgring this weekend. They reflect the successful development work Hankook Tire has achieved in the last year and a half. Now, we want to be on the podium at Le Mans too.”
Manfred Sandbichler, manager motorsports at Hankook Tire in Europe, said the Nürburgring track "has been a consistent part of our motorsports activities for years. Our goal was to bring the series’ first ever Ferrari to the starting line and finish the 24 hours without any incidents. The podium finish and class win are just amazing achievements and a great affirmation for the team.”
Here are more comments from team members following the race.
Dominik Farnbacher (driver): “This was my first 24 Hours race here at the Nürburgring. However, we drove top times from the beginning. The car and the tires gave us confidence on this difficult track.”
Allan Simonsen (driver): “Together with Le Mans, this endurance race is the most important and most prestigious in Europe. Our car was in perfect condition the whole race long and our tires have been extremely consistent and durable, keeping us out of the pits. This is the secret of our podium finish. The Hankook tires were particularly good in the wet as we showed on Thursday provisional qualifying. If the race had been run in rainy conditions, I am sure we could have challenged for the win.”
Lehman Keen (driver): “Hankook racing tires are one of the secrets to our success this weekend. The whole team worked perfectly together.”
Marco Seefried (driver): “I have to say, it has been a sensational team performance. From the beginning, I felt good in the car and easily drove fast lap times.”
Horst Farnbacher (team manager): “After the great result here at the Nürburgring, we are highly motivated for Le Mans in three weeks. Last year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we were leading when we had some bad luck. But this year, our clear objective is a podium finish.”
Michael Eckert (Hankook racing engineer): “Our main focus had been to provide the drivers with tires that provide neutral, easy-to-control driving characteristics. The Hankook tires have been consistent and fast during the entire weekend. Except for slight variations of the air pressure, we had a smooth race and were able to perfectly implement our planned racing strategy.”
Next up for Hankook Team Farnbacher Racing is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 12-13.