Started in 2005 by Klaus Abbelen a succesfull butcher where the nickname “Meatball” AKA Frikadelli if you Sprechende deutsch.
The car proudly displays one of the infamous meatballs on its detailing, along with one of my favorite German Beers Früh Kölsch.
The team consists of the driver and 2 times winner of the ADAC 24h Race Sabine Schmitz along with Team Owner Klaus Abbelen and numerous mechanics and support staff.
In 2010 they went from the amateur interest to a professionel motor sport team. At Barweiler, located directly at the Nuerburgring they built a 1800 square meter garage complex which is now the headquarter for “Meatball” and his team.
In the season 2011 Frikadelli Raced two Porsche racing cars for the VLN Long Distance Championship and the Nordschleife 24h race. Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen and Niclas Kentenich came in 6th place in the SP9 GT3 Class.
You might be surprised by reading this headline and I’m aware the subject has not gained much awareness abroad, but there’s currently a serious threat to the Nürburgring.
Since it’s opening in 1927, the Nurburgring has been under complete public ownership and administration, but in May of this year the complete Nurburgring race track and park was rented out to two privateers (Kai Richter, Jörg Lindner). They have no motorsports background whatsoever, but are the driving forces behind the makeover, which includes the addition of a theme park with a new roller coaster that doesn’t work, more hotel capacity than the area needs, a 3,000-seat event arena, and a shopping mall. Everything appears to be far too big and remains empty most of the time.
They promised private financing, but this soon turned out to be a fake. The Minister of Finance had to resign as a consequence. Despite lack of funding completion of the project continued.
The heavy burden now sitting on Nordschleife’s shoulder is the debt of approximately 400 Million Euros, which seems completely unnecessary considering complete race tracks have been constructed for a fraction of this amount.
The issue is complex and has kept fans of the ‘Ring busy, but I want to share with you what just happend last week: Nürburgring officials always claim a total of two million visitors per year, but in true Wikileaks style we got ahold of an older internal document (PDF) telling a different story. Promoters always engage in number polishing, but this is of different quality. It appears there’s double bookkeeping for real vs. published visitors for all events held at the Ring. Have a look at the graph summarizing the figures:
Who would dare to claim two million spectators while only 370,000 actually turned up? The Nürburgring did and they based the business plan of the new leisure park on these numbers.
You don’t believe me? Ask Sabine next time you meet her. Several investigations have already been triggered by the Department of Public Prosecution, a governmental board of inquiry and the competition department of the European Commission.
And anyone who criticizes the current direction of the ‘Ring is answered with force. Wilhelm Hahne — the oldest of the racing Hahne brothers (his brother Armin finished 6th last weekend at the track) — had his house searched in June of last year and as recent as last week received again a warning letter from the Nürburgring lawyers for speaking the truth.
It really hurts to get sucked into politics and to witness how they treat the heritage we all love. The worst that could happen is enthusiasts be forced to pay the price of a privateer’s blunder in the form of higher prices or worse. Threats to the track include reduced maintenance of the track to reduce costs, less motorsports, and restrictions on small clubs running events in the area. Enthusiasts could also be required to book at the new hotels to race at the track.
Please spread the word if you care about Nordschleife and its heritage. Follow “Save The Ring” on facebook and question the information shared by officials.
Sabine Scmitz explaining the joy of being part of the Legendary v10 M5.
This video is part of a new marketing project by BMW, called BMW Unscripted, producing a series of films that feature drivers and their experiences with BMW vehicles.
BMW produced a series of short films a few years back starring Clive Owen which were story-based. This current series is doing something different but still trying to stay away from the staleness of 30 second ad spots. It’s a strategy for communicating brand values that tries to exploit the potential of web video marketing by producing short films that enthusiasts can enjoy.
Enjoy some of the M5 Pictures from the Nordschleife this year……
The debut of the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 didn’t live up to the expectation as it was involved in an avoidable accident on the Nürburgring at last weekends VLN.
Not only the video shows that Sabine Schmitz is a capable cook it also shows the unfortunate moment Bernd Scneider lost control of the GT3 SLS and span in to Christian Hohenadel’s Corvette, to the delight of the Frikadelli driver of their Porsche R.
This caused a bit of a jam of traffic so close to the start of the race sending the rest of the race traffic across the banking, causing Frank Stippler LMS Audi R8 to crash in to a further Corvette and hitting the SLS.
The pit’s was able too repair the damage in four rounds.
The race was eventually red flagged after 3 hours and 8 minutes because there were too many incidents on the VLN circuit.
Schneider’s SLS finished 91st we look forward to the next rounds to gauge how competitive the car is and hopefully be incident free.