THURSDAY 14 AUGUST 2008

NüRBURGRING LE MANS SERIES 4 PREVIEW - A HAPPY HUNTING GROUND


Copenhagen based Lars Erik Nielsen heads to Nürburgring, in Germany, this weekend for the fourth round of the 2008 Le Mans Series.

Nielsen will drive the updated 2008 Farnbacher Racing Porsche 997 GT3 RSR with fellow Dane Allan Simonsen and dual Porsche Supercup Champion, Richard Westbrook – a pairing that took GT2 honours in round 2 at Monza, Italy.

The season had started well at Valencia, but the car was retired, in the class lead, after innocent contact with an LMP2 Porsche, mid race. Their Spa adventure also ended in disappointment when a half shaft failed late in the race, robbing the trio of valuable points. Surely Nürbugring will see a change of fortune.

Whilst this year has seen significant gaps between LMS races, all three drivers have been busy winning in various categories around the world.

Nielsen took a brilliant back to back podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans aboard the Farnbacher Racing Ferrari F430 GT2 with Pierre Kaffer and Pierre Ehret.

Simonsen snatched a very well deserved 3rd place podium at the recent TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa with Darren Turner and Phillip Peter in the Gigawave Aston Martin DBR-9 GT1 in what was their debut 24 hour GT1 appearance.

Last weekend in the American Le Mans Series, Westbrook took GT2 hours at the picturesque Road America circuit, in Wisconsin. He was joined by Dirk Werner and Bryce Miller in a Farnbacher-Loles 997.

It's a small world at the top of GT2 racing indeed. Last year Werner teamed with Ehret and Nielsen to take 3rd at the Nürburgring 1000. Simonsen, who was driving with 2007 LMS GT2 Champion, Rob Bell, in the Virgo Motosports Ferrari 430 GT2, took the class victory.


Nielsen (3rd) and Simonsen (1st) on the 2007 Nürburgring podium

Clearly Nielsen and company are looking good for the victory at the famous German venue, especially since their Porsche has recieved the new four litre engine update.

Nielsen, as ever, is upbeat: "I've always done well here and my co-drivers have a great deal of experience here as well. Richard has won here in Supercup and Allan did last year. We've all been doing a lot of driving in various categories so I'm sure we'll be on the pace pretty quickly.

"This is also the home track for Farnbacher and we have a lot of data. With the new 4.0 litre powerplant we should be able to give the Ferraris a really hard time. Having said that we'll have to watch our backs with the IMSA Performance guys – Lietz and Narac – and I can imagine the Lieb and Davidson combo will also front their Felbermayr Porsche with the new engine .


"What we won't know until we get there is the fuel consumption but we'll have a range of different strategies that we can adopt as the race unfolds."

Action gets underway on Friday 15th August at 12.15pm with the first practice session. Timetable available here.

You can follow the progress of Lars Erik Nielsen at Nürburgring this weekend in several ways:

• Click here for Live Timing.

• Listen to race coverage with Radio Le Mans.

TV and web coverage.

Le Mans Series website

DailySportsCar.com

You can revisit Nielsen's 2008 Le Mans 24 Hour experinence here.


Following Nürburgring Nielsen will travel to Malaysia to compete in the 2008 Petronas Primax 3 Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race, at Sepang International Raceway. Nielsen took outright victory in 2007 and will be looking to defind his title, come August 28-30.

The final Le Mans Series round will be held at Silverstone, UK, September 12-14.