THURSDAY 30 JUNE 2011
POLE. FASTEST LAP. RACE LEADER. FAILED SUSPENSION ARM. DAMN!
Two hundred and eight other race cars sat behind Allan Simonsen at the end of the two day qualifying session. The team had made a very positive qualifying strategy that was quickly realised, by winning pole. And it been an evental start to the weekend for Allan, when bad weather delayed his flight out of Nice, to Frankfurt But it all worked out perfectly.

It must have to be the strangest and most difficult 24 hour race of the year. Every year. And just two weeks after the 24 Hour of Le Mans!
Two evenings of qualifying wait for teams that enter this race – 220 cars started the session, but only 209 would make it through, unscathed.

Farnbacher was quick to take to the track early to avoid any traffic. With super-soft Hankook qualifying tyres on, he delivered the team a stunning 8 min 23.5 second lap, a clear seven seconds ahead of one the nine Mercedes AMG SLS GT3's.

It was a time that would stick in qualifying and although many tried to better the result, none could, awarding the Dominik Farnbacher, Allan Simonsen, Marco Seefried and Jaime Melo pairing a pole position. It was also the first ever pole for a Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

The second night of qualifying was used to complete race tyre evaluations, rather than try to improve what was their own pole time. The Mercedes once again tried, coming within two seconds of their fast time, but that was where they would end.

For a Dane to sit on pole, in an Italian Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, a most German race indeed, would have to be considered a real highlight in a drivers career.

Certainly Allan is performing at his absolute best, thanks no doubt to the very busy schedule he is afforded, namely British GT, V8 Supercars, Australian GT and The Historic Masters.
Allan started from pole on intermediates whilst everyone else used wets

The famous Karussell


Despite the set back, Allan still won the SP8 Class


By Saturday afternoon, race day, the weather was decidedly poor and that was causing some head scratching within the team. Hankook had brought a superb selection of rubber, just as they had in 2010 where the team started a lowly 46th (Team Hankook Farnbacher had the pole on the first day of Q, but an accident with a backmarker the next day ruined the effort) to go onto take 2nd place – should they start on wets or intermediates? It was soon decided the inters were the go, since the volume of cars would see the track dry quickly.

Allan was the start driver and got away well only outdragged by the more powerful AMG Mercedes SLS, on wet tyres into the first turn. Despite losing three positions, Allan had elected to start on inters and as he headed off the GP track and into the the Eifel Mountains, Adenau bound, he knew the track conditions would return to his favour. But by lap two, the track had dried and Allan retook the lead.

After four laps, it was completely dry and slicks were swapped for the inters. Allan was in the groove so he continued to push on, handing the car to Dominik was a 2 minute lead!

Dominik extended that to three minutes.

Jaime Melo got in the car. Its now 4 hours into the race and their lead is 4 minutes. Until the radio crackles back in the pit bay and its a report no one wants to hear – Melo is finding the car loose and is unable to push with safety. He pits, only discover a weld has failed on a rear suspension control arm.

The repairs are effected, but not with out 45 minutes (5 laps) delay. They return to the race in 72nd place.

Allan was quite deflated.

"After coming home second in 2010, the leadup had been quite tense, in that that Team Hankook Farnbacher had spent enormous efforts and focus on making sure everything was just right. Horst Farnbacher, himself, was totally focussed on geting the best result simply by providing his drivers with the perfect car. As usual, he did, so I guess we all felt pretty gutted when we ended up with a mechanical problem after winning pole, leading in tricky conditions and setting the fastest time."

But its a long long race and anything can and usually does happen. Marco was next in and he drove perfectly without error to start the recovery process.

They would finish a creditable 8th place, 4 laps down on the winning Porsche, with the team putting in the fastest time of the race (8.31.5) in his last stint.

Perhaps, with out the failed component, they would have won. We'll have to wait until 2012 to see!