Frankly speaking: Stippler targets 2013 title

Frankly speaking: Stippler targets 2013 title

For a seven year old Frank Stippler the Nurburgring was a wondrous playground where he could watch his heroes Stefan Bellof, Hans Stuck and Jochen Mass perform acrobatics in the halcyon days of Group C in the early and mid-1980s.

Some thirty years later the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT driver finds himself challenging for the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series title at the circuit that he more or less grew up at. Born and raised in nearby Cologne, Frank spoke to us as he made final preparations for a crucial weekend.

“Yes Nurburgring is a little special for me as it is truly my home circuit and I used to come and watch here many years ago. I particularly remember the Group C cars and particularly Stefan Bellof driving them phenomenally quick around the Nordschliefe. I have raced here hundreds of times on all the different configurations of circuit and I love it every time I come back.”

Just two points behind the drivers title points leaders (Kessel Racing’s Davide Rigon/Daniel Zampieri and Cesar Ramos) Stippler, along with team mate Christopher Mies has the scent of the title in his nostrils this weekend but is also wary that over a six-hour race anything can, and often does happen.

“It will be a tough race for sure even if the weather is consistent which around here is not the normal situation,” he says. “There are so many drivers that can take the title so it will be a case of us just doing our best, almost treating it like a normal event and then seeing where we stand in the latter stages. The one thing we do know is that the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT guys are brilliant in the pits, so we have no worries there.”

Stippler has been competing in his first full season of Blancpain Endurance Series racing and has much enjoyed the experience, saying: “It has been a fascinating season. Obviously the issues with the BOP have been well documented but what I can say is that the level of competition is extremely high. All the circuits we go to are nice and we have close racing throughout the field which is always very large. On the whole it is pleasant to see this type of racing so well represented now.”