Jasmin Preisig: if only 6H ABU DHABI had been two laps longer

News | February 2, 2023

In an amazingly close finish, Wolf-Power Racing came just six seconds shy of TCR-class victory at the 2023 Hankook 6H ABU DHABI following a hard-charge from Jasmin Preisig in the closing stages. 


Words – James Gent

Images – Petr Frýba / Racingpixels

Jasmin Preisig was left wondering what might have been at the 2023 Hankook 6H ABU DHABI had the race gone just two laps longer. 

Preisig and Wolf-Power Racing fell just 6.193 seconds shy of victory at CREVENTIC’s third annual endurance event at the Yas Marina Circuit. Last year’s Overall TCE Drivers’ runner-up though believes that, given her blistering pace during the closing stages of the event, the #121 Audi RS 3 LMS might well have snatched the TCR class win over series debutant Sharky-Racing if the race had lasted just a few minutes longer. 


Suspension failure during the third 15-minute qualifying session meant Wolf-Power Racing lost an almost class pole position. Impressive pace from Preisig’s teammates Ivars Vallers, Ricky Coomber, and Nicolas Baert though, despite an early issue with the brakes, meant the #121 Audi remained in the category top two throughout the event, and was just two minutes behind the leader when Preisig stepped aboard for the final stint of the event.


Impressively, despite no prior experience of the Yas Marina Circuit before, and with Wolf-Power having opted not to change tyres at the final pit stop to further reduce its deficit, Preisig was regularly taking up to three seconds per lap out of Artur Goroyan’s lead in the #176 Sharky-Racing Audi RS 3. When the pair took the chequered flag, they were split by just a shade over six seconds in one of CREVENTIC’s closest TCE finishes yet. 

Writing an update on her personal website, Preisig explains: “For me it was the first race on this F1 circuit… After the track walk on Thursday evening I was ready. There were a few ‘tricky’ bends – especially around the hotel – but basically the route was just awesome!


“We had lost some time to the competition in the second stint and… I tried to push and conserve the car at the same time...just to finish!


“When I heard the radio message, ‘Jasmin, you're catching up three seconds per lap, push, maybe it's still enough, but it's going to be extremely tight!’ I really tried to get everything out of the box. No matter if the tyres were almost 40 laps old and the brakes were not kind to me.  I caught up lap by lap and crossed the finish line in 2nd place just 6.1 seconds [behind]. What would have happened if the race had lasted two laps longer...”

The result, despite technical gremlins, was a stark improvement for Wolf-Power Racing after a disastrous Hankook 24H DUBAI just one week earlier. Despite qualifying on TCR pole position at the Dubai Autodrome, the #121 Audi – driven on that occasion by Preisig, Vallers, Andreas Höfler and TCR Scandinavia contender Calle Bergman – ran consistently in the top three during the first quarter of the 24-hour event, and had even moved into 2nd in-class, just a few minutes down on eventual winner AC Motorsport, by half-distance. 


Thereafter however, the #121 Audi first lost eight laps when the transmission oil temperature spiked before another six laps were lost during the night when gearbox issues brought the Audi to a stop on the back straight. An unfortunate collision between Bergmann and the QMMF by HRT Suhail Qatar Porsche heading into ‘the bowl’ on Sunday morning caused significant front and rear left suspension damage to the Audi, and left the Porsche in the tyre barriers. To compound matters yet further, clutch issues, a broken driveshaft – the latter of which brought the Audi to halt on the exit of turn seven – and yet more gearbox woes meant the #121 Wolf-Power Racing RS 3 was 39 laps behind the sister #117 entry when Vallers finally brought the weary Audi home 3rd.

A more fruitful race in Abu Dhabi, following on from the team’s 2nd in-class at last December’s Hankook 12H KUWAIT, was enough to secure Wolf-Power Racing the TCR title in CREVENTIC’s inaugural Middle East Trophy. 


“Definitely a nice success for us, and that makes us TCE Middle East Trophy Champions in 2023,” Preisig continues. “In addition, Ivars and I are champion drivers in the TCE class! It was still close at the end, but we made it. Thank you to everyone who supported us and crossed their fingers.


“Many, many thanks also to my Wolf-Power Racing team for their perseverance and tireless work. It would just be wonderful if a race could be completed without any problems.”

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