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Nurburgring 24 hour qualifiers: A successful dress rehearsal

Dress rehearsal

As the last preparation for the major 24 hour race at the Nürburgring this year, the Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing team took part in the two rounds of the 24h Qualifiers, which are also a part of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Series.

Preparation and performance

(April 12–14) As the last preparation for the major 24 hour race at the Nürburgring, the Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing team took part in the two rounds of the 24h Qualifiers last weekend. This year’s 24h Qualifiers are also a part of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Series. Particularly successful was the “Girls Only” concept, which produced two podium finishes. Still, the drivers in the cars built for production performed quite well as well.

The 2024 endurance season at the Nürburgring Nordschleife got started to a more intensive start than ever before with four endurance races spread over eight days. The 24h Qualifiers were scheduled as the next difficult race weekend after the demanding NLS doubleheader just over a week prior. The weekend’s schedule was packed with two qualifying sessions, top qualifying sessions, and four-hour races. The goal of the Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing team was to maximize their preparation for the season’s main event, the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, by entering four BMW race cars.

“Girls Only” project

Carrie Schreiner, Fabienne Wohlwendt, and Beitske Visser, the three regular drivers, drove the BMW M4 GT4 with starting number 146 of the “Girls Only – Ready to rock the Green Hell” project this past weekend. Despite a few remaining technological issues, all three drivers gave excellent performances. To solve the issues, the team of professionals also put in their best effort and occasionally worked until the wee hours of the morning. With two incredible podium finishes—a hard-fought third on Saturday and a second place on Sunday—their efforts were rewarded, and the team is now looking forward to the season’s high point—the 24-hour race at the start of June.

Other team efforts

Oliver Wenzel, making his Nordschleife debut in a GT4 car, and seasoned Ulrich Schmidt drove the sister car with the #147. Without any fault of his own, starting driver Schmidt was struck by an SP9 car during the start phase on Saturday, forcing him to park the damaged car on the track. Regretfully, the team was only able to finish a few installation laps following the repairs and did not place in the classification because it took an abnormally long time to tow the car back in. On Sunday, everything went considerably more smoothly, and both drivers were able to obtain more crucial finishing experience.

BMW 330i performances

Two BMW 330i vehicles were entered by WS Racing in the production-based VT2-R+4WD class once more. Maximilian Eisberg, Lorenz Stegmann, and Gregoire Boutonnet drove the vehicle with start number 502 on Saturday. A technical issue caused the trio to lose speed when in third place, which meant that only ninth place in the class was achievable following the required repair stop, despite their excellent performance in the subpar BMW. With their impressive performances on Sunday, the three drivers were able to battle for the podium for an extended period of time, ultimately placing fourth.

On Saturday, Lukas Drost, Joe Bohnes, and Julian Reeh drove the #506 car, which is likewise a BMW 330i. On Sunday, Julian Reeh was replaced by Bernd Küpper. To obtain as much driving practice and experience as possible, the major goal was to avoid becoming involved in any of the fights and perform well enough to stay out of them. Every cyclist was able to accomplish this.

Final preparations and team statements

After two demanding weekends, the Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing crew is unable to relax at this time. The last 24-hour race preparation period is scheduled after the two double headers. Every vehicle needs to be disassembled and reassembled in the WS Racing workshops. Furthermore, the team will compete in the inaugural races of the Special Touring Car Trophy STT at the start of May, driving both BMW M4 GT4s.

Team principal’s perspective

Team Principal Thorsten Willems: “These two full race weekends in quick succession were very demanding for us as a team. However, I am very proud of the entire team for mastering all the challenges with full commitment as always! Our Giti tires have once again shown that they can absolutely keep up with the front runners and our partner ZF Motorsport has also done a perfect job in terms of the chassis. Now, of course, we are looking towards the highlight of the season – the 24-hour race. We will be there again with a very large line-up and a clear presence. Together with our guests and our partners, we are looking forward to a fantastic motorsport highlight. We are well prepared!”

“Girls Only” manager’s view

Nicole Willems, the “Girls Only” manager, said, “What the girls deliver every weekend under the most difficult conditions is simply amazing! The whole squad is now absolutely professional and that makes me very proud. We had great duels on the track, which were tough but again characterized by a high level of respect and fairness. That really makes motorsport fun. With the two podium results, we have also shown that we are among the favorites in the very demanding GT4 environment and are looking forward all the more to the 24-hour race in five weeks’ time.”

The Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing team has showcased their resilience and commitment through two intense weekends of racing at the Nürburgring 24 Hour Qualifiers. The “Girls Only” squad and the other drivers have shown that they are ready for the season’s grand prize with their remarkable performances. The team’s work and the outstanding assistance from their partners have created a solid base for the next Nürburgring 24-hour race.

The excitement for what seems to be a thrilling and competitive race grows as they return to the workshop for last-minute preparations. The team is better equipped than ever to take on the difficulties of the Green Hell thanks to the knowledge and experience acquired from the qualifications.

Looking ahead

Aim for victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in June with the Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing squad; stay tuned for additional updates. The group is prepared to leave their imprint now that the stage is set.