Frikadelli Racing attacks with new driver pairing at the 24h Nürburgring


On 21 May 2023, a long-awaited dream came true for Frikadelli Racing with overall victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. In 2024, Team Principal Klaus Abbelen's squad will once again line up in a Ferrari 296 GT3 at the endurance classic in the Eifel and try to fight for a top position in the overall standings once more. With Luca Ludwig, Daniel Keilwitz and Nicolas Varrone, three new drivers will take the wheel of "Bella 2.0". They will share the wheel with Felipe Laser, who was part of the team in last year's triumph.

"Of course, we all have fond memories of last year's edition, but now the cards are being reshuffled again. As this year's 24-hour race clashes with another racing event, it was clear that our driver line-up would change compared to last year. However, with Luca, Daniel and Nicolas, we have three promising newcomers on board who have a lot of potential. I therefore believe that we are well positioned again this year, even though a little bit of luck is always needed in a 24-hour race in order to successfully complete the distance without any incidents," says Abbelen.

Luca Ludwig has been regarded as a proven "Ferrari specialist" in the "Green Hell" for several years now. For example, he managed to take pole position in the top qualifying session at the 2022 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in a Ferrari 488 GT3. He has also achieved several class victories and podium finishes in the Nürburgring endurance series with the Italian sports car.

With a time of 8:08.006 minutes, Daniel Keilwitz is the current lap record holder on the 25.378-kilometre Nürburgring circuit. He set this record at the 2023 24-hour race in a Ferrari 296 GT3, where he also achieved class victory in the SP9 Pro-Am.

Nicolas Varrone secured the LMGTE Am championship title in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with Corvette in 2023. However, the Argentinian has also gained plenty of Ferrari experience in other racing series.

The driver line-up is rounded off by Felipe Laser, who has been racing successfully with Frikadelli Racing for several years and, in addition to overall victory in the 24h Nürburgring last season, also made a significant contribution to Klaus Abbelen and 'Jules' winning the Am title in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring.

24h Qualifiers as further preparation

After successful test drives, the Frikadelli Racing team will continue its preparations at the 24h Qualifiers next weekend. While Nicolas Varrone and Luca Ludwig will share the cockpit of the #1 Ferrari 296 GT3 on Saturday, Felipe Laser and Daniel Keilwitz will take turns at the wheel on Sunday.

The 24h Qualifiers begin on Saturday, 13 April 2024 at 10:00 am with a two-hour qualifying session before a four-hour race from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. The second qualifying session (08:15 - 09:45), the top qualifying session (10:40 - 11:40) and another four-hour race (13:00 - 17:00) will follow on Sunday, 14 April 2024.

Driver's comments:

Luca Ludwig: "I am very grateful that Klaus has given me the chance to drive the Frikadelli Ferrari this year. Competing with the defending champion's starting number 1 is a special honour and challenge. As I know how much Klaus knows about the Nordschleife thanks to his decades of experience, I see the trust placed in me as confirmation of my previous achievements. After all these years, it's a really big thing for me to be here. I have a lot of experience with the Ferrari 296 GT3, including on the Nordschleife, and I'm really looking forward to working with this top team and my strong driver colleagues. I am more than ready."

Daniel Keilwitz: "For the first time, I will be racing in the 24-hour race with a package that is capable of overall victory in terms of the car, the driver pairing and the team. Frikadelli Racing proved this impressively last year. That's why it's a great honour for me to be here. The conditions are good because all the drivers already know the Ferrari 296 GT3 from last year. As I have also contested races with all three of them in the past, I know the qualities of the guys and can hardly wait."

Nicolas Varrone: "I am very happy and honoured to be able to compete for Frikadelli Racing in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. It's a mystical race with a lot of history and I'm proud to contest it with the reigning winners. Many thanks to Klaus for the trust he has placed in me. I have very fast and experienced team-mates from whom I can learn a lot in order to be optimally prepared for the Nordschleife."

Felipe Laser: "Winning the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2023 was simply indescribably wonderful and the absolute highlight of my motorsport career so far. I'm all the more looking forward to returning to the Nordschleife together with Frikadelli Racing and building on what we achieved together last year. The driver pairing is very promising again this year, so a lot is possible."