Frikadelli Racing returns to the GT3/SP9 category in 2023 with a new Ferrari 296 GT3
The Frikadelli Racing Team will face a new challenge in the 2023 season and, in cooperation with Rinaldi Racing, field the brand new #30 Ferrari 296 GT3 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. With a top-class, four-man squad of drivers, the squad headed by team boss Klaus Abbelen is aiming for a top position in this year's 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and will contest the Nürburgring Endurance Series and the qualifying race in preparation for the big highlight of the season in May. The #111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, with which the team from Barweiler was already successful last year, will also remain in the "Green Hell".
“The anticipation for the new motorsport season is incredibly high. With the use of the Ferrari 296 GT3, we have decided on a new project this year in addition to our proven Porsche 992 GT3 Cup. By the 24-hour race, we want to develop the vehicle in such a way that we can get the best possible performance there. We also trust in the know-how of Rinaldi Racing, who have been on the international stage with Ferrari since 2013 and therefore have a lot of experience. When developing the new GT3 model, we can only mutually benefit from each other, which is why we decided to work together across teams,” explains team boss Klaus Abbelen.
David Pittard (GB), Nick Catsburg (NL), Felipe Laser (DE) and Earl Bamber (NZ) will take turns at the wheel of the #30 Ferrari 296 GT3. While Pittard caused a sensation in the past with many strong performances, especially on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Catsburg has firmly established itself as an all-rounder in the sports and touring car sector and made a name for itself. One of his greatest successes is the victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring 2020. Both Pittard and Catsburg will take the wheel for Frikadelli Racing for the first time.
Felipe Laser has been a member of the Barweiler squad for a long time. Together with Klaus Abbelen's team, the man from Leipzig has been able to celebrate a number of successes across all racing series and has made a significant contribution to the development work in recent years.
Earl Bamber, two-time overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is about to make his comeback with the Frikadelli Racing Team. In 2021, the New Zealander was already in the cockpit of the "fastest meatball in the world".
Porsche 992 GT3 Cup starts again in the Nürburgring Endurance Series
In addition to the Ferrari 296 GT3, the Frikadelli Racing Team is again using the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup in the NLS this season, which Klaus Abbelen and "Jules" will share. Together, the driver duo achieved third place in the AM driver championship of the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring last year. This result should be topped again in 2023. They are reinforced by Hendrik von Danwitz.
“Our goal is to fight for the AM championship until the end. We already achieved very good individual results last year, but unfortunately also had to accept one or the other failure. It will be important to be even more constant over the course of the season and, if possible, to collect points in all races. If we can do that, we can certainly have a say in the title,” Abbelen continued.
LMP3 program in the Michelin Le Mans Cup will be continued
In addition to the events on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Frikadelli Racing will continue to be involved in the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2023. It is not yet clear who will drive the #30 Ligier JS P320 this year and will therefore be announced at a later date.
Michele Rinaldi (Team Principal Rinaldi Racing): "It's really nice to return to the Nordschleife with a Ferrari project. To be honest, I've wanted this for a long time. I am very pleased that the time has now come and that Klaus is placing this trust in us. I am very positive about the quite ambitious project and am already looking forward to the start of the season together with the Frikadelli Racing team. I think we will complement each other very well.”
David Pittard (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “After only being able to do a few laps in the “Green Hell” in 2022, I am looking forward to competing on the Nordschleife, the NLS and the 24-hour race together with Frikadelli Racing this year to be there. A big thank you to Klaus for putting his trust in me and for bringing together two great teams, Frikadelli Racing and Rinaldi Racing, for this project. I'm already looking forward to working with Nick, Earl and Felipe - a driver crew that brings a lot of experience from different manufacturers and into the preparatory programm can flow in. I've already achieved a few pole positions on the Nordschleife, won NLS races, the NLS SP9 championship and the qualifying race - but what I'm still missing is a trophy in the 24-hour race. I think with the combination of car, team and driver we have a chance to fight for them.”
Nick Catsburg (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “I am really looking forward to driving the new Ferrari 296 GT3 on the Nordschleife. The Frikadelli Racing team has absolute cult status at the Nürburgring and at the same time has a lot of experience on the Nordschleife. Even if it's generally never easy with a new car at the beginning, I'm sure that we'll all do a good job together. In any case, the overall package is extremely promising and our driver line-up is very strong. I am already looking forward to working together and hope that we can fight for victory.”
Felipe Laser (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “I always find it very exciting to tackle new projects and look forward to the start with great anticipation. A big challenge is definitely waiting for us, as the other manufacturers have significantly more experience with their emergency vehicles. But the Ferrari 296 GT3 makes a very good impression at first glance and we have all the ingredients with the team and the driver line-up to be successful in the end. I am very pleased to be able to implement this prestigious Ferrari project on the Nordschleife together with Frikadelli Racing. I've known the team for a long time and I've grown very fond of all the team members."
Earl Bamber (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “I am really looking forward to my comeback with the Frikadelli Racing team. With the Ferrari 296 GT3, a new challenge awaits us, which we will tackle with a strong driver line-up. Klaus has done a fantastic job here and brought a lot of good people together for this project over the last few weeks. I am excited to see what we will achieve together on the Nordschleife.”
Jules (#111 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup): “I am really looking forward to my fifth season with Frikadelli Racing in the NLS. After a solid result in the Cup2 AM championship last year, our aim is to improve on that result. I'll be driving again with Klaus, who is known to be one of the most experienced racing drivers on the Nordschleife. Hendrik will also be there again this year. In 2019 I won the AM championship together with him in the CUP3. It would be a dream if we could do this again, but now in CUP2. I'm also looking forward to working with some new team members who will be part of the Ferrari 296 GT3 program. I am sure that they will settle in quickly once they feel our great team spirit. Finally, I'm looking forward to seeing the fans again and enjoying their Saturday afternoon at the circuit. I'm already counting down the days until the start of the season."