A 24 hour workout to secure a spot on the grid at the Nürburgring
"It’s so amazing what our bodies can do when we really push them to the limit" – Caitlin Wood completes 24 hour workout challenge to raise funds to get on the grid of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
Former W Series driver Caitlin Wood has never hidden the fact that her career goal has always been to race at the top end of endurance racing – with winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans being the ultimate dream.
The Australian driver, 25, has worked her way up in GT series before being selected for the all-female single seater championship: since graduating from Formula Ford in her native Australia, Wood moved to Europe to contest the highly competitive GT4 European Championship, the Blancpain GT Series in a GT3 Lamborghini, as well as Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
She then took the opportunity that W Series offered, and raced full time in Formula Regional machinery in the inaugural season of the brand-new series in 2019. Wood scored a top ten at debut in Hockenheim, then had a remarkable fifth place finish at Assen and completed most of the other races battling for points, just outside the top-10.
The Australian returned in 2021 in a reserve driver role, contesting four races. Again, she impressed with a fifth place at Spa Francorchamps and scored more points at the COTA season finale.
While working as a driving instructor in the UK, Caitlin continued to work hard on her racing career and – with the big goal in mind of entering some of the world's top endurance races – she entered her first race at the Nordschleife in 2022, aiming for the Nürburgring permit.
At her debut at the Green Hell, Wood finished in a highly promising fifth place in the VT2 class, in the Adrenalin Motorsport BMW 330i. She then returned towards the end of the season for the 12H race - with the aim of preparing for the big race: the ADAC 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.
But the cost of motor racing forced Wood to take a more creative path in order to secure the necessary funding.
"Being an athlete is not only hard work but also financially demanding", she wrote. "Motorsport is an expensive sport and I want to continue to break down barriers in the industry together." Wood – who is now based in the UK – partnered with PureGym Leeds Thorpe Park for a 24-hour workout challenge, launching an Indiegogo fundraising page.
"The idea came about because I was thinking of ways to get people involved at all levels with my racing and then the idea just came about of doing a 24-hour challenge to raise funds to do the Nurburgring 24h", Wood told us. "We went through a couple of different challenge ideas and decided the workout challenge seemed the best!"
On 17th March, Wood started her challenge and would workout non-stop for the next 24 hours - hoping to involve supporters and reach the goal of £35,000, necessary to get her on the grid for both the qualifying race and the 24 hour race in Germany.
"Alongside raising money for racing, I will personally be donating £1 for every kilometre I complete during the 24hr workout challenge to a mental health charity called Get Fit 4 Mental Wellness", she also added.
Perks for the donations include options for everyone: from signed prints, t-shirts, water bottles, hoodies – part of a limited edition merchandise line only available for this campaign - guest speaking appearances, as well as race tickets, coaching sessions and track days, up to VIP experiences and corporate opportunities.
If a 24 hour race sounds like a proving experience, a 24 hour workout takes it to the next level: "The 24h workout challenge was a lot of fun and also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done", Caitlin said. "I’m super proud to have been able to complete it, it’s so amazing what our bodies can do when we really push them to the limit."
"It was a great marketing event to highlight what I’m trying to achieve in the motorsport world - especially having Ellie there on the sax to get us all hyped up was awesome."
The racing driver was in fact accompanied by sax player Ellie Sax, who performed during the challenge. Caitlin's husband and coaching partner Matthew Tipping also cycled for 12 hours alongside her.
"The hardest moment was definitely 3 am, when it was just Matt and I left in the gym and I had been working out for over 12 hours", Wood explained. "The tiredness hit so hard but we were able to just keep going and push through."
While Caitlin already won an incredibly tough – and crazy – challenge, she continues to push for the big goal: conquering the over 25 kms of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
You can still contribute to help Caitlin on her journey to race at the Nürburgring 24 Hours – which is set to be contested on May 18-21 – as the Indiegogo campaign will run until March 30th. You can contribute at this LINK.