The next 24 Hours race is upon us just one week after Le Mans - this time, the world of racing heads to the legendary Nordschleife. The all-female "Girls Only" team fields Carrie Schreiner, Laura Kraihamer & Célia Martin, joining also Charlie Martin, Rahel Frey, Claudia Hürtgen and Janine Hill at the Green Hell.
The 48th ADAC Total 24 Hours of Nürburgring is upon us - this year making its appearance on the calendar in September instead of its classic slot in May. At first, ADAC planned to run the famous event without spectators, but it was recently announced that some grandstands will indeed be open for fans: a comprehensive hygiene plan will be in place, groups of enthusiasts will be scattered around vaster areas alcoholic beverages will be banned. Furthermore, it won't be allowed to stay on the grandstand during the night - a real tradition at the Nurburgring - but finally we will see fans back on track.
But safety measures apart, let us have a look at the female talents that will take the start of this edition of the 24 Hours at the Green Hell.
Firstly, the all-female (both in and outside the car) team "Girls only" Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing will be back for their second 24H race after making history last year as they could finish their biggest endurance successfully after a long repair due to engine issues.
They had more luck in the final 2019 VLN round as they took class victory in their VW Golf VII GTI TCR car, following a very consistent VLN season in the front-runners positions.
This year, the focus will be on Carrie Schreiner, Laura Kraihamer and Célia Martin who will be in the driving seat for the "Girls only" team after competing together in the final rounds of the 2019 VLN season and the first half of the NLS 2020 championship .
Carrie comes from a karting background and was the most successful girl in national German kart racing. She moved up to ADAC Formula 4, where she drove for US Racing. She then also competed in the British MSA Formula 4 and further showed her potential in the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo in Asia and Middle East as well.
After making her debut in the German premier GT3 championship last year - where she also claimed a podium - she returned to ADAC GT Masters in 2020 and combined again the newly-rebranded Nürburgring Langstrecken Series. She now joins Laura and Célia on the "Girls only" lineup for the 2020 24H of Nürburgring.
"I think it’s really cool, that there are more and more female drivers and female line ups in many different cars and series. I expect more class wins during the season and our target is a podium at the 24 hours race at the Nürburgring."
Célia was an early fan of motorsport, but did not follow her passion due to budget constraints. Fortunately, she could connect with fellow racing drivers and started to drive some laps around a racetrack.
In 2014 she drove at the Nürburgring the first time and became the first French woman to compete at the track. In 2017, Célia left France to move to Germany, where she is mostly driving in the NLS but also made an appearance in the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy and showed great progression in the Pro-Am category, before coming back to the Green Hell, where she'll now enter the 24 Hours race.
"I am so happy to be part of this dream team. VLN and 24 hours of Nürburgring sound good already! I will realise my dream! It is the reason why I came to this place almost 3 years ago."
Laura also started her racing career in karting. In 2013, she moved to the KTM X-Bow, where she won one year later the endurance championship, but couldn't put together a budget to switch to formula cars. Nonetheless, she specialized in GT and endurance series and became KTM works driver, together with her participations in NLS with the "Girls only Team" at the Nürburgring.
"This is a great opportunity to advance my skills on the unique Nordschleife. The team has been welcoming me from the very beginning and is doing a great job. It's a pleasure to share the car with Carrie Schreiner and Célia Martin, who are both fast and passionate teammates. Looking forward to an exciting season."
2020 has been the second year for WS Racing´s all-female project: in fact, the Giti Tire sponsored team not only lined-up female drivers, but all crew members are also women - team boss, engineers and mechanics. Alsongside Giti Tire, Volkswagen also partnered with the project to make it possible in 2019. The first idea was already set in 2015, but time and resources were not in place until four years later. Now the team has successfully taken off and claimed their best result with a class victory at the final 2019 VLN race at the Nürburgring, and everyone at WS Racing hope to repeat this result at the 24 hours this weekend.
VW Golf VII GTI Nr. 89 - Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing - Carrie Schreiner, Célia Martin, Laura Kraihamer
Together with the fully-female team, four other women will take part in the legendary race at the Eifel.
Charlie Martin will also write history this year. She will be the first transgender racing driver to compete in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
She was firstly involved in motorsport in her teen years and started to pursue a motorsport career in 2004. Her dream is to become the first winning woman at the 24 hours of Le Mans and, with this year's participation in the NLS and at the 24 hours at the Nordschleife, she will build a solid base for a further step towards her dream.
BMW M240i Racing Nr. 241 - Pixum CFN Team Adrenalin Motorsport - Charlie Martin, Charles Oakes
Claudia Hürtgen is a well known German racer who started in kart racing before she could move up to Formula Ford and F3 in the early 90s.
Her first VLN entry is dated back to 2005 (today NLS), when she won the championship with an impressive performance.
This year, she can also be found on the grid of the ADAC GT4 Germany championship together with Sebastian von Gartzen.
BMW M4 GT4 Nr. 70 - Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport - Claudia Hürtgen, Michael Schrey, Michael Fischer, Sebastian von Gartzen
Rahel Frey will also be at the start of the German race just 7 days after her participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now an experienced GT racer and Audi works driver, Rahel's career started with karting and then saw her moving up to Formula series. A true ground-breaker, in 2006 she scored points in the highly competitive Formula Renault, before moving up to International Formula Master. In 2009, she became the first woman to win a race in the German F3 cup. After her switch for GT cars, she has since then stockpiled an impressive amount of results in top-series - spanning from DTM, FIA GT, ADAC GT Masters, Blancpain, Audi R8 Cup. In 2010, she was the part of the all-female Matech crew starting at Le Mans - but her first finish at La Sarthe would come in 2019 with the Iron Dames project: sharing a Ferrari 488 LMGTE with Michelle Gatting and Manuela Gostner, Rahel was P9 in GT-Am class. They would later repeat the same result in 2020 with Iron Lynx.
In the RaceIng Audi R8, Rahel is the Nürburgring 24H reigning champion in the SP8 category.
Frey is also combining programs in the 2020 ADAC GT Masters with Aust Motorsport and in the ELMS with Iron Lynx.
Audi R8 LMS GT3 Nr. 15 - RaceIng powered by HFG / Racing Engineers GmbH - Rahel Frey, Bernhard Henzel, Christian Bollrath, Stefan Aust
Last but not least, Janine Hill will be back at the Nordschleife 24h. She is racing together with John Shoffner in the VLN/NLS on a regular basis and has a ProAm SP9 class victory to her record.
Mercedes AMG GT3 Nr. 9 - GetSpeed Performance - Janine Hill, John Shoffner