Nürburgring 24H: shake up in the "Girls Only" team ahead of the qualifying race
Ahead of the Nürburgring 24H qualifying race, the "Girls Only" team has announced a shake up in its line-up: the Audi R8 GT4 run by the fully-female team will be shared by Carrie Schreiner, Celia Martin, returnee Laura Kraihamer and a new team member: Fabienne Wohlwend.
The preparation for the 24H of Nürburgring has started: the biggest GT race in the world will take place on June 3-6 at the legendary Nordschleife. With over 100 teams expected to enter the highlight of the year at the German venue, the build-up might not have been as smooth as planned: the first round of the NLS - the endurance championship used by teams and drivers to gain the vital experience on the 25.378 km track - was cancelled due to snow, leaving few races to build the foundation for a successful preparation. Covid had also significantly pushed forward the start of the racing season and travel restrictions made life harder to some of the drivers.
The "Girls Only" team - a project launched three years ago by WS Racing - made headlines for becoming the first-fully female team, including racing drivers, engineers, mechanics and team management. The team, which has been supported by tire manufacturer Giti Tire since its inception, has extended its presence in endurance in 2021 and switched from TCR to GT4 machinery.
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 was initially shared by Carrie Schreiner and French driver Célia Martin, with the team targeting to add two of the most experienced female racers worldwide: Indy500 veteran Pippa Mann and two-time IMSA champion Christina Nielsen.
Mann and Nielsen contested the first two NLS races with the Team AVIA Sorg BMW 330i, as they built experience at the Nordschleife and chased the compulsory licence required.
With the qualifying race coming up this weekend (Sunday 9th May), the Girls Only team has been forced to shake-up its line up plans at a short notice: with Pippa Mann and Christina Nielsen not yet meeting the permit requirements, both the drivers will be starting in a WS Racing BMW 330 in the VT2 class.
The Audi R8 LMS - which was not on the starting grid of last weekend's NLS3 round due to a clash with the Italian GT - will see Carrie Schreiner making her return at the Nürburgring alongside Célia Martin. Additionally 2020 Girls Only driver Laura Kraihamer will also return to the team on a one-off loan from the factory KTM team.
Furthermore, W Series driver Fabienne Wohlwend will join the trio for the upcoming race: the 23-year old from Liechtenstein is focusing her efforts in the Nürburgring-based endurance series after temporarily pausing her presence in the Ferrari Challenge Europe - where is is current vice-champion - as she awaits the W Series return to the track.
Fabienne is expected to race also in the BMW 330i by Adrenalin Motorsport.
The 6-hour Qualifying race will start at 12:00 CEST on Sunday, 9th May.