Frikadelli Racing achieves the world's first overall victory with the new #30 Ferrari 296 GT3


The Frikadelli Racing Team achieved the world's first overall victory with the new #30 Ferrari 296 GT3, thereby securing a place in the history books. Nick Catsburg, Earl Bamber and Felipe Laser triumphed in the 4-hour race as part of the 24-hour Nürburgring qualifiers on Sunday and were therefore able to complete the preparation for the big highlight of the season with the best possible result. The team from Barweiler was also successful in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. At the season opener in Barcelona, Klaus Abbelen and Felipe Laser achieved their best result in the racing series to date with eighth place overall.

“Of course we are very happy that we were successful at both racetracks at the same time this weekend. At the Le Mans Cup in Barcelona, we fought our way up from 25th on the grid to eighth overall with a strategically excellent performance. A big thank you to Lukas Linden, who acted as race engineer for the first time and managed the matter excellently. Of course, I'm just as happy about our appearance at the Nürburgring with the Ferrari 296 GT3. We've eliminated a lot of things with the new vehicle and everything really came together on Sunday. This time the car ran without any problems and our race engineer worked together with the drivers to develop a very good setup. We hope that we can build on the performance in the 24-hour race. With a bit of luck, there might be more,” says team manager Klaus Abbelen.

As part of the 24-hour qualifier, the Frikadelli Racing team was already able to convince during the 2-hour race on Saturday. Starting from 15th on the grid, David Pittard and Earl Bamber not only collected valuable kilometers in the rain in the most difficult weather conditions with the new #30 Ferrari 296 GT3, but were also able to move up to fifth place in the final standings with a flawless performance.

Sunday's race also got off to a good start. Nick Catsburg put the #30 Ferrari 296 GT3 on provisional pole position in morning qualifying, making him the first driver to make the journey into top qualifying. With a lap time of 8:13.726 minutes, the Dutchman finally placed the “fastest meatball in the world” in fourth place on the grid. At the start of the 4-hour race, Catsburg managed to take the lead, which he successfully defended together with his teammates Earl Bamber and Felipe Laser to the finish. The #30 Ferrari 296 GT3 was temporarily not in the lead for a few laps only due to different pit stop strategies, otherwise the race was controlled from the front of the field.

For Frikadelli Racing it was already the second victory at the 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers after 2021, when the team celebrated a double victory with the two Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Best result in the Michelin Le Mans Cup

In Barcelona, Klaus Abbelen and Felipe Laser achieved the best result so far in the strong field of participants in the Michelin Le Mans Cup with eighth place overall. In a chaotic race with many safety car phases, Abbelen improved in the few free laps before the driver change from 25th on the grid to 17th. After a well-timed pit stop, Laser went out on the track again in eleventh position and drove with the #30 Ligier JS P320 in the final phase up to eighth place overall.

Driver Voices:

Felipe Laser (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3/#30 Ligier JS P320): “The time is really short to prepare the new Ferrari 296 GT3 in the best possible way for the 24-hour race. However, this victory shows that we are on the right track. The last laps when it started to rain were really extremely tough, precisely because nobody wants to take any unnecessary risks so close to the season highlight. Ultimately, however, we managed to successfully bring the lead to the finish line. I'm also very satisfied with our performance in the Le Mans Cup. You can see that we are making progress here step by step.”

Earl Bamber (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “A great day for Frikadelli Racing and Ferrari. I can still remember very well when we won the 6h qualifying race with two Frikadelli Porsche 911 GT3 R in 2021. It's nice to be successful at this event with the new Ferrari 296 GT3. Our pace is good and we've shown what we're capable of. I am now looking forward to the 24-hour race.”

Nick Catsburg (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “Of course, the primary purpose of the race was to prepare for the 24-hour race, but this victory feels very nice. Mainly because it is the first overall success of a Ferrari 296 GT3. We were already doing well in qualifying and also had a very good start in the race. Those were definitely key factors.”

David Pittard (#30 Ferrari 296 GT3): “We took another big step forward this weekend. It wasn't easy due to the mixed conditions again, but we made the most of it, learned a lot and completed our preparation for the 24-hour race well. The hard work doesn't stop there though as we will be competing against the best factory teams and manufacturers in the world. Everything has to fit together perfectly.”