Laurens Vanthoor ready for the legendary 24 Hours of the Nürburgring

Young Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor is competing in the race over 24 Hours, maybe the most difficult and challenging race in the world.

The legendary 24 Hours of the Nürburgring takes place this weekend, which is maybe the most difficult and challenging race in the world. One of the brave Belgians competing in the race over 24 Hours this weekend, is young Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor. He steps into the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS Ultra together with reigning champion at the Ring Christopher Haase, as also the very experienced Edward Sandström and Christopher Mies. “This race deserves respect”, is Vanthoor’s basic thought prior to heading off to the ‘Ring.

How did you prepare for this race and is it possible to prepare for the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring?

Laurens Vanthoor, Edward Sandström, Christopher Haase, Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS ultra
Laurens Vanthoor, Edward Sandström, Christopher Haase, Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS ultra

Photo by: XPB Images

“Of course it is. I started my preparation back during the winter period, a preparation that up to now has been has been very varied. In the first place you need to be in very strong physical shape, not only for this race, but for others also. This 24 Hours of the Nürburgring is the first of three races held over 24 hours, seeing Spa and Zolder are next on my list. If you don’t prepare well during wintertime it is impossible to be ready in time. A second element is the track itself, which is completely different from all the other circuits I know. Zolder is 4 kilometres in length, Silverstone almost 6 and Spa 7, but the Nürburgring is over 20 kilometres, contains 73 official corners and has a height difference between the lowest and highest point of over 300 metres. Besides that the track is, compared to modern standards, extremely narrow at some points and run off zones are… rather non-existent. So, since December, I have been practicing on a simulator. Audi also kindly gave me an Audi R8 for two weeks to drive at the track, guided by Frank Stippler and other experienced drivers. Last but not least, two races of VLN were scheduled, but snow spoiled the first one, so I finally only did one race. I also learned the names of the corners by heart, as this is important not only during briefings but obviously during the race itself also. I don’t believe I have ever done so much for one single race! The last preparation is technically, with the team, something we did during the last race here. WRT has already competed once in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, so their expertise, together with the experience of my teammates is enough to make one feel fully ready for this big one!”

Is this race very different from other races over 24 hours?

“I think it is. The length of the track, the number of cars – over 200! – and the fact that is maybe still the most dangerous racetrack in the world, are things you have to know before starting here. In a way, this race deserves a lot of respect. The race is also a permanent balance between going flat out and being somewhat conservative in traffic. You can lose a fair amount of time in traffic, but if you go off, whilst being in too much of a hurry, almost certainly means you will write off your car. Another aspect is your lap times, you have to keep in mind that with every lap you are more than 20 kilometres away from the next time you come past the start/finish line and the pit lane. If you have a flat tyre or if you miss a refuelling, it can well turn out to be a small drama…”

What’s your ambition?

“This is pretty difficult to answer … so I’ll do it with a cliché”: if we stay out of any sort of trouble we can finish high up in the rankings.”

Laurens Vanthoor

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Frank Stippler , Laurens Vanthoor , Christopher Mies , Christopher Haase , Edward Sandström
Teams Audi Sport Team WRT
Article type Preview
Tags 24h, 2013, audi, laurens vanthoor, nurburgring