Earl Bamber Wins Nürburgring 24 Hour Race with Sabine Schmitz’s Frikadelli Racing

Kiwi Earl Bamber has helped Frikadelli Racing honour their late founder, Sabine Schmitz, and fulfil their long-awaited dream of an overall victory at the Nürburgring 24 hour race.

May 23, 2023

With the #30 Ferrari 296 GT3, affectionately named "Bella," Earl Bamber and co-drivers Nick Catsburg, David Pittard, and Felipe Laser have crossed the finish line of one of the world’s toughest endurance races with a lead of 26.911 seconds against some of the world’s best GT3 teams.

Founded in 2005, by the legendary Sabine Schmitz and now Team Principal, Klaus Abbelen, Frikadelli Racing has always held the dream to win the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring with our own team. This year, everything really came together perfectly.

“It's an incredibly beautiful and emotional moment that we will enjoy as a team. Bienchen (Klaus’ nickname for Sabine), this victory is for you! You have carried us to our greatest team success from heaven above. Many, many thanks to her, our entire team, the four drivers, and Rinaldi Racing, with whom we started the Ferrari project together at the beginning of the season," beamed Abbelen.

Having qualified fourth, the team’s starting driver David Pittard gradually worked his way forward and completed the first leading kilometres with the Ferrari 296 GT3 at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Although a puncture pushed the team down the field in the evening hours, they fought their way back to the top of the overall standings thanks to a brilliant team performance and flawless driving by the four drivers including former A1GP driver, Earl Bamber.

While it was Nick Catsburg's second overall victory after 2020, Earl Bamber, David Pittard, and Felipe Laser reached the top step of the podium for the first time.

"When Klaus called me and told me about the Ferrari project for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, I wanted to be a part of it right away. Over the past months, we have worked very hard on the development of the vehicle and have been rewarded with a perfect race. The Ferrari was fast, the whole team worked superbly, and my fellow drivers also showed great performance. I am truly delighted for Frikadelli Racing, who have been waiting for this big moment for years." Said Bamber.

Earl is kept extremely busy not just with his own international racing duties, but helping nurture Kiwi driving talent facilitating the operations of the Team Porsche New Zealand scholarship and drive programme.