Fresh from finishing the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nicky Catsburg returns to the Nordschleife this weekend for the ADAC Total 24-Hour race.
Having wrapped up BMW’s final FIA World Endurance campaign at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Nicky swaps his M8 GTE for the Hyundai i30 N TCR for this weekend’s WTCR.
The famous Nordschleife joined the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2015 as part of the ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen before the WTCR took over in 2018.
The Race of Germany is a combination of three sprint races that last only for three laps. Nicky won two years ago in a Cyan Racing ran Volvo Polestar. This weekend he races for BRC Hyundai N Lukoil Racing Team where he sits tenth in the championship as the season enters the mid-way point.
On Sunday he swaps the Hyundai for the BMW M6 GT3 to face the Total 24-Hours race at the German track.
With 29 of the 150 entrants, the GT3 field is stacked full. Nicky races the M6 GT3 for Rowe Racing with teammates John Edwards, Marco Wittmann and Jesse Krohn.
BMW owned the podium during the Qualifying Race in May, with Nicky and team ending the event in second place.
Off the back of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nicky is set for another all-nighter with the race kickstarting on June 22.
Finishing the last ever BMW World Endurance Championship entry at Le Mans, how was that?
“It was very cool to be part of the last race in the WEC with BMW Team MTEK, doing Le Mans is always nice, its always cool to be part of a small group of drivers who can do it for BMW so it was super nice to do this last race for them. Of course, I would have loved for it to have continued much longer.”
Despite it not running well, you were on the podium this year so you must have some positives to take from the WEC season?
“The podium at Sebring was close and I think it was a race we could have won. I think we were very close to a win there, but we ended up with the P2. The season could have been a bit better, yes, I am very happy with the podium we achieved but I think we could have scored a bit better and unfortunately now we don’t have an extra season to show the progress we made.”
This weekend you’re racing at the Nordschleife in not one but two events, what is it about the track that makes it so special?
“Doing WTCR and the 24-hour race, to me its my favourite track one hundred percent, but the event itself is so unique with all the spectators around the track, all the people in the campsites, all the people partying. There’s always a lot of fans here and always a lot of atmosphere and a lot of history. There is just something so magical about this place and it’s definitely my favourite event of the season.”
After this you go to Portugal for the sixth round of WTCR and then back to BMW to compete in the Total Spa 24-Hours, how do manage to adapt to racing in two different cars?
“We go to Vila Real, one of the craziest street circuits I know and then of course the Spa 24-hours at the end of July, so July is going to be very busy. Driving these two cars, which are quite different, one is front wheel drive, the other is rear wheel drive, one is for sprint racing the other for endurance racing, but I’ve been doing that for a while now.
“Honestly, to jump from one car to another, it always takes a couple of laps to completely reset your mind and be back on top of the car but it’s just super nice to be able to do both. To do both sprint racing and endurance racing and to get to do the best of both, I’m a very privileged guy and I’m very lucky to be doing this.”