Third March 2024, 7 p.m.: Tired faces meet online in Teamspeak. It’s time to start up again, prepare the stream and manage the server. After a “night of drinking” on the Nordschleife, the next event, this time our own, was already on the agenda.

The good weather on the west coast of Florida warmed up our drivers, Roland and the admin team. It was action-packed again this weekend. The vanguard in the form of qualifying suggested what might happen in the race.

As is almost customary, 16 drivers again raced through their respective fast laps with a difference of less than a second. First and foremost Loris Brock, who was finally able to exploit the full power of the Porsche. Andreas Walter finished in P2 in the 720 McLaren. Andi already made it clear in the interview that he wants more. Markus Krüger completed the Top 3 with the second Porsche from VorteX-Motorsports Extreme.

Fourth place went to Daniel Erstling, who we’ll be hearing from again later, and fifth place went to Kai Brandt. Karsten Hoffmann had to end his qualifying session early without a lap time due to an accident and then started from the pits. Michael Welle took 14th place after a night of drinking after the 24-hour race by putting all his best sectors together – his perfect lap. Not everyone can do that.

After the qualifying interview, I thought to myself: “This promises to be exciting.” What I didn’t know was that it would be so exciting for everyone involved – whether behind the wheel or behind the scenes.

20:01, the server switches to the race. What we usually don’t see is that the drivers load their race setup at this stage, get comfortable and press “Race” before a 45-second time limit expires to get to the start grid. At this time, Roland prepares everything to name the drivers and teams with their starting positions during the formation lap.

20:03, the warm-up lap begins, Roland increases his concentration to 100% and shows that he can again name all the names without any problems and also manages to list all 27 riders in a time of just over 1 minute.


20:05: The drivers are back in their starting pits, the engines, tires and brakes are warmed up and the drivers themselves are eager to get going. The tunnel vision of the start light sets in. In the team channels, you can observe an unsettling yet familiar silence at this point. The traffic light turns red – it’s about to start. The engines rev up, the drivers concentrate on the starting lights and just wait for the red lights to go out and the green lights to come on. At the same time, Roland pointed the camera at the front of the field to get the best possible view of each starter. As spectators, we only hear a horn as the start signal, which is also triggered by the simulation.

And then? OMFG! 😊 All of a sudden, around 14 riders just shot off and we spectators just thought, “What’s that? Why are they all starting too early?” Of course, there was a terrible crash because some riders were still standing and waiting for the acoustic start signal. At the same time, the “event tool”, which signals important events to us, begins to roll over in confusing messages. My first thought was: “Have the guys already had a microsleep at the start because of the 24-hour event?”. My next reaction was to quickly go to the replay and check it out. There I saw that the traffic lights were not synchronized with the acoustic start signal…

During this time, the drivers were already turning into the pits in rows to serve their penalty for a jump start or to repair the damage they had sustained. Some drivers even had to contend with both handicaps. As this was undoubtedly a problem with the track, there was only one answer: manual restart! Something that nobody wants.

Matthias quickly recognized the situation and then organized the entire restart from the cockpit. Well then, let’s try again!


Everything went smoothly here. The manual start release worked perfectly and the race could finally begin. What nobody knew at the time was that it would continue – the madness on the coast… The day before, some of the guys had been out in the green hell and thought they had survived the worst case scenario, but it turned out that completely different challenges awaited the pilots on this route.

Andreas Walter had one of the best starts, the next indication of an ambitious performance on this race day. Loris Brock lined up behind him and Robin Ricke was in P3. Further back, the next Mercedes in the field also got off to a great start. Markus Smetaczek passed 10 cars in the first sector!

The next few laps were littered with overtaking maneuvers in all regions of the field. However, the performance of the vehicles quickly deteriorated on the demanding and winding track. Marcel Hesen was the first to find out how dangerous the walls on this route can be. At the exit of a bend, he comes too close to the wall and somersaults across the track. Fortunately, he was able to continue driving after a repair stop.

I would like to highlight one of the duels in particular, because the riders themselves did not expect it to be like this. Lying in 7th place, Michael Welle has already delivered a great performance, but he is also diligently keeping one of the fastest on his toes. Yannick Pleiss had to admit defeat to the 24-hour junkie. Tasted blood, Michael?


Unfortunately, Matthias Weber was not so lucky in midfield. He was also the one who had to find out the painful way that there were other faults on the track besides the starting lights. One of the curbs was obviously not designed properly and acted as a skidding or rollover jump. Normally, the drivers investigate such things in the training days beforehand and such errors are rectified. But apparently this problem had not occurred during training.

The stacks of tires also proved fatal for some drivers. Kai Brandt, Frank Phlipsen, Marcel Hesen, Dietmar Stein, Stefan Wukovatz and several other drivers had to make painful contact with the rubber. It was super exciting for the spectators because nobody knew what was going to happen next. The drivers mentioned above would certainly have liked it to be different. Battle scars from the walls were also visible on Robin.


In the end, our “ambition man”, Andreas Walter, was also hit, he saved the contact for the last laps of the race and made everything really exciting once again. While leading the race, he lost his car and touched the wall with a spin. As the race progressed, he again made contact with one of the tire stacks and further increased the tension curve, as the smiling third-placed Loris in P2 was already waiting.


Yes exactly, who is that supposed to be? Here it comes. Daniel Erstling was suddenly in the lead. He himself started from 5th place, but fell back to 7th place at the start and fought his way stealthily and without skirmishes to P3, where he stayed for some of the 77 race laps and had probably already prepared himself to take this place home, because Loris and Andreas in front of him did not give the impression for a second that they were losing performance. Far from it! But I’ll stop spoiling things at this point. Check out the stream!

Ferry Overwater celebrated his debut last weekend and piloted his McLaren from P25 to P22 during the race. 4 drivers had to park the car and the pit stop record as well as the fastest race lap went to Matthias Weber. Matthias would certainly have liked a better race. The day before, he and his team won the historic class on the Nordschleife and here he was first from the back. Next time it will be better Matthias!


The drivers from Team International Racing had taken time off for this race. I can just about forgive you for that after finishing 3rd in the GT3 class the day before during the 24-hour race. 😉 Karsten Hoffmann never allowed himself a break. After the botched qualifying and the start from the pit lane, he was able to gain the bonus points for the “Highest Climber” with 18 positions won.

I hope you are now interested in the stream, because putting this race into words would end up in an endless novel. Roland, Hasso, Jutta and Andreas Hering accompanied the livestream with all kinds of in-depth knowledge and light-hearted jokes. Thanks also to all the chat participants who diligently cheered on their favorite riders and actively supported the stream.

Watch the stream.

You can find all information about the series here!

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