Lucas Luhr is set to return to full-time competition, both as a driver and in a team ownership role, as part of the a newly formed effort involving a renowned VLN team and a German YouTube star.
The six-time American Le Mans Series class champion has teamed up with Ring Police and JP Performance for an entry in ADAC GT Masters, which will see Luhr share driving duties of a Porsche 911 GT3 R with Jan-Erik Slooten.
“The three of us got together, thought about motorsport, and came to the conclusion is that everything is boring, so we decided to do something for the fans and to bring the thrill back,” Luhr told Sportscar365.
The yet-to-be-named team, which will be run by Ring Police, will mark Luhr’s first full-season effort since 2016 when the German was part of BMW’s factory IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program.
Luhr had also served as a Porsche and Audi factory driver, achieving success with both manufacturers through the 2000s in prototype and GT racing.
“The development from the whole pure factory driving over the last few years went into a direction that I don’t necessarily like,” he said.
“I already had thoughts of doing something long term and building up a team together. The opportunity came because we’ve known each other for 30 years already.”
Porsche Sports Cup Germany veteran Slooten, who has also competed in 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Dubai, co-founded Ring Police in 2012, which has since evolved into a lifestyle brand in addition to its racing exploits.
“The big goal was to run in a series like GT Masters,” Slooten told Sportscar365. “And to drive with Lucas is a like a dream.
“I’ve known Lucas since I was four years old. It’s very cool to work with Lucas and also to do this project with JP. He’s also a very good friend of mine and we had been thinking about it for the last year.
“We had a little project with an Audi R8 in the Nürburgring 24 and that was a very good experience. Now we can do it one step higher.”
Luhr said they plan to leverage JP’s audience of more than 1.2 million YouTube followers to create a “cool” team that will provide fans with a unique view inside the operation.
It will include open-garage access to fans at all times on GT Masters weekends.
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While its GT Masters program is the primary focus next year, Luhr hasn’t ruled out an effort at the Nürburgring 24, and is currently in discussions with potential sponsors.
It also has set its sights on the 24-hour classics at Daytona, Le Mans as well as the Bathurst 12 Hour in the years to come.
“GT Masters is a very competitive series, so we’re not thinking we can come in and win it and [move up],” Luhr said. “I think we have to learn a lot as it’s still a relatively young team.
“We are in the beginning of building a foundation. But long-term, we want to be successful on the international racing ground.”
Luhr said he’d like to model the program after the “Dempsey way” in a structured system that would ultimately see the German team make its debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“A dream of ours is also to run at Bathurst because it’s a cool, unique track. Races like the 24 Hours of Daytona and Le Mans [are on the radar] too but for me, the 24 Hours of Nürburgring is the bigger race for me. But maybe that’s because I’m German and not French!”