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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Varrone Joins Frikadelli For N24 Title Defense

Nico Varrone set for debut outing in Nürburgring 24 at the wheel of Frikadelli Racing Team Ferrari 296 GT3…

Photo: MPS Agency

Corvette factory driver Nico Varrone will be making his Nürburgring 24 debut, joining Frikadelli Racing Team for the German’s squad title defense in the Eifel endurance classic.

Varrone will share the No. 1 Ferrari 296 GT3 with Luca Ludwig, Daniel Keilwitz and Felipe Fernandez Laser for the 52nd running of the event, which will take place on June 1-2.

Laser is the only driver out of last year’s four-man lineup to have been retained by Frikadelli, which took a breakthrough victory last year with Earl Bamber, David Pittard and Nicky Catsburg also part of the driver crew.

While Catsburg is unable to compete at the event due to clashing commitments with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Detroit, Pittard will contest this year’s N24 with Walkenhorst Motorsport.

Ludwig and Keilwitz, meanwhile, both drove a 296 GT3 at the N24 last year. Keilwitz notably took the SP9 Pro-Am class victory with WTM by Rinaldi Racing while Ludwig competed with Racing One.

Two years ago, Ludwig also took a surprise pole position at the event piloting an Octane126 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

“Of course, we all still have fond memories of last year’s edition, but now the cards are being reshuffled again,” team owner Klaus Abbelen said.

“As this year’s 24-hour race clashes with another racing event, it was clear that our driver line-up would change compared to last year.

“However, with Luca, Daniel and Nicolas, we have three promising newcomers on board who have a lot of potential.

“I therefore believe that we are well positioned again this year, even though a little bit of luck is always needed in a 24-hour race in order to successfully complete the distance without any incidents.”

Varrone is not new to the cockpit of the 296 GT3, having contested last year’s CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa with AF Corse.

The Argentinean racer will share the car with Ludwig for the first of this weekend’s four-hour qualifying races on Saturday, with Laser and Keilwitz set to drive in the second race on Sunday.

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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