One week removed from winning three races on two different continents in the span of 24 hours, Land Motorsport Team Director Christian Land says his team is ready to chase victory once again in the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Last Saturday, the German squad won a pair of races in Germany and added its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship triumph with a GT Daytona class win at Motul Petit Le Mans.
Now, the grueling process of running both a European and North American arm of the operation finally winds down after a non-stop stretch of racing that has spanned the better part of two months.
“The last weeks were a lot of stress for sure with our last races in Europe with ADAC GT Masters,” Land told Sportscar365.
“We were [in the U.S.] before the ADAC GT Masters final for testing two days at Atlanta. Then we went back to Germany for the GT Masters races, and then directly back to the US for Petit Le Mans.
“When we were in Petit, we had two races as well in Europe. We won the VLN race and then we won the DMV championship race at Hockenheim with one of our customers.
“We are not such a big team. We are a small, family team. It is great to do three races on two different continents and win all three races on one day.
“I spoke with my dad [team principal Wolfgang Land] directly after the checkered flag at Petit Le Mans and for us, what we did on that day to win all three races, it’s absolutely great.”
Land said it was a huge logistical challenge to make their ambitious schedule a reality, with two separate chassis needed to run in a 10-hour race and an eight-hour race in consecutive weeks.
So far the team has been able to overcome every obstacle in their way, including a mechanical failure on their transporter en route to California.
“The logistics are not easy,” said Land. “I’ve been here in the U.S. with some of our mechanics now for two-and-a-half weeks.
“We were before in our workshop in Ft. Lauderdale, the workshop from our partner team Starworks with Peter Baron.
“Then we go over to Petit, we did the Petit, and after the race the guys started to load all of the equipment and the truck driver went straight ahead to Laguna which is nearly three and a half days of driving.
“And then our truck driver had a big problem on the way here. At the border to Arizona, the axle of the trailer completely broke. He lost two wheels, with the brakes!
“He did the last 500 miles only at 35 miles per hour because he couldn’t go quicker [with the broken trailer]. But we arrived at 12, and he arrived at 12:30, and it was very close but it was all on time.”
In spite of the exhausting schedule and the team’s complete lack of experience at MRLS, the team topped both on track sessions on Friday.
Land said he was proud of his team’s hard work and was confident that another win could be possible with another solid eight hours of racing on Sunday.
“We had no testing before we got on the track and it’s a very special track,” he said. “Yesterday in the test session, we did a great job and developed the car a bit more.
“Everybody had the same problem yesterday, struggling with the grip of the car, and when it’s the first time on a race track you have to learn the race track, and that’s what we have also.
“Plus last week we ran the Continental tires and now we’re running the Pirelli tires again, and it’s a different spec than we run in Germany.
“It’s the spec that we ran last year in Germany, and now we bring all of our experience together with our engineering power with our team.
“The last six weeks were very busy for everybody on our team, but for now it looks good.”