One of the biggest teams to compete in the gruelling 24 Hours of the Nürburgring is the WS racing team. They are fielding a no less than four cars over a range of categories and, most notably, they have the only all-female crew as well. We went down the “Boxengasse” to find the man who keeps the show on the road: Thorsten Willems.
Thorsten, the WS racing squad has seen many iterations. When did you start?
We’ve been going at it for quite some time actually. We started back in 1995. In the past we were mainly know for racing touring cars and GT cars. In 2014, we made a return to the Nürburgring endurance scene.
What makes “the green hell” so special.
It’s a unique, old-style track. It’s hard to do one lap, let alone race it. This is our tenth 24 Hours of Nürburgring and there’s absolutely no event like it. No race is ever the same. The weather is different, the track has new challenges.
Your team runs entirely Volkswagen Audi Group vehicles. How did you team up with them?
On the one hand, it was out of necessity because we used to race Opel OPC cars but last year, when the brand was sold to the French PSA group, the Opel motorsport division ceased to exist. The decision to work with the Volkswagen Audi Group was made mainly because of their expansive customer racing programme. They are very supportive towards all their teams. For instance, during this 24-hour race we had the luxury of a Volkswagen engineer and an Audi engineer in our pit box for most of the race. They looked at the data and advised us when necessary. That makes all the difference.