Chrzanowski Racing is a family-run German Porsche team, competing in the ADAC and DMSB racing series with Porsche 911s, as well as 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Barcelona. They also run a specialist Porsche service centre. Which is how Motul IT architect Thorsten Gaedtke came to be involved with the Motul-backed team as a data engineer. We catch up with Thorsten, and team owner Simone Chrzanowski-Nobis.
Thorsten, you work in IT for Motul, and as a data engineer for Chrzanowski Racing. How did you get into working with a race team?
Thorsten: I’m involved in the data analysis of the car and confirm all the telemetry and see if the status of the car is good. I also give advice to the drivers and the mechanics. I followed this racing series for a long time. In 2015 I bought a Porsche 968 and that’s how I discovered Chrzanowski Racing. They are based in my hometown and look after my car. Suddenly, by accident, I was involved in the team as there was a race coming up and they didn’t have enough people to manage the pitstops.
How much crossover is there with your Motul work?
Thorsten: It’s a very good match. A big part of my job at Motul is to maintain the global network, and for the race team, I do the same for the cars. And also, there’s a very good match between the values of the team and those of Motul.
As a team boss, how beneficial is it having someone who works for a partner being involved?
Simone: Thorsten moved from being a pit crew refueller to be our computer man [laughs]. I asked him if he wanted to do the data engineering and he had a look, and now it’s great he’s our person who’s responsible for data logging for the cars. With Motul, it’s a very nice synergy, because Thorsten works at both, and we have great sponsorship with the brand.
Can you tell me a bit more about your team?
My father started the team and his career in motorsports in 1973. He always stuck with Porsche. He never drove another car. When my brother and I got older, we started to get involved as well. My father drove in the German championship, as well as Daytona and Sebring. We won at Daytona with a Porsche. We also competed and won a lot of Porsche European championships. In 2013, we started racing at the Nordschleife, and for eight years we’ve been racing there.
What’s the extent of your Motul partnership and what benefit does it bring to the team?
Thorsten: We use premium products for a premium car. The main benefit of using these products is we have a really good link to the technical guys at Motul, to analyse the oil and so on. We have really good support. I remember last year at a race, we had some strange behaviour with the brakes, and we talked to one of the technical people and he gave us some valuable advice that allowed us to fix the problem. To have this short link to Motul is a great thing for such a small race team.
How’s this year looking for racing?
Thorsten: The next big race is the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. We will also have five or six more races, maybe Barcelona, but we don’t know if the virus will stop us. We participated in the Barcelona 24 hours in 2019, and we finished second in our class and 11th in total.
Simone, do you race as well, or do you focus on behind the scenes?
Simone: I stick to being the team boss. My brother is the better race driver. I tried it a few years ago, but I think I’m not the right person for that. I do everything around it, from scrutineering to the organisation of the races.