This weekend KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) will make its third attempt on one of the most gruelling and challenging endurance races the world of motorsport has to offer – the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The fearsome 25-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife provides a daunting task for those who dare to take it on. The high-speed layout weaves its way through the beautiful scenery of the Eifel region, with a lining of grass and Armco barriers ready to punish any mistake, earning it the nickname ‘The Green Hell’. Weather is almost always a factor as well, with the circuit shrouded in fog more often than not and the constant threat of rain which can arrive without warning. The classic endurance race, hosted since 1970, boasts a 125-car entry list, with 34 in the SP9 category for GT3 cars.
Onboard the #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R, the quartet of Alexandre Imperatori, Josh Burdon, Edoardo Liberati and Marco Holzer are united for only the second time this season following a successful outing in the ADAC Qualification Race, where they scored a top 10 finish, in May. This year marks an eighth Nürburgring 24 Hours appearance for Swiss racer Imperatori and the seventh for Holzer, who claimed the Pro-Am victory in last year’s edition.
KCMG’s iconic colours makes any of its cars from single seaters to GTs instantly recognisable, but this weekend the team will harken back to its 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 victory with the return of the chrome livery, honouring its extensive and deep history in motorsport.
Like many teams, the Hong Kong squad utilised the opening rounds of the Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS) as preparation for the main event. However, adverse weather conditions called off the pre-season test and first round, meaning all teams are going into the race with less mileage under their belts compared to previous seasons.
Fans will be welcomed back to the circuit as up to 10,000 spectators can view the action from the grandstands on the Grand Prix section, with VIP guests also able to attend.
Track action begins on Thursday with the first two of three Qualifying sessions, before a final one on Friday to determine who progresses to Top Qualifying. The twice-around-the-clock race will get underway at 15:30 local time on Saturday.
“The big race is finally here. This will be my eighth time at this event so hopefully I can put that experience to good use. The Nürburgring 24 Hours is always special, anything can happen. It will also be great to see the fans for the first time this year, we’ll be aiming to put on a good show for them.”
“We’re all very aware of the extreme challenge this race presents, and we cannot wait to tackle it. The circuit itself is very tricky to master but then when you add in the traffic and next to no visibility during the night, it’s easy to see why just finishing this race is an achievement in itself. But we have high expectations for ourselves so I cannot wait to get started.”
“Race week for the Nürburgring 24 Hours is always an exciting time. The team has been working hard but we are under no illusions that this will be a tough race. One mistake on-track could end our whole weekend, it’s not unusual for several cars to not even start the race so we need to make sure we bring home a result first and foremost.”
“I’m super excited to be taking on one of the most challenging races of the year. I was the newcomer to the team for 2021 but we’re working incredibly well together and have put in a lot of effort to build a strong package with Porsche over the last few months so I can’t wait to be back at the Green Hell. I’m very glad to see the fans back at the Nürburgring. It won’t quite be like old times with the barbecues and the bonfires on the camping sites during the night, but nonetheless it’s great to have some spectators again.”
MATT HOWSON TEAM MANAGER
“We have encountered several obstacles in the build-up to this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours. But, in the face of adversity, KCMG has persevered and we are well-prepared to fight at the front of the field. We learnt a lot last year from our first season with Porsche which we are applying now, so with our strong line-up and capable team we feel ready for anything the Green Hell has to throw at us. We could potentially see mixed conditions throughout the weekend so we need to be able to adapt quickly as the race unfolds. We’re also very excited to see the chrome livery return. It’s quite emotional as I was part of the race-winning line-up in the car that first ran those colours and it’ll look spectacular on-track.”
PAUL IP KCMG FOUNDER
“It is a joy to see our car fighting in the premier class of one of the most famous motorsport events in the world associated with such an iconic manufacturer as Porsche. KCMG will be one of just two Asian teams in the SP9 category and we proudly display the Hong Kong flag on our cars. Like many other teams have faced, the preparations for this race have been interrupted by cancelled events but we are anticipating a strong weekend. We have a great line-up in the form of Marco, Josh, Edo and Alex and we’re very much looking forward to the event. We’re also marking our indelible history in motorsport with the return of the chrome livery. It’s a throwback to one of our most popular cars and we see the same spirit in our team for this weekend.”