Team Konrad Motorsport will enter up to two Ginetta G61-LT-P3s in the Prototype Cup Germany in 2022. Franz Konrad, who has been leading the traditional racing team for 55 years, takes stock and gives an insight into the team's history.
Konrad Motorsport is a racing team of international stature. The team from Verl in North Rhine-Westphalia competes in the newly created Prototype Germany with a Ginetta G61-LT-P3 driven by regular driver Axcil Jefferies (28/ZWE). At the race weekend at the Nürburgring, a second example of the British prototype was used in the practice sessions. Here, team boss Franz Konrad (71/AUT) sat in the cockpit himself. Konrad is a real racing legend and has, for example, already taken part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 17 times. In 1990, he finished second on the podium in the Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-12 at the great endurance classic on the French Sarthe. Parallel to his own racing activities at the wheel, Konrad built up his own racing team. "Konrad Motorsport has now been around for 55 years," says the founder proudly of his life's work.
Some of the many highlights of Konrad Motorsport were the races with Porsche cars during the Group C era of the World Sports Car Championship in the 1980/1990s. For the 1991 season, the team even constructed its own Group C race car, the Konrad KM-011, which was powered by a Lamborghini V12 engine. The spectacular racer is still in Konrad's own collection and is currently being restored.
Around the turn of the millennium, Konrad Motorsport stepped on the gas with prototypes from the British forge Lola. "At the Race of a Thousand Years in 2000 on the Adelaide Street Circuit in Australia, we were able to achieve second place directly behind the factory Audi. That was a mega success," Konrad looks back with joy on the Lola era some 20 years ago. In addition to the prototypes, Konrad Motorsport also regularly competed in GT racing, fielding cars such as the American Saleen S7-R.
Looking at the team's history, one thing becomes clear: off-the-peg racing cars were never really Konrad Motorsport's thing. Rather, the team from Verl focused on the unusual and somewhat more exotic racing cars. "When we entered LMP3 racing, we made a conscious decision in favour of the Ginetta and against Ligier or Duqueine," explains Konrad. "There are currently only five of the Ginetta on the market. We didn't want a car that everyone has, but something special." Two of the five existing Ginetta cars are parked in the Konrad garage for the Prototype Cup Germany - another model is used by Gebhardt Motorsport.
Konrad is also taking a very special and, above all, high-calibre approach at the helm. Here, the team trusts in the experienced hands of Ralf Jüttner, who worked for the former rival team Joest Racing for many years, where he accompanied cars from Audi, Bentley and Porsche and to 15 victories at the 24h of Le Mans. "In the middle of last year, I met Ralf at a historic Gebhardt Motorsport event in Sinsheim. I revealed to him at that time that Konrad Motorsport wanted to do prototype racing again. He was immediately enthusiastic and has been on board ever since," team boss Konrad explains the signing of Jüttner.
The 2022 season in the Prototype Cup Germany got off to a good start for Konrad Motorsport. At the halfway point of the season, Axcil Jefferies is in third place in the drivers' standings. The best result of the season was second place in Saturday's race at the Nürburgring together with Maximilian Hackländer (32/Rüthen). "Of course we are quite satisfied with that," says Konrad. "But we definitely want to celebrate a race win this season. That's why we are competing."
In order to be prepared for the next races of the Prototype Cup Germany at the Lausitzring and the Hockenheimring, the team recently undertook further test drives with the Ginetta. This also involved other drivers who are interested in joining the series. "We are working on it so that we can also field two cars at the next season's races," said Konrad. "We are also already planning for the 2023 season. The Prototype Cup Germany is a great racing series in which we feel comfortable."