Team GERT56: Bye, bye Endurance – Welcome IDM!

GERT56 withdraws from the FIM Endurance World Championship. Sunset at the Slovakiaring at the 4th run to the FIM on 24 June 2017


GERT56 withdraws from the FIM Endurance World Championship The new way is called IDM.


After vice-world championship 2018/2019 – equal on points with the world champions – two won 24-hour races, as well as further podiums in the FIM Endurance Superstock World Cup, the end is over: GERT56 realigns itself and changes to sprint racing and IDM.The goal for the 2019/2020 season was actually to win the FIM Endurance Superstock World Cup title. But this season brought new, almost impossible challenges, as well as some setbacks, which Covid-19 did not even have a sporting nature.
The 2019/2020 season will probably go down in history as the shortest long distance season in the history of the sport, regardless of what happens at the Estoril final next weekend. At last year’s Bol d’Or at Le Castellet, rain meant that only 12 of the 24 hours could be driven in race mode. Even the Asian debut at the 8 Hours of Sepang in Malaysia fell through, with a race time of just under three hours. At that time, no one could have imagined that a few months later the virus would affect the entire racing event.
But already in and around Malaysia on 3rd Advent 2019 the decision had matured at GERT56 and its team members: Longer and longer race distances, more destinations and races in winter – a private team would not be able to cope with this in the long run.
First and foremost, there are the team members who regard this sport as a highly professional hobby, but who mostly work as permanent employees, earning their daily bread. In 2020, this basis has been put to the test, as holiday applications had to be changed at least seven times.
Nearly all plans for 2020 – as with almost all motor sport activities – were overturned several times. But the plan of GERT56 to leave the EWC at the end of the season was still valid.
The final of the 12 Hours of Estoril slipped into the calendar four weeks before it was due to take place and was scheduled for the weekend when the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM) will hold its final at Hockenheim. As communicated during the team presentation at the SachsenKrad trade fair in January, GERT56, together with its partners WP Suspension and BMW Motorrad, as well as rider Toni Finsterbusch, will keep the promises made and will be at the start of the IDM.
There were therefore several problems for a participation in Portugal: missing basic team members, missing riders – with Stefan Kerschbaumer, Pepijn Bijsterbosch and Toni Finsterbusch three of the four athletes are permanently in Hockenheim – additional travel costs and – above all – no tyres.
Pirelli withdrew from the EWC at the beginning of the year and even Le Mans could only be lifted due to private initiatives of Pirelli Germany employee Björn Lohmann. The reward was probably the biggest one can earn in endurance racing: The victory in the stocksport class at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
The chapter of the FIM Endurance World Championship ends for GERT56 before the final in Estoril, but at the same time a new page is turned on the same weekend: The team makes its debut in the IDM in Hockenheim. Without Corona, many things would have been different, but not everything. It is now a matter of waiting to see what the overall racing situation will be in 2021 and how things will go from there, but GERT56’s orientation towards full throttle – but now over shorter distances – will remain the same.


Karsten Wolf:


“The Puhdys once sang: Everything that is over can also be the beginning. Therefore we see our withdrawal from the Endurance World Championship as well-considered and at the right time. We have celebrated incredible successes! I myself was once on site at the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the car race and I really wanted to get on the podium there. And we did. We won Le Mans, we won the Bol d’Or and even stood on the podium at Christmas in Asia. We have shown everyone what we can do. The decisions to go on ever longer races, at utopian seasons and on the other side of the world made us think. Some people may not understand that we won’t be at Estoril, but we had simply planned the year and the season differently and made our promises, which I will always keep. A week earlier at the Bol d’Or, we would have been there even if another 24-hour race had not been budgeted for.”There were certainly many reasons why we have now decided to withdraw before the final of the 2019/2020 FIM Endurance World Championship. My main personal reason, however, is that seven of our regular team would have been missing – not counting the drivers! But our team consists of our team and not of people who are just barely available. Our team has walked this path together, our team is a team. I cannot and will not drive without our team. A big thanks once again to Pirelli Deutschland and Björn Lohmann, who would have somehow made this possible – but our shortage of personnel would have turned into a shortage of personnel in this case, as we would have had to do everything ourselves, both logistically and in terms of personnel.
“We have already informed our sponsors and partners in advance of this announcement and we have received 100 percent positive and approving feedback. This encourages me in my decision. Our partners have always been loyal to us and we to them, we sought communication before this decision was made and have been encouraged to do so.”
“The RS Speedbikes team once became GERT56. Ronny Schlieder and Karsten Wolf started out together, the paths crossed permanently and we ended up together at the top of Le Mans. For seven years in the Endurance World Championship we were mainly beaten, but we also gave out beatings. We had to learn a lot – and then taught the others that a small private team from Pirna in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains can very well win the most important race in the world with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Or that a rider on our bike can make the EWC elite in Le Mans qualifying ask questions: Who the fuck is Julian Puffe?”
“It is gratitude for the great times, humility before what has been achieved and, above all, now also excitement and thirst for action that now puts an end to the EWC chapter and with these feelings we will travel to Hockenheim, where the new era for GERT56 begins this weekend. Although: “We have already planned a guest start in the EWC class at the German Speedweek next year!



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GS YUASA is sponsor of the Yamaha Teams im Motocross GP.
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GS YUASA is sponsor of the GERT56 Racing Teams.