Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi explained that the German GT3 enduro on the Nordschleife was “in the plan” and up there with the Le Mans 24 Hours on his bucket list when he switched full-time to car racing in 2022 on his retirement from two wheels.

Rossi ticked the Le Mans box this year as part of his full-season campaign in the World Endurance Championship with the WRT BMW LMGT3 class squad but stressed that he had no immediate plans to race at the Nurburgring. 

He explained that his programme with WRT, which straddles the WEC and the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, would preclude an attempt on the 24 Hours at the Nurburgring next year at least. 

“It was one of my first targets: to race on the Nordschleife along with Le Mans,” said Rossi, who is contracted to BMW as a factory driver.

“The Nordschleife is a great track for everybody: the drivers love the circuit and I’ve done something like 2,000 laps on the simulator with my friends.”

Rossi has already confirmed that he again intends to undertake a twin programme with WRT and BMW’s new-for-2025 M4 GT3 EVO in the WEC and the GTWCE enduros next year.

That, he stated, will mean there will be no Nurburgring assault for him in 2025.

The 45-year-old explained that he didn’t want to add in extra races, including two starts on the Nordschleife in the Nurburgring Long-distance Series [NLS] in a car below three-litre capacity necessary to obtain the licence or permit to compete in the 24 Hours. 

#46 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3: Raffaele Marciello, Maxime Martin, Valentino Rossi

Photo by: Eric Le Galliot

“Already I do a lot of races at the moment with this programme, and to go and do other weekends at the Nurburgring with a small car, now no,” he said. “But in the future, we will see.”

Rossi is scheduled to race on 16 weekends this year: in addition to the eight WEC rounds and five GTWCE enduros, he has already competed in two GTWCE Sprint Cup events and the Bathurst 12 Hours in February. 

The appearances in the Sprint Cup and at Bathurst, which clash with the celebrations he has planned for his 46th birthday, are likely to disappear next year. 

“I think eight [races in WEC] and five [in GTWCE] is a really good number,” he said. 

Rossi also attends a handful of MotoGP rounds each season with his VR46 Ducati team.

2024-07-10T14:01:00Z dg43tfdfdgfd