Full revs.
Transport Magazine

Full revs.

Logistics experts from Rhinehessen participate in the ADAC GT Masters contest.

A passion for motor racing is in the Landgraf Group’s DNA. By taking part in the German GT championships, the logistics experts have reached a new level.

“We’re not starting from scratch here,” says Tom Herzmann, who works in the management of the Landgraf Group. The corporation specialises in logistics, warehousing and freight transport. The bread-and-butter business includes a regular service between Buxtehude in north Germany and the company headquarters at Gensingen in Rhinehessen, where the logistics specialists have ample warehouse space for storing and order-picking. But today, Tom Herzmann has turned his attention to very different passion: by participating in the ADAC GT Masters, the motor racing section of the Landgraf Group has reached a new level. 20 teams with top sports cars from different manufacturers all compete in this series of races. The team had eight weeks to prepare for the season. It was worth all the effort: at the first race, in Oschersleben, they were able to enjoy their first victory.

On Herzmann’s desk there are six little model Actros. Herzmann, from Bavaria, is a logistics specialist who turned to motor sports and also drove a truck every so often. With time he took on more and more responsibilities – until Klaus Landgraf took him on in his company. 

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The company headquarters and also the racing team offices are near the city of Mainz, modestly located between a DIY store and a fast-food diner. Now there are two Actros parked in front of the building together with racing trailers; one of them is a drive‑in. Inside it looks like a cross between a racing paddock, a car exhibition and an office. The racing car is parked ten metres from Herzmann’s desk. The “Mamba”, as the bright yellow Mercedes‑AMG GT3 Evo in the racing series is called, is a V8 with 404 kW and 650 Newton metres, that accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in about three seconds. The car tyres, sides and exhaust pipes are not yet fitted. Mechanics are just preparing it for the next tests; the team wants to be at the Hockenheimring in three hours.

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Motor racing is ubiquitous at Landgraf. However, the group is primarily a logistics company 450 employees, 150,000 square metres of warehouse space and 40 semitrailer trucks. Depotpack, the logistics service provider of the group, has an annual turnover of 35 million euros. 

The 20 Actros are not just used for transporting freight: they are also an advertisement for the company. The fleet is renewed every three years. “To give the drivers a good space to work in and to leave an impression of perfection,” says Herzmann. The appearance on the motor racing scene has to be perfect too. “We do a balancing act between motor racing and logistics,” Herzmann continues. “Of course, the racing project is much smaller, but it still takes up a lot of nervous energy.” 

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“We do our homework. And we do it perfectly.”

Tom Herzmann, Manager at the Landgraf Group

You understand what he means as soon as you stand between the desks and the workshop: the mood is tense. A phone call without a goodbye, a head mechanic who is clearly stressed out and a team manager going back and forth between the workshop and the eastern side of the building as if he were a robot. Klaus Landgraf and Tom Herzmann stare at their laptops. There’s just been a loud discussion.

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20

teams take part in the German GT Championships.

The Actros.

The Actros.

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“We don’t make any bones about it,” says Herzmann shortly afterwards. He smiles and shrugs his shoulders. “The series is starting in two weeks. It’s a lot of fun here, but in the final analysis the results have to be right. At the moment our motto is ‘full revs’.”

There are photos hanging on the wall behind Klaus Landgraf. They show scenes from the drivers’ paddock at the circuit in Oschersleben: a water hose on the ground, plastic bottles that were dumped in a hurry on the counter of a mobile team kitchen – scenes that should not occur again next time. “I’m a perfectionist,” says Landgraf. 

The logistics experts from Rhinehessen cannot determine the outcome of the GT Masters. There are too many factors that come to play. “But we do do our homework,” says Herzmann. “And we do it perfectly.”

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Photos: Alexander Kraus 
Video: Martin Schneider-Lau