The ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hour race will take place this weekend, with 175 entries lapping the 15 mile circuit. It may not have the heritage of Le Mans or Daytona, but the Nurburgring 24 offers a new set of challenges for drivers and their teams.
Just a week after the heated prototype battles at Le Mans, the daunting Nurburgring will host their own 24 hour race. Drivers at the Nurburgring will put themselves through the ultimate test, lacking the relative resting zones of the Mulsanne Straight. Instead, they must push through the grueling Nurburgring, which combines the short GP layout with the long Nordschleife, with a single lap distance of over 15 miles.
The bumpy and undulating surfaces of the Nurburgring prove too much for prototype race cars, instead the regulations focus around GT3 spec sports cars. The field is a mix of all the top GT3 spec cars, including cars from McLaren, Audi, BMW, and Porsche. Qualifying has been a mixed bag, with a number of cars jostling for position; rain made its presence known around the track, interfering with qualifying times for some.
Drivers have come from racing series around the world to participate in the Nurburgring 24, some of which came straight from Le Mans last weekend. The entry list includes some of the top names in sports car racing, including 2014 Le Mans overall winner Marcel Fassler, Ringmeister Sabine Schmitz, Jorg Bergmeister, and Dirk Muller, to name a few. Together, the hundreds of drivers represent the world's top racing series, including Formula One, DTM, and USCR.
To win the race, teams will need to prioritize strategy over pure pace. The narrow confines of the track, dubbed The Green Hell by Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, will test the bravery and consistency of the drivers. A single missed braking point could lead a car straight into the armco barriers, and with 24 hours on the clock, staying incident free could well make the difference between podium positions.
The 2014 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hour will start on Saturday, June 20 at 10:00am EST. A live stream of the race will be available at http://www.24h-rennen.de/en/live/ , and a number of factory teams will broadcast the race from their onboard vehicle cameras.