A Classic At The ’ring

Those of you that have followed our annual Nürburgring 24 Hours coverage will know that it’s not just about the 24Hr Rennen itself. In fact, there are several other classes that share event time with the toughest endurance race on earth. For most, the classic race is the pick of the bunch.

The paddock alone is something else, more akin to that of a classic motorsport show than a live pit area.

Here you can get up close and personal with such a wide variety of machines that it boggles the mind. Camille was particularly interested in the triple carb set up on this BMW …

… whilst Rod & Jonathan admired this Porsche 935 K1.

This 356 GT really did it for me, such a sublime design and looks even better at speed.

Throughout Wednesday morning, the paddock was a hive of activity as the cars went through scrutiny.

Not one or two but three Jaguar E Types prepare for an assault on the Nordschleife.

This MKI RS2000 would finish the three hour endurance race at an average speed of over 80MPH. Old does not equal slow …

The race itself took place on the exact same layout as the 24HR race (the British GTs used just the GP circuit).

One lap here is exactly 25,378 meters or close enough to 16 miles with the top three cars completing 18 laps over the course of three hours.

That’s 288 miles at full pelt on the toughest race circuit on earth. I think I’d struggle to cover that distance in three hours on a motorway …

By the time the race has rolled into the second hour, the field of cars (some 200 started the race) is well spread around the northern loop.

Just like the 24HR, it’s around this time that things become interesting for the drivers and spectators alike as the faster cars make their way through the back markers in the slower classes.

I can’t imagine the sight of a BMW M1 coming up behind you at pace is a pleasant one.

Not alone do you have to worry about cars both in front and behind you, you also have to deal with the course itself and changing weather conditions. It might be sunny on the start / finish line but bucketing it down in Adenau.

Check out the elevation change here – the cars in the foreground are about to descend into Adenau (the lowest point of the track if memory serves me correct) …

… whilst this pack is climbing and heading out towards Bergwerk.

There’s truly not a bad view in the house.

For obvious reasons, European cars are the most popular for taking part – a plethora of Porsches, BMWs, Fords and Volkswagens amongst the most common.

The 24HR race is no doubt special, but I think the classic just pips it in the aural stakes – every car present just sounds so good.

Even as a spectator, you can get a lot closer to the action than you may be comfortable with.

As media, it’s often downright terrifying.

The sound of a proper high revving four cylinder echoing through the valley. It still sends shivers down my spine.

As the last cars vanished from view, a strange silence fell on the entire course. They were gone, their duties for the weekend completed but yet the sound of flat fours and straight sixes still reverberated through the trees…

Paddy McGrath
e: paddy@dev.speedhunters.com

The 2012 ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hour on Speedhunters



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So how did i not see you. I was standing at the Breidscheid bridge aswell! Very cool race, especially when the rain kicked in and cars started sliding (and crashing unfortunately).


 @Martijn M Once the rain started coming down with everyone still on slicks, I knew it wasn't the wisest of ideas to stand beside the armco. Crazy weather changes but a great race!


very cool! love seeing the old cars run. any chance we could get a desktop of this photo or any others of some BMW 2002's?
thanks man loving all the photo's bet it was a blast out there.


Enjoyed seeing the little red Audi 50/Mk1 Polo