Do you have a favorite event? It’s a question I get asked regularly enough, and a fair one too. We all have our favorites – cars, food, songs, movies, books etc. but rarely enough do these favorites spring to mind with no opposition. We need to think about them, as declaring something as our absolute favorite is almost a character defining declaration. If you were to ask me my favorite car, depending on the day and my humor at the particular time, you could get one of several answers. Ask me my favorite event regardless of the situation? There is only one answer – The Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Although it maybe overshadowed somewhat by the 24HRs of Le Mans, the Nürburgring 24HR is one of those genuinely epic events. It cannot be recreated anywhere else in the world. Nothing even close. I’m not going to go into the ‘how’ or ‘why’ of this particular statement but over the course of the next few days, I’ll let the argument fight its own corner.
Although the on-track action doesn’t kick off until tomorrow, you can never arrive at the Nürburgring too soon. Even arriving this morning, the campsites are full and the entire area is a hive of activity. The extra time also allowed us a quick visit to the model shop at the Dottinger petrol station. I’ve so far resisted temptation to add to my collection, although Rod cannot say the same.
The ever-changing weather of the Nürburgring made itself apparent almost immediately. Heavy rain showers followed by glorious sunshine, I’m still unsure if I should be wearing shorts or not.
Arriving in the paddock, we bumped into Milners’ Junior & Senior for a quick chat. Tommy will be driving a Corvette at this year’s event – a car which in production guise has had ‘some’ success around these hills. A C6 ZR1 lapped the full course in 7m19s last June which should give you an idea of the pace …
Although pace isn’t everything – it’s all about enduring. Porsches of many guises have enjoyed success here over the years, will this year prove no different?
There are also four GT86s competing this weekend.
With Gazoo Racing running two alongside their LF-A. It will be certainly interesting to see how they get on.
With around 170 cars entered into what’s billed as the toughest endurance race on the planet, the winner has the potential to surprise everyone.
From fully fledged GT cars to evolved production cars, the diversity of the grid is just another thing for drivers to worry about.
Again, the weather showed its Jekyll & Hyde side …
… I’d imagine these will be of some use over the course of the event.
The event is also host to two races of the British GT Championship, where this will be looking to defend its honor of being the first GT-R GT3 to achieve victory.
This much closer to production specification GT-R will be competing the full twenty four hours.
Behind every pit garage door, something interesting lurked …
As the day went on, more and more cars completed their mandatory scrutiny check.
It allowed the relatively small (relative to what will pass through the paddock over the course of the next four days) crowd of spectators an up close and personal look at the cars.
Like I said, variety is the name of the game here.
The biggest factor of the Nürburgring 24HR is not the weather or the competitors – it’s the living, breathing Nordschleife itself.
There was a surreal calm around the track today, as if the course itself is preparing for an onslaught over the next four days.
Its elevation and sheer scale still strike me with awe. This is a scary, yet beautiful place.
Like others, I’ve waited almost a full year for this. This is the event for many, myself included. My yearly calendar rotates around this annual endurance feast and I want to bring you back a thousand reasons why this should be the centre of your calendar too.
We’ve assembled a full team of Speedhunters for this one – the better looking of us being Julie & Camille, our new spokesmodels and genuine car fans.
If you’re attending the event, be sure to pop by the WRT pit area where they will be handing out these limited edition WRT x Speedhunters Audi R8 stickers. We all love free stickers right?
This is the view drivers will face as they head out for their first laps of the behemoth – accelerating hard into the extremely tight first corner before vanishing down the hill, around a large section of the GP circuit before heading out onto the Nordschleife and returning some ten minutes later before starting another lap.
There are some very famous names machined onto this large plaque as you enter the Nürburgring GP paddock, a proper whose who of accomplished racing drivers. Will there be new names being added this time next week?