Wrong Side Of The Fence: A Spectator’s Guide To The N24

‘We are sorry that we cannot consider you this year. For next year, please contact us a little earlier so there is enough time for review and approval.’

As I sank into seat 2A of the Boeing 737, my heart sank even further. The email meant my risk was backfiring; I had just boarded a flight from England to Germany to cover an event I didn’t have media accreditation for.

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It was a painful reminder about the importance of planning ahead, as every stage of my 24 Hours of Nürburgring (N24) discussions with the team had been delayed, yet my dumb a** decided to just book a flight and hope for the best.

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But I wasn’t just going to run off the plane. The N24 is too good an event to miss, no matter what side of the track I’d be standing on.

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In 2022, I gave you an in-depth look into the race and my journey surrounding it. This year’s N24 coverage is a little showcase of my weekend and what you (yes, you!) can experience as a spectator.

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One proviso – it helps to have a local with knowledge at your disposal. My go-to guide in Germany is Speedhunters’ friend and international man of mystery Till Dönnebrink.

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First of all, and this is one of the best parts of the event for motorsport nerds, the N24 paddock is open to anyone with a spectator ticket. You can get up close to what’s going on behind the scenes to keep the cars and teams going for 24 hours straight, and the level of organisation is exceptional.

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This may be my OCD talking, but there’s something soothing about seeing parts stacked up perfectly, whether they’re bumpers, wheels or tools.

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A big perk of having a mutual friend competing in the race was pit garage access, allowing for a little up-close-and-personal action with the strategic side of the race effort.

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Be warned, though – the paddock is one of the busiest areas of the whole race. You’ll be fighting hordes of distracted spectators, overwhelmed hobby photographers with no situational awareness, and angry team mechanics trying to get you out of their way while pushing a tyre cart.

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The only times you’ll get access to the track during an N24 weekend are Friday night post-qualifying, the grid walk before the race on Saturday, and after the race on Sunday once the track goes dead.

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2024 was one of the busiest N24s in the race’s history, and I could tell as the grid walk turned into gridlock.

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Once the race is going, the Nürburgring is an excellent circuit to get close to the action – even as a spectator. You won’t be able to get to the infield, something I missed terribly this year, but with so many left and right turns on the Nordschleife you’re well-catered for angles.

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To get to many of them you’ll have to contend with the carnage of the N24 camping grounds. From what I’ve deduced, German N24 enthusiasts love three things: alcohol, techno and surprisingly solid temporary structures.

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I nearly slipped into the mud on many occasions, even with grippy hiking shoes. My life flashed before my eyes as I imagined my cameras sinking into the abyss, followed by an uncomfortable call to my insurers.

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Brave the weather, the hills and the crowds, and find yourself a good vantage point before sunset – that’s when the N24’s magic really starts to shine.

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The night racing is without a doubt my favourite automotive experience. I love track days, drift days, sand dunes, and Porsches in a quarry – but nothing comes close to N24 at night.

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Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse, resulting in the N24 effectively becoming the N8.5. The race was red-flagged at 11:23pm on Saturday and never got a proper restart.

I can’t fault the organisers for their decision though; the fog was so thick that visibility was only about 100-150m at best. That meant an actual night’s sleep for myself, Till, and all of the race teams and drivers – a very non-N24 experience.

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The morning was no better, so the only suitable course was to get full-on currywurst, waffles, black coffee and every other German delectable that came to mind whilst admiring the eerie beauty of a race track enveloped in fog.

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The fog did begin to lift ever so slightly as midday Sunday loomed, so the competitors were given five laps behind safety cars to see if the track would clear up enough for a race restart. It didn’t.

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As the cars pulled into Parc Fermé the commotion of the crowds meant I could get close to the drivers and have one last wander in the pit lane before everybody cleared out.

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Scherer Sport took the podium in their Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, followed closely by Manthey Racing in their fan-favourite ‘Grello’ Porsche 911 GT3 R.

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As a spectator, I have no shame in saying I was rooting for team BMW M RMG to win in their BMW M4 GT3 after Team ROWE’s M4 was taken out in a crash early in the race.

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Not only does the RMG car have a frankly epic livery, but all of their drivers are under the age of 24, making their third-place finish all the more impressive.

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I finished off my N24 weekend by walking along the Nürburgring GP circuit’s main straight – a bucket list item on my favourite European race track.

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If you were hoping for in-depth race coverage this year… so was I. I’ll be back in front of the barriers in 2025. The truth is though, I had a great time over the weekend, taking the whole deal just a touch less seriously and having a lot of fun.

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The best part? I didn’t do anything that you couldn’t do as a spectator. Go and experience N24 for yourself, it’s an absolute blast.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn



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Party at the N24

Can not think of a lot of things that would be harder than racing around the ring for 24 hours. The night stuff in the rain coupled with driver fatigue and different classes would make this properly insane.

One of the main things that differs between this format of racing and “sprint” racing is that preserving the machine becomes paramount. Sprint racing will test a drivers ability to go all out against the next guy where endurance will test who can preserve the car while maintaining good pace—often times slightly reduced from sprint racing pace where outright lap time is the priority.

Curbs will destroy suspension in endurance races and many other components which would be an interesting challenge at the N24 due to the fact the curbs are vital for good times in places.

Ideally in enduros you want a car that is significantly better so you can slow your pace down and preserve the machine while being faster than other drivers (this was the teams strategy that I was on for 3 years but the owner threw a LOT of money to do this).

Awesome coverage. Looks like an absolutely wild event. A friend of mine will be racing in it next year and I’ve been lending some advice like the curb stuff.

YouTube “Lee Keen Nurburgring Rain Dance” if you want to see a POV of this event in rain at night at 180mph. Proper racing.


Great photogaphy like alwasy


Thanks Speed Cat!


A shame this year's race only ran for a total of 7 hours. It's the shortest Nurburgring 24 Hours thus far, I think?


It was indeed, but considering how little I could see from high in the grandstands I can't imagine what it was like for the drivers down in the fog.

Party at the N24

That sucks. What was the cause of the shortening?


Visibility. Marshalls couldn't see the track properly so red flagged over night for safety and the fog never really lifted the following day.


Great coverage, in some ways better than if you had special access.


Thanks very much Miles!


Love this!


Thanks Trevor, means a lot dude!


looks like a great event.. so e wonderful photography too - keep up the good work!


Thanks very much pal!!


I can't find the exact distance but the ADAC twitter account posted a photo from a marshall station and just behind the 50 mark for a corner its just a wall of fog. Some one with super intimate knowledge of the track might be able to place the exact corner, but I can not. Times get confusing because I am in Canada watching but I think by 9am in Frankfurt the fog still hadn't lifted