The 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring
27 Juni 2011

 

I must say that I had never been to a race prior to this one, but was especially excited to see the new Nürburgring and experience a 24 Hour Race.  The Nürburgring sits below the Nürburg in the Eifel, a low mountain range in the west of Germany bordering Belgium and Luxemburg, around 75 minutes from Cologne and Dusseldorf.  It is a historic track, officially opened in 1924 and is now home to the Formula 1 German Grand Prix as well as many other races and festivals, such a “Rock am Ring”.

It has recently been renovated and expanded from a mere race course, to a business and entertainment destination, featuring activities for all ages as well as a business infrastructure for business feature a convention are, conference rooms and many more highlights.  The course for the 24 Hour race is comprised of 2 parts, the grand prix track and the “Nordschleife” a 20 km course through the hills of the Eifel considered to be one of the toughest tracks in the world.

The 24 Hour Race features more than 200 cars and lasts at least 24 hours from 4pm on Saturday until 4pm the next day with over 200,000 attendees.  It is a race for enthusiasts, as all fans are allowed onto the track prior to the race to see the cars from upfront and take pictures and have access to the paddock (one of the largest of its kind) throughout the race.  The drivers are a mix of professionals and amateurs, which makes for an exciting race as there are many passing maneuvers throughout the day and night.  The lineup included former formula one, rally and DTM drivers as well as a friend of mine who finished the raced and placed well ahead of his starting rank. Even if you think you don’t know any of the drivers in the starting grid I urge you to check out next years' race as you’ll have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with them during the race.   

It was a close and exciting race in which team Manthey finished first in a Porsche 911 GTR RSR.  However, the top teams stayed close together throughout which made for exiting maneuvers at any time during the race.   As a Mercedes fan myself, I was cheering for the SLS Teams as well as I personally think the SLS had the best sound of any of the cars.  A deep roar, you could definitely here the SLS coming even if your head was turned away from the track.   You can choose the experience you want as you can buy a normal ticket, book a VIP package for yourself or use the race for your clients / suppliers and book a VIP lounge with catering and preferred seats and access.  Yours truly was lucky enough to have this access and this is definitely the way to go as you can retreat inside during the evening / night and have a drink or a snack without having to lose sight of the action.   The 24 Hours at the Nürburgring are definitely worth a visit next year, and I can also highly recommend the track as a convention /  incentive destination for companies or a long weekend trip with your friends as there are ample opportunities to drive yourself on one of the most famous and historical tracks in the world. 

 

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