Second weekend in Europe and another circuit in another country. From the Netherlands I took a train down to Germany. Amsterdam to Cologne in just a few hours, then onto the Nurburgring. Unlike the last two times I volunteered there, I got to work the Grand Prix circuit since WEC did not use the Nordschleife. And like the last weekend in Holland I got to work the last turn, which allowed me to prowl the grid before the start of the race.
It was great to see all the cars, though Porsche was impossible to access, like a million people crowded Mark Webber… I could not squeeze through.
It was a great race!
And so were the support races. My favorite was the classic DTM, the old Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, the old World Touring Car Championship cars, it was amazing!
The whole Nurburgring experience, like every other time I’ve been there, were amazing. I cannot wait to go back!
The official Gran Turismo TV channel on YouTube has published an 11 minute video from this year’s 24h of Nürburgring where I had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed. I’ve blogged about my top ten favorite events and top ten favorite circuits, but thanks to this video forget the Singapore GP or Malaysian GP, forget Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi; the 24h of Nürburgring on the incredible Nordschleife is my #1 favorite event and circuit, bar none!
GRAN TURISMO TV
The world’s most grueling touring car race; the Nürburgring 24 hour race was held again this year from Thursday May 14th to Sunday May 17th. At the race hosted for the 43rd time this year, a speed limit was introduced due to some heavy accidents that occurred on the track in March. With the level of the top teams brought closer together due to the cap in performance, the competition was more furious than ever before. In the race final there were multiple accidents due to heavy rain on random parts of the track, and the victor was only decided after 35 race interruptions, the most number of interruptions to be seen in years of racing on this spectacular course.
This video is a documentary of the fierce battles that took place on the tarmac, reconstructed through the voices of the people at the Ring including drivers, team staff, course marshals and spectators.
Have a look and listen to that wonderful commentary. I love how the folks at Black Monkey Media (facebook.com/blackmonkeymedia) integrated driver interviews along with spectator interviews and sprinkled in a little bit of marshal interviews into the mix. What an amazing concept, and a great and accurate overlook of the event as a whole. It doesn’t get any better than that!
For me personally, to be in the same video as Sabine Schmitz or Jim Glickenhouse is pretty awesome – in a goosebumps and chills down your spine kind of way. I’m so glad I didn’t stutter or eat words during the interview itself and the level of excitement I wanted to express for the event actually came through. They quoted me twice in the video which is freaking cool!
Of all the events to consider for next year, I want to go back to N-ring the most! Special thanks to my Belgian friend Pol for helping me organize this trip for the past few years. Thanks to Patric my post chief for allowing me the opportunity to work on his team. And big thanks to all of our Belgian and German fellow marshals that I’ve had the privilege of working with and sharing an amazing time together at Post 120 in Breidcheit – Adenau. What an incredible venue! Can’t say enough great things about it!
Last year I did a bunch of marshal interviews for my #MarshalCam project on my 24h Enduro Euro Trip including filming some Belgian marshals at the Nurburgring 24h. This year I was the one being interviewed for German TV.
A friend from France said he saw my interview on EuroSport.
Of course I haven’t had the luck of finding the clip, but if any of the readers come across it, please be sure to share it.
For now all I have is a few snaps from friends to preserve the memories:
Big thanks to Ingo and Pol, my fellow marshals at Post 120 for taking these pictures for me. Much appreciated!
Hopefully this promotes marshaling to the race fans watching the program during the 24h Rennen at Nürburgring.
PS. marshal in German: Streckensicherung or Sportwart 😉
There’s no place in the world like the N-ring in Germany. The amazing Nordschleife!This was my second trip volunteering in Deutschland and it was the best one yet. I will share a few posts about my N-ring experience this being a very brief overview of things that took place over the four day weekend there.
I was once again on my favorite part of the circuit, working Post 120 on the border of Adenau and Breidsheid Ex-Mühle working with our German hosts on a Belgian team with my friend Pol. Once again we had an excellent time on track and off, with the familiar restaurants easy walk from our camping area.
But there were a lot of different things this year too. For one, WTCC – World Touring Car Championship played a support role for the 24h race, which was great. What a smart thing to do for the organizers, instead of competing for the same racing fans like last year where Pol and I visited Spa-Francochamps where WTCC was set to race on the same weekend as the 24h race on the Nordschleife, they organized the event together this year, and I think it was a successful endeavor. Although the 3 lap WTCC races seemed quite short, from a spectators perspective… at 20km per lap I’m sure it was business as usual for the drivers.
The pig was cool… for sure! I’ve never had anything like that before.
We were super close to all the action, and as usual spend an excellent time visiting the paddock area with full access to the garages and the fine machinery racing over the weekend.
The weather this year was excellent. While it was cloudy and at times rainy it was very pleasant and contributed to cleaner racing I think. Far fewer incidents this year compared to last year. And as a result our post received less visitors with problems. The most notable one was the green Bentley Continental GT3 getting dragged off the track with major front end damage. But after getting trucked back to the garage it rejoined the race after the repair.
All in all I am extremely happy with this trip. It has been a great journey across four countries including a quick visit to Finland on the flight over, a few nights in Brussels in Belgium which is one of my favorite places to visit in Europe, a quick stop in Holland to buy some cakes for our group dinner at the Nurburgring and of course Germany. I would really love to go back next year and would recommend the event to anybody that’s interested in racing.
What’s really cool about this spotter guide is that it illustrates like a million cars due to participate in the 24 hour race around the Nordschleife and I will be a very happy camper blue flagging the crap out of most of those cars to facilitate the faster cars making it through the turn on the bridge in Adenau and up the hill past post #120 quickly and safely.
Unlike other endurance races like the 24h of Le Mans, N24h has many more classes of cars racing than just the 3 major types within WEC with a possible new class introduced soon including: (P1HY, P1, P2, (P3?), GT-Pro, GTPro-Am). The most interesting cars to me will be the SP9’s which are the FIA GT3 equivalent, and the SP10’s which are the SRO GT4 equivalent. But basically there are four classes (VLN Production, VLN Special, Group H (historic) and Cup classes) that are further broken down based on engine and fuel capacity. Read up on the classes on the VLN web site which is the sanctioning body that organizes this race weekend: http://www.vln.de/en/info/spectators/division-into-classes.html
Last year I was very keen to see the Lexus LF-A cars race as well as the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, BMW Z4 GT3, Audi R8 LMS, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Porsche GT3 R, Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, Audi TT RS and Seat Leon Supercopa.
This year I’m looking forward to seeing those above as well as the Bentley Continental GT3, and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhouse SCG003C. I’m surprised that the McLarens decided not to return.
and a bunch of other cars. I genuinely cannot wait to be trackside!
Oh and as far as WTCC goes, only 4 different cars including Honda Civic, Citroën C-Elysée, Lada Sport Vesta and a Chevy Cruze. I don’t anticipate there to be much lapping in this support race, but I am excited to finally see them in the flesh.