Tag Archives: Nurburgring 24h

Postcard from NÜRBURGRING 24H & WTCC on the Nordschleife

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.

nurburgring 24h posten 120

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.

nordschleife adenau breidcheid

nurburgring lada sport wtcc nordschleife

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.

nurburgring pig on a spit post 120

The pig was cool… for sure! I’ve never had anything like that before.

nurburgring pig on a spit breidcheid

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.

nurburgring 24h 2015

nurburgring 24h mercedes sls amg garage

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.

nurburgring 24h team marc vds bmw z4

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.

Spotter Guide for the NÜRBURGRING 24H & WTCC Support Race

Sportscar-Info.de has made a nifty spotter guide for the N24h the weekend of May 16th available for download as a PDF or to be browsed on their web site at:  http://www.sportscar-info.de/portal/index.php/starterlisten/154-starterlistenergebnisse/24-stunden-auf-dem-nuerburgring/4913-24-stunden-auf-dem-nuerburgring-starterliste-2015

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.

sportscar-info-de-spotter-guide
© SportsCar-Info – http://www.sportscar-info.de – redaktion@sportscar-info.de c/o Maximilian Graf – Liebenaustraße 32b – 65191 Wiesbaden – Deutschland Erstellt von: Maximilian Graf – Fotografien: Ralf Kieven

Download your copy here: http://www.sportscar-info.de/portal/index.php/starterlisten/154-starterlistenergebnisse/24-stunden-auf-dem-nuerburgring/4913-24-stunden-auf-dem-nuerburgring-starterliste-2015

According to the spotter guide, there will be 159 cars total:

SPX: 2
SP10: 5
SP9: 31
SP-Pro: 3
SP8T: 4
SP8: 5
SP7: 24
SP6: 5
SP5: 2
SP4T: 3
SP3T: 6
SP3: 12
SP2T: 3
V6: 8
V5: 7
V4: 8
V3: 2
V2T: 2
Cup 1: 4
Cup 5: 16
AT: 6

And based on my own counts, there will be:

8 – Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
7 – Audi R8 LMS
6 – BMW Z4 GT3
3 – Bentley Continental GT3

and a bunch of other cars. I genuinely cannot wait to be trackside!

wtcc fia header nurburgring

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.

More about WTCC drivers here: http://www.fiawtcc.com/drivers/

FIA WTCC
FIA WTCC

Nürburgring 24h Register Now!

Dear friends and colleagues,

The registration process to marshal the ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour in May 2015 has started. Do register now!

While many Europeans have already started receiving their applications, mine has yet to reach the shores of the US of A. Thanks to a fellow marshal from Germany for sharing the news on the Flag Marshals of the World facebook group. Christoph also made the effort to translate the application into English in case your Deutsch is a little rusty.

nurburgring 24h

Do check out the Flag Marshals of the World facebook group for details or get in touch with me directly for the application. And for Christoph’s translation should you require it:

translated application nurburgring 24h
Translated Nürburgring 24h application for ADAC

If you haven’t decided whether or not to consider Nürburgring 24h for your marshaling calendar in 2015, take into account the fact that World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) will be a support race taking place on the legendary Nordschleife. Let that sink in…

…and if that isn’t convincing enough, check out how much fun I had this year:

See you in Germany next May!

 

Nürburgring 24h official page: http://www.24h-rennen.de/

Flag Marshals of the World: facebook.com/groups/91128600751/

UPDATE: On Monday December 8th my invitation/registration application arrived via snail mail. Happy as can be 🙂

Which European Endurance Race Do I Pick?

It’s never too early to start planning events for next year, and even though there are a few major events still left for me to do this year, I’m contemplating the plan of action for the future.

I’m having a really hard time deciding which weekend in Europe to choose, the options are: Nurburgring 24h, Le Mans 24h and Spa 24h. Each event is a month apart with N24h taking place in the middle of May, LM24h in the middle of June and Spa 24h at the end of July. All three events are in the heart of European summer and travel to Europe will be quite pricey. But having done Le Mans a few times, Nurburgring for the first time and visiting Spa in transit, I’d love to volunteer all three events. Which one would you choose?

The way things are going now, I’m fairly sure that whatever event I choose for next year will be the highlight of the year for me. I will explain why. Marshaling in the US has deteriorated into pathetic and depressing experience. There is still no training, and little desire from the powers that be to implement universal training for everyone to work well together, regardless of what each participant’s personal experience is. We bicker and argue over the way things should be done with no meaningful outcome resulting from those heated discussions. No one is focused on a common goal of bettering the role of marshaling for the masses. Instead people push their own agendas. It is laughable that some idiot decided to pursue the issue of COTA issued blue nomex suits as being a problem. Whether fit, comfort or color, whatever the hell the problem was it didn’t particularly please a moron that reached out to COTA and now we must bring our own whites to the event. While this may make sense for some locals it is terribly inconvenient for those of us traveling having to lug more baggage. But it is also an issue of looking professional at the track. With a track issued overall everyone looks the same and therefore professional. By bringing your own whites, the marshaling body will resemble a group of amateurs sporting 50+ shades of white, some wearing jeans and t-shirts while others may throw some orange into the mix and it will really look like COTA scraped the bottom of the barrel just to man the staff for the event. Totally uncool!

While I am bottling that frustration before heading out to the actual event, I’m curious to see what people think I should do next year. I would love to do Le Mans again, but Spa seems like an equally amazing venue that I haven’t experienced yet. And Nurburgring actually pays marshals for participation so that could significantly offset my travel costs.

Share your thoughts please.

nurburgring 5

2014 le mans 2

Nurburgring 24h is 14-17 May 2015

Le Mans 24h is 10-14 June 2015

Spa 24h is 24-26 July, 2015

 

Post Card from Germany, the 24 hours of Nurburgring on the Nordschleife

Greetings from the green hell! My very first and super exciting visit to the Nürburgring. Not only am I at the “Ring” I’m on the Nordschleife for the 24 hour of Nürburgring race… sweeeet!

The Ring is my second official stop on my two week European Road Trip that also included the 24 hours of Le Mans as well as a touristy visit to Spa-Francochamps and Zolder in Belgium.

First impressions of Nürburgring are as expected… WOW! it’s very open to the spectators, it’s huge… but there’s also something very unexpected about my station assignment. I really thought I’ll be in the middle of nowhere, bogged down in the woods, covered in mud with no opportunity to take a shower for days. Nothing could be further from the truth being stationed at Post 120 in Adenau. I found myself literally in a small village, surrounded by civilization. Short walking distance to a small cafe appropriately named: Cafe zur Nurburgring, with a number of other cafe’s and restaurants nearby, several supermarkets and a bunch of spectators that had an excellent view of our corner that involved a sharp turn on a bridge with a steep incline of a hill.

The team couldn’t be any nicer to me. I had a great time socializing with our Belgian and German hosts, paid a visit to the paddock which involved taking several shuttle buses to get to. And even got a ride around the Nordschleife with my post chief. Couldn’t ask for more!

The race was fantastic. There were only two of us on shift, so waving the blue flag was a delight, I got plenty of opportunity to do it. One of our German colleagues on the other shift commented: “You’re very hot for this flag!” …. Yessir I was… I didn’t come to the Ring for camping! 🙂 Pol was fantastic, did all the driving from Le Mans and back to Belgium, and I had an amazing time. Would love to do it again in the future.

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nurburgring 4

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nurburgring 3.5

nurburgring 24h

Triple Endurance Road Trip debrief

It will definitely take more than one post to describe the most amazing trip I have taken to volunteer in recent memory, but I must start the story somewhere… so this is a very high level overview, a teaser if you will, of what happened. And why I would recommend the trip to anyone even remotely interested in motorsports and especially those marshaling!

This summer I was on a trip of a lifetime… an Endurance Marathon that involved the most famous races in the world, the most well known circuits and some of the most challenging sports car series out there. I am of course talking about the Le Mans 24 hours which is by far the biggest race in the world, period. The Nurburgring 24 hours which is perhaps the most famous racetrack in the world that is Nordschelife. And the Six hours at the Glen which proved to be one of the best experiences I had with the Tudor United SportsCar series though one that proved that the Balance of Performance is still out of whack but is getting better with every race, and endurance racing is alive and well in America.

I have also had a chance to visit a new country on my Euro Trip: Belgium and the fantastic cities of Brussels and Bruge. In fact the Road Trip took me through four countries: Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands; Four circuits including Circuit de la Sarthe, the Nordschleife, Nurburgring, and Spa-Francochamps and Zolder in Belgium as a tourist. I flagged the entirety of the six hour race at Watkins Glen followed by a six hour drive home which was awesome. It’s always a pleasure visiting the Seneca Lake region of Upstate New York especially when the home in New Jersey gets unbearably hot.

All in all the last three weeks of my life went by perfectly. I took a lot of pictures that I will be sharing with the readers. Quite a few videos which will undoubtedly get me in trouble. And interviewed some very experienced marshals that I will share with the world of racing enthusiasts on my Marshal Cam facebook page to recruit new volunteers. The three chapters of this story will be published shortly.

Enjoy the read, the photos and the videos!

Le Mans 24h teaser:

le mans 24h

Nurburgring 24h teaser:

nurburgring 24h

Six hours at the Glen unauthorized video:

six hour at the glen