I wanted to go to Nürburgring for a very long time. In 2014 I even accredited to the same 24h race, but was unable to go. This time everything went smoothly and I experienced what is the toughest 24h race in the world.
It’s hard in general, so when heavy showers, hail and fog hits the track – it all ads up.
I was able to make sunny pictures only during the morning training.
After morning practice it was time for the WTCC. I will make a separate post about them later on.
Now it was time for the main race. Preparations were in full swing.
When you’re on a pitlane, you quickly learn to distinguish between different sounds: one type of siren means that a car is moving through the pits, other siren means that mechanics can start working on the cars and so on. It’s very important, especially when the area is crowded like this:
At this time, grid was full of VIPs, media, grid girls and teams
This guy won the award for being the most stylish mechanic
Drivers were also preparing, some were getting in the mood, others were communicating with fans
Here is Marco Wittmann, Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus waiving to the BMW fans
Edward Sandström is an experienced race car driver, he knew that weather will become a bit more wet, so he took a towel with him. He didn’t know yet that their team will be the top finisher for Audi.
Without further ado, green flag was waved and racing started!
GT3 class quickly made some ground on slower ones
It is a marathon, but still you want to be in front
Already after 3 laps top guys were catching the ones at the back
But just under 1 hour of racing the red flag was waved and racing stopped
I saw that far away there was a scary thunder cloud, but I didn’t understood that it was already bringing weather to some parts of Nordschleife. Marshals said that it was a hail storm out there and that cars couldn’t move at all on slick tires. I guess if you’re a fan of motorsport, you already saw numerous videos about it.
Race was restarted in three hours, it was still raining, fog was thickening, but the show must go on
Cars made two laps before the safety car went away
At this moment it was hard for me to move from one location to another, because 200 000 fans were doing the same thing, traffic jams were noticeable, but nevertheless, after 30-40 minutes I was on the other side of the track, just before the big straight.
Here I want to say few nice words about the Subaru STI Team. Guys made an awesome job, car was looking plucky, you really wanted to cheer for them
I was never blinded by lights so many times in my life as it was here at Nürburgring 24h race.
Before it became really dark I went to Brunchen, one of the famous corners of “Green Hell”
Camera doesn’t do justice to the fog that was on the track, it was heavier than camera with a polariser shows.
I knew that there was at least a bottle of Red Bull still in me, so I went somewhere, where they had lights, it was completely dark at this point. Time was just after midnight.
It was noticeable that drivers are becoming less sharp also
Top class cars have yellow lights, just to see them a bit early if you’re in a hatchback
It’s also hard to see anything through the camera and focusing on the lights is not ideal
Teams were trying to rest as well
Taking every moment to rest their eyes or just sit down
At this point, I also came back to the car I slept for few hours. Early morning was the best time to go to places that I wasn’t able to visit earlier. Roads were completely free. I decided that I will check few corners before the Karusell and then take a small hike to the famous turn itself.
On the map it seemed that I will need to walk at least 40 minutes, to get to the big Karusell turn, but when I parked at the end of the road, marshal told me that they allow media to drive a bit further into the woods, so luckily I needed to make only a 10 minute walk.
There were only two supercars on the track, both Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003
In the end, I came back to the pits for some action, met my personal favourite team. Team STI finished 1st in their class and 20th overall.
Some pits were quiet, others were crowded
Stress got into some of them
Others were making them selves entertained
Some were busy at work
Actually, most were busy and so was I.
Mercedes put on a great show and last 20 minutes of the race were so tense that I just watched the stream. Number 4 Mercedes (Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger) were quickly closing down on team’s HTP Motorsport Mercedes that was forced to make a fuel stop on the final lap of the race. White Mercedes AMG GT3 #4 made a move and after 133 laps of racing took the top spot.