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Nürburgring 24h Race 2009

May 28th, 2009 - Lifestyle
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Endurance racing has two big 24h events in Europe, Le Mans of course and then the one raced at the ultimate racing track – Nürburgring 24h Race. This race has 200 cars driving combined GP and Nordschleife track and trying to stay alive for full 24 hours. We visited this event this year the first time and here is our story.

It seems that there are two types of visitors in this event. The ones that really are there for the race and the cars and the ones that threat this as a huge outdoor festival where music is provided by racecar engines. At the GP track area it’s very easy to follow the race and visit the pit area, have some food and drinks and look the race from the Mercedes’ big screen. Then around the Nordschleife you have huge tents, grills, towers etc built by the partypeople. The smoke from the charcoal grills will quickly make you clothes smell like barbeque food.

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We watched the pratice runs at Hatzenbach, but decided to follow rest of the race mostly from the GP track. Weather was excellent, which is not usual at Nürburgring. Race started in sunny conditions and there was huge fight between the Manthey Porsche #1 and the Fort GT. Ford seemed to be quicker on the GP track and on the Nordschleife it could block the Porsche nicely. Unfortunately the fight ended with the Ford spinning at Nordschleife. Audi had decided to bring the R8 and was really trying to get win from this event. They had 4 cars with big names on the driver’s seat like Stuck, Abt, Basseng, Stippler, Ekström. Before the night was coming Audi had taken place number 1 with the car #99 and after watching the race until 01:30 we decided to head back to the hotel and wake up early.

In the morning we checked the status from DSF TV how the situation had escalated during the night. Dry weather meant there weren’t too many accidents and Audi seemed to lead still.

When getting back to the GP track there was action rightaway. Audi #99 had engine problems and Manthey Porsche took the lead again. Also Porsche #2 was gaining ground but had to pit in to change a driveshaft. So it was now clear that Manthey might take the win again if every would go as planned. And it did. Check the full results from the official site.

My personal favorite was the #69 Z4M, which in the matt black format was looking just like a challenger should. They finished 10th overall.

Enjoy our photos from the event at our gallery.

2 Responses to “Nürburgring 24h Race 2009”

  1. Ileee Says:

    Excellent pictures. It’s a true joy taking a look at them. I hope to spectate this event in the near future! There is nothing like The Ring.

  2. ml Says:

    It was truly exceptional race this year! Not often the podium battle has been this tight and long lasting. Earlier I’ve followed the race for several years live via internet and it has been always clear that some day this event must be seen live.

    We arrived on Thursday and unfortunately missed the party at Adenau, but I found it good approach to stay there some days before the actual race, as there is so much to see. Also during the practice days it was easier to get good locations for watching the cars at Nordschleife.

    As Pasi said the race was easier to follow from GP track considering that my German skills are pretty much non-existent. My advice is to get some access to live results, either via local radio, TV, VIP areas or Internet. Unfortunately the official live timing did not work in smartphones (I guess it requires Java) and we had some challenge to follow-up overall results after an hour or so. Luckily fellow carfreaks back home reported results for us when needed.. Thanks guys!

    Another thing is traffic. On Saturday there were so many cars around that changing location took over an hour. My advise is to find some other transportation or trying to avoid moving around on Saturday afternoon until midnight. During night it was again more normal as well as on Sunday.

    As always when going to Eifel you should prepare for anything in terms of weather and those concrete built spectator areas at GP track are damn cold until it’s +25 degrees. :) Binoculars are also highly recommended.

    Then there is huge construction works ongoing. These crazy guys are building a very fast rollercoaster ride (200+ kmh) right next to GP track main straight. Also hotels, restaurants etc. I suppose these are pretty much ready by next year – interesting to see what will come out of this…

    For hard core fans I recommend spending time at the pit area as most teams allow close access to cars / drivers. Go there before the race and get to know everything you want to know. When race starts you don’t have time for that really. Also the classic cars were great fun to watch. Never forget the sounds of BMW M1 and those 964 Porsches.

    I think we spent almost 20 hours watching the race alone and it never felt boring. We saw a couple of crashes, tons of overtaking, plenty of good and bad driving action and very close racing. It’s in totally different league in terms of action than Formula 1 and other usual motorsport. Even more 24h race is a true team effort. Think about team mechanics repairing damaged cars somewhere along the Nordschleife and then managing to continue the race! This is what actually happened for #99 Audi R8.

    Ring 24h race is definitely a must-see event for any Ring fan and I’m 100% sure I’m going to see it again.

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