24 Hours of Nurburgring History, Facts & Information

24 Hours of Nurburgring History, Facts & Information

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The 24 Hours of Nurburgring is a German 24-hour annual GT endurance and touring car racing event on the “North Loop” and “Grand Prix track” circuits of Central Germany’s Nürburgring.

Since its inception to GT racing in 1970, over 150 cars and 700 drivers annually feature 25.378-kilometer lap-length.

The race variably bears its official naming partner’s name and is currently known as the “ADAC Total 24 Hour Race,” based on its official naming partner, Total.

Nevertheless, it retains the name “The 24 Hours of Nurburgring,” by its enthusiasts.

The racing event has grown to become one of the world’s most prominent annual racing events in its fifty years of existence, including Le Mans, Daytona, and Spa.

It has also tested racers’ abilities, racing vehicles’ durability, and racing teams’ preparation.

It is recognized as one of the first endurance racing events with a definite racing time (24 hours).

This article covers the 24 Hours of Nurburgring beginnings, its exciting facts, and other peripheral information.

24 Hours of Nurburgring History

The 24 Hours of Nürburgring first occurrence came in 1970 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany, where the German Grand Prix event was hosted in 1927, and many endurance races during the 1960s took place.

The event was initially opened to touring cars at its emergence, with BMW drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck and Clemens Schickentanz winning the event in a 2002 TI model.

The next two events were also crowned by BMW drivers in 2800 CS and 3.0 CSL models. 

In 1974 and 1975, The 24 Hours of Nurburgring endured an oil crisis, which resulted in the cancellation of those years’ events. 

Following the event’s reoccurrence, Porsche drivers Fritz Müller and Herbert Hechler used the 911 Carrera model to sweep the tracks on the next three occasions. 

The early ’80s saw Ford’s Fritz Müller dominate the event with the Ford Escort and Capri for four years to become the events, foremost four-time winner. 

In 1984, BMW returned to the podium’s height for three years and reclaimed it in 1989, following Nordschleife’s reconstruction in 1983. 

BMW missed a first-place finish only once through the last decade of the twentieth century, with the M3 securing the top spot on seven occasions and the 320d becoming the first diesel-powered car to win a 24-hour endurance racing event in 1998. 

Marc Duez claimed a three-time victory between this period of BMW’s dominance, only to emerge winner a fourth time in the century’s last race with a Chrysler Viper GTS-R.

In 2001-02, two-time winner Peter Zakowski claimed third and fourth victories with Pedro Lamy, a five-time winner. 

The following year, Manuel Reuter, Timo Scheider, and Marcel Tiemann earned a win for the Opel brand with the DTM-spec Opel Astra V8 Coupe. 

The BMW M3 led again in 2004 before Porsche’s Marcel Tiemann’s dominance the following four years — Tiemman became the first-ever 24 Hours of Nurburgring five-time winner in 2009. 

In 2010, the BMW M3 GT2 won the race with an Argentinian team and joint five-time winner, Pedro Lamy; the 2010 winning team became the first-ever with Argentine roots. 

The following year, Porsche 997 GT3 Spec RSR won the race, with Timo Bernhard claiming his fifth victory. 

Audi initiated another 24 Hours of Nurburgring dominance, winning four times in six appearances between 2012-2017, with Mercedes disrupting their winning streak on two occasions. 

In 2013, Mercedes claimed their first-ever victory with a Mercedes-AMG GT3, which the Team Black Falcon drove and repeated the same feat three years later. 

In 2018, Porsche 911 GT3 Spec R led the track, while Audi won the event the following year with the R8 LMS Evo. 

In 2018, Laurens Vanthoor completed the 25.4 km track with a Porsche in 8:09 minutes to set a new time record for the fastest lap driven in the 24-hour race. 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a race behind closed doors, with BMW claiming their first win in ten years as Rowe Racing steered the M6 GT3 past the finish line.

24 Hours of Nurburgring Facts & Information

The 24 Hours Nurburgring has been held on 47 occasions since its inception in 1970. 

An oil price crisis prompted its suspension in 1974 and 1975, and it was canceled in 1983 for Nordschleife’s reconstruction.

Nürburgring was officially opened in 1927 as the first “German racing, mountain, and test road.” 

In 1984 The modern Grand Prix circuit was opened in 1984, following Nordschleife’s reconstruction. 

A lap in Nürburgring spawns over 25.4 km, including the 20.8 km Nordschleife and about 5.1 km Grand Prix circuit.

Over 150 vehicles and almost 700 drivers contest in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. 

The highest number of contestants was recorded in 2007, with about 224 cars registered.

Participants must have a license, DMSB Permit Nordschleife to contest in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring event. 

The license certifies a driver’s Nordschleife’s knowledge and awareness of the circuit’s rules. 

The license can be easily gotten from the specially offered training courses. 

A minimum of two and a maximum of four drivers are required in a team. 

However, many teams consist of the maximum amount because of the race’s challenging physical and mental state. 

A driver can be registered under two teams and contest in two vehicles.

The 24 Hours of Nürburgring is one of the most-watched 24-hour endurance races with about 200,000 spectators annually.

In 2018, Laurens Vanthoor completed the 25.4 km track with a Porsche in 8:09 minutes to set a new time record for the fastest lap driven in the 24-hour race.

24 Hours Nurburgring is divided into three starting groups because of the number of vehicles in the 25-kilometer circuit.

Following an accident in 2015 that resulted in a spectator’s death, the track officials introduced a 250-km/h speed limit at the Döttinger Höhe and Schwedenkreuz areas.

Portuguese driver Pedro Lamy and German drivers Marcel Tiemann and Timo Bernhard are the event’s joint-highest winners, with five wins.

Flashing blue light: Vehicles among the top-30 fastest are equipped with the flashing blue light behind the windscreen to avert accidents at night—the car’s blue light signals to alert slower vehicles about its approach from behind.

Seven Brands (BMW, Porsche, Audi, Ford, Mercedes, Chrysler, and Opel) have won the 24 Hours Nurburgring event. 

The BMW and Porsche brands have claimed the highest success in the event’s history, with BMW recording nineteen victories and Porsche, with twelve.

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