Aside from fog, crashes, Aston Martin launches and biblical amounts of rain, what else happened at the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hours?[Not a valid template]
A while ago I learnt something about the Bathurst 1000 – or more specifically the spectators at the Bathurst 1000 – which seemed both ridiculous and genius in equal measure. At the event itself, there was a limit on how many ‘beverages’ (for the sake of our Middle East readers I’ll leave it at that) they were allowed to take in with them, the fear being that the resultant merriment would soon get out of hand. To get around this, fans would head to the Mount Panorama Circuit a month or two before the Bathurst 1000 and bury the supplies they needed. Once the race was underway, these same fans would unearth their buried treasure and enjoy the weekend as they had originally intended.
That story pops to mind as I stand here in the Adenau Forest, the Nurburgring basking in my camera lens. I doubt I’ve been anywhere and seen passion for motor racing quite like this: it is absolutely mental.
Try to imagine if you will a rain soaked music festival, and the mud, tents, loud music and sleep/shower deprived people that entails. Now take that image and throw in possibly the most famous and dangerous racetrack in the world. Only then can you start to understand the type of spectacle that is the Nurburgring 24 Hours. There really is no racing event like it.
The event starts almost one week prior to the event. Fans arrive at the circuit to set up camp, lining the fences around the Nordscliefe with their motorhomes and tents. By the time qualifying kicks off on the Saturday, the party is already in full swing. The surrounding area already looks akin to a weeklong music festival: even some of the cars have battle scares from a few brushes with the Green Hell.
Walking the pits you soon begin to realize the magnitude of this event. Each pit box is crowded with up to five race cars and each car has about 30 team members. The pits are just a circus, and I find myself constantly tripping over cables, tools and fuel lines, constantly being bumped left and right as I try to get a good shot and at the same time stay clear of the mayhem that is transpiring all around. I can only wonder what it must be like navigating on-track with 155 other cars if there’s this kind of mayhem on pitroad alone.