12h Nürburgring: a new challenge

The premiere of the 12h Nürburgring from 9 to 11 September will be a new highlight in the calendar of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. Plenty of entertainment for spectators on and off the track will go along with a completely new challenge for teams and drivers. While the fans are camping at the Nordschleife, the team principals are facing the demanding task of finding the right and accurate strategy for the two-part race of six hours each on Saturday and Sunday.

“The 12h Nürburgring will be a challenge, particularly in terms of tactics,” says Daniel Sorg, team principal of Sorg Rennsport. The team from Wuppertal is represented in the NLS in different classes with up to eight vehicles from the BMW and Porsche brands. “The most important thing will be to achieve the best possible position for the restart.” According to Sorg, the most important thing is moreover an excellent preparation in the run-up to the race: “Race cars have become more and more reliable in the past few years. There are hardly any technical faults nowadays. Nevertheless, every car has its Achilles’ heel. A 12h race is more than just a double-header or a 6h race. We will keep a very meticulous eye on the running times of individual components and in the end prepare our cars almost as we would before the Nürburgring 24h race.” Sorg fully supports the concept of the 12h Nürburgring: “It’s going to be a huge party – a real highlight in the NLS. And with the parc fermé regulations during the night, we can still have a nice cold drink in a relaxed atmosphere with the whole team and our guests on Saturday evening and continue racing on Sunday morning after a good night’s sleep.”

The event character is also appreciated by Vincent Kolb, who will contest the 2022 NLS season together with Frank Stippler in the Audi R8 LMS of Phoenix-Racing. “It was already really nice at the first NLS races to have spectators back at the track,” says the 27-year-old. “That makes driving so much more fun. And I think that with camping at the Nordschleife during the 12h Nürburgring, the atmosphere will be even better.” From the Audi driver’s point of view, it all depends on the restart phase: “The most important thing is that the drivers manage to get the tyres and brakes properly up to temperature before things really get going again.” On Sunday morning, the cars will be sent into the race in the time intervals in which they were waved off on Saturday evening. Code 60 will apply on the entire circuit until all the cars have started from the pit lane – only from that moment will they be allowed to start racing. “Race Control has really put a lot of thoughts into this point so that there is no queuing up,” says Kolb. ” If a vehicle is for example going slower than 60 km/h, you are allowed to pass it.”

For Marcel Hoppe, who competes in Cup2 with Mühlner Motorsport, it is a great moment to be part of the premiere. “History will be made at the beginning of September and we are at the start,” he says. “I believe that the 12h Nürburgring is a successful concept.” The biggest challenge is to keep tension and concentration. “You have to use your head in every race at the Nordschleife, but in a 12h race even a bit more. After all, once you have completed Part 1 on Saturday, you also have to complete Part 2 on Sunday without making any mistakes. Compared to the Double Header, where the cars could be rebuilt overnight, you have to be careful with the material here. If you manage to do that, you can achieve a top position.

During the 12h Nürburgring, fans have the opportunity to set up their camp at the Brünnchen from Thursday to Sunday. The camping area is well equipped with toilets, showers, water supply and lighting. Individual tickets for camping are available online as well as tickets for the big “Back to the 90s” party, which will rock the ring°arena on Saturday evening with Masterboy & Beatrix Delgado, Candela Squad, Caught in the Act, Loona and Mütze Katze. And also during the day, there is a lot going on next to the race track. Exhibitions presented by BMW M and the Porsche Club Nürburgring, the Haribo Road Show and the RPR1.Livemobile make a visit to the ring°boulevard and the ring°carré a must. Fans can then experience the protagonists up close during the long pitwalk with autograph session of all participants and the starting grid. Tickets are available online at www.vln.de/tickets.