Nurburgring 24-Hour gets ‘Qualifying Race’ for 2014

Next year’s Nürburgring 24-Hour race (N24) on June 21st/22nd will have a strange precursor, by way of a qualifying race on April 5th/6th.

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April would have been a weekend of testing, but to incentivise the bigger teams to turn out and put on a show for media and fans, organisers will decide 10 of the top 30 individual time-trial places for N24 by participation in the April event.

They don’t say what 10 spots or how it will work, but no doubt many Porsche teams will run. Whatever the weather, April is a good opportunity to give young Porsche VLN chargers and overseas runners some day and night Nürburgring track time, in less pressured conditions than the full-on madness of N24.

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“To make sure that the teams will be able to complete as many laps as possible, we will interrupt the practice sessions with short breaks to tow damaged cars back to the paddock,” says Walter Hornung, Race Director of the ADAC Zurich 24h-Race and motorsport head of the organisers, ADAC Nordrhein. “Teams can also practice driving in the dark on this weekend, underlining our efforts to increase the safety for the 24-Hour competitors.”

Running the evening practice and two stints in the six-hour qualifying race will guarantee permission to contest N24. This may be what ultimately encourages a most useful turnout, without the mad traffic of the bigger event. I’ve pencilled it in for next year, and remind you that June is a mad month for motorsport, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14-15, followed by N24 the following weekend, and Classic Le Mans two weeks after that. Those who live under the thumb may struggle to decide what to do!

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I’m interested to hear your plans for next June. I might watch Le Mans on TV for the all-over coverage, but N24 is a must-do for me. You’ll find the Cayenne in Car Park 3!

Here’s a brilliant reminder of the mesmerising Nürburgring 24-Hour from our friends at Falken Tyres Europe. Half an hour of genius video, featuring great quotes from the drivers. “Nürburgring is like no other racetrack in the world,” says Peter Dumbreck, “and the race itself is like no other race I’ve taken part in. There’s no pomp to it and no-one’s treated specially: it invites the crowd right next to the drivers and right next to the cars. Fantastic.”

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