Featured: GALLERY: Camping, Racing, And Caffeinating At The Nürburgring For 24 Hours

GALLERY: Camping, Racing, And Caffeinating At The Nürburgring For 24 Hours

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
March 23, 2020
2 comments

Photography by Alex Sobran

The full version of this story appeared in the Petrolicious Drive Tastefully Magazine, issue #3. Previous issues of the magazine can be found here for purchase, but please note that shipping may be delayed. 

To the men who built it between 1925 and 1927, it was an economically stimulating series of ditches that needed digging. To the Germans who took refuge in its grandstands and hotels during the Second World War, it was a temporary bomb shelter and military hospital. To the M4 Sherman tank battalions of the United States’ 11th Armored Division, it was a curious pitstop on the way to the Rhine. To anyone who’s competed on it, it is the ultimate test. To the Tartan-helmeted Scot who aced it often, it was hell.

Upon its completion nearly a century ago, a contest was held to give it an official identity. Making a weak case for Teutonic creativity, the suggestion that stuck simply took the name of the region’s medieval castle and tacked “ring” to the end. But beyond a similarly uninspired description of “long, dangerous race track,” there is no consensus on what the Nürburgring is in less objective terms. Characterizations of the place, its function, its role, its impact, they change drastically depending on perspective.

There are countless interpretations of the ‘Ring already, but the day-long endurance race held there each summer provides an irresistible opportunity to come up with a few more, especially compared to a typical day of tourists fahrten around in the family Volkswagen.

The überRennen, the 24 Hours, is held on the 15.5 combined miles of the connected Nordschleife and Grand Prix layouts. Almost 200 cars jockey around the undulating megalith of a circuit in an anachronistic mix of modern machinery and infamous, hallowed ground, but the competition is not the only spectacle that defines this race weekend. For in a neat example of entertainment on the meta level, the spectators put on an equally intriguing show in the grass and mud in the course of their efforts to watch the one taking place on the asphalt and concrete. Unfortunately the coronavirus situation has pushed the 2020 race to September, so fans like us will have to wait and mull through our memories in the meantime. We hope you enjoy our look at the 2019 edition below.

The full version of this story appeared in the Petrolicious Drive Tastefully Magazine, issue #3. Previous issues of the magazine can be found here for purchase, but please note that shipping may be delayed. 

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Harv Falkenstine
Harv Falkenstine

Camped there as a teenager watching the 1000k races in the early 1970s. Schwalbenschwanz area, even though it was the end of May, it got pretty cold. Many famous drivers in that race Vic Elford, Jo Sieffert, Pedro Rodriguez and Gijs Lennep to name a few.

Wally Flatfour
Wally Flatfour

I think it will be cancelled or driven later this year, like all major sport events. Corona has a good grip on our daily life; I personally will avoid all crowds till late this year. I don’t want to be sick.