Hopefully you read our preview of Hyundai’s effort at next weekend’s Nürburgring 24-Hour race and are excited to get real-time updates from on the ground in the Nürburgring 24 Hour live thread.
Well, as with most trips we take, we try and squeeze as many editorial projects as we can into each plane flight and expense account meal, because we like to get as much bang for our buck as we can.
So that means some additional exciting editorial exercises have been added to next week’s trip, starting with the fact that I get to pack my helmet for this one.
Race the ‘Ring? Yes, easier than you thought.
I’ll kick off the week by participating in Motorsport-Akademie’s Nürburgring permit program, which combines online learning, classroom sessions, track walks and driving and will result in a permit to compete in competition events at the fabled 13-mile motorsports mecca.
“But, wait, don’t you already have a competition license?” you say, into your computer or mobile device, drawing troubled stares from whoever is sitting next to you. Well, yes, I hold several, but, as Motorsport-Akademie’s Christopher Bartz explains “The Nürburgring doesn’t care what license you have, or if you’re an F1 champion. Before you compete there you must complete their specific training. There are so many special rules, and additional safety measures that the track demands an additional permit.”
Much of the additional requirements stem from the unique configuration of the track that puts a premium on driver knowledge to ensure safety. And Bartz puts it “The track is very narrow [24 feet wide in most areas, which is narrower than the gates an many national-level autocrosses], and there are cars competing with very different speed potential. Most of the incidents actually occur between cars in different classes during passing.”
As an interesting side note, you may recall my story from the February 2016 issue detailing my running in the 2015 edition of the RCN Nürburgring Time Trial series.
[Lord of the ‘Ring: How You Can Go Race at the Nürburgring]
In that story, I mentioned one of the more foreign elements of the competition was being at a race track and only seeing a single Miata. As it turns out, that lone NC-chassis MX-5 was driven by Motorsport-Akademie’s Christopher Bartz. So you know he’s cool.
Back to the licensing process, the…
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