Racing lines: Is the Nürburgring the hardest 24 hours of racing? – Gameingnow
A total of 125 cars make up the entry this year, an increase from 96 in 2020, split across 24 sub-classes. Falken’s two Porsches are among 34 top-end GT3 entries, which also include factory-supported teams representing Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. For Germany’s big four, bragging rights about victory at the Nürburgring really count.
“It’s incredible,” says Bachler. “When you haven’t raced there even for a couple of weeks, you can really feel how quick the corners are in your first laps. The track is very narrow, and although we don’t have the top speed we used to, because of rule changes to slow the cars in recent years, the cornering speeds are still amazing.”
Anyone who has sampled the Nordschleife knows the weather is an unescapable factor at the place Sir Jackie Stewart famously dubbed The Green Hell. “You can go from 30deg and sunshine to it raining like hell in one day,” confirms Bachler. “It’s already demanding in dry conditions and takes a lot out of you. Also it can be raining in one area and not at all in another. Rain at night at the Nürburgring, especially with a helping of fog, is the most difficult combination you can get. That’s why it’s the toughest in the world.”
Huff back in WTCR
Before the Nürburgring 24 Hours gets under way on Saturday afternoon, the opening two rounds of the 2021 World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) will play out on the Nordschleife for what has become an annual highlight of the hard-fought tin-top series. And this time, an old favourite will return after a year away to offer a welcome dose of British interest.
Rob Huff, who was World Touring Car champion with Chevrolet in 2012, lost his drive last year when Volkswagen withdrew its factory-blessed motorsport interests for anything that wasn’t electrically powered. But after a season in which he conquered the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC), the 41-year-old is now back where he belongs, driving a Cupra Leon for Hungarian team Zengö.
“Volkswagen’s withdrawal made it very difficult to find a drive that was appealing, doable and sustainable for 2020,” says Huff. “It was the hardest year to stay in the world series, and I was considering, effectively, that being that. We had had a few tough years, and there was the realisation that it could all be over and that I would have to focus on other stuff.