Drivers Republic is racing in the greatest 24-hour race of them all. No, not Le Mans (although we’ll be there as well, though sadly not in a driving capacity) but the ADAC 24-hours at the Nürburgring, on May 24th and 25th.
Held on a combination of the modern GP circuit and the scary old Nordschleife creating a hugely challenging lap of more than 14-miles, the N24 is contested by 210 cars. Nowhere will you see such a diverse and disparate cross-section of cars and drivers, with everything from highly developed GT3 Porsches, BMWs and Aston Martins driven by professional racers to humble hot hatches and ageing saloons steered by intrepid amateurs.
And DR will be in the thick of it, bringing you a complete picture of this classic, chaotic race, with stint-by-stint updates in our Dialogue section, regularly updated images in the gallery and – once the dust has settled – an in-depth feature and video on what is guaranteed to be an epic race.
It has been an increasing source of amusement in the DR office that as the race draws closer, so Jethro Bovingdon gets paler and more nervous. The reason? He’s making his N24 debut in one of the most unusual cars in the race: a new Fiat 500. Built from a bare bodyshell by German race team Engstler, and is sponsored by the Italian tyre company Marangoni, the little Fiat musters a rousing 120bhp – approximately 400bhp less than the cars battling for outright victory. With just a few weeks left to go and the paint still wet, Engstler’s baby is poised to undergo shakedown testing at the Nordschleife, where particular attention will be paid to perfecting the set-up of the rear-view mirror. Allegedly.
I’m hoping he’ll be scanning it regularly for a certain bright green Aston Martin Vantage N24, for that’s the car I’ll be racing, alongside Aston Martin’s CEO, Ulrich Bez and test drivers Chris Porritt and Wolfgang Schubauer. At the time of writing, fellow DR writer Chris Harris was still sniffing around for a drive. Much as it pains me to admit, as a former N24 class winner and regular VLN competitor, Harris is no mean driver at the Nordschleife, so it would be great to see him driving something. Just so long as it isn’t quicker than the Aston…
One thing’s for sure; we’ll be sharing the track with some amazing cars and illustrious drivers. Amongst the rest of the 300-strong field hoping to qualify are some intriguing entries. In a surprise move Lexus has entered one of its LF-A supercar prototypes, while former F1 ace Heinz-Harald Frentzen is driving a hybrid-power Gumpert Apollo. VW is fielding a pair of Scirocco coupes, one driven by none other than WRC legend, Carlos Sainz, and Sport Auto’s Ringmeister Horst Von Saurma is driving an Audi R8.
Live the most gruelling endurance race of them all. Only with DR!