03.06.2021

Curtain up for the race of the year

• Four days of action with 24h race, FIA WTCR and more racing highlights

• Tickets available: stands open for spectators on the Grand Prix circuit

• Just a few tickets remaining for Saturday - plenty of capacity on all other days

• Comprehensive reporting with live feed and on NITRO in free TV

The ADAC TOTAL 24h race from 3rd to 6th June 2021 will be a summit meeting for world-class drivers: the impressive starting field with 125 vehicles includes two dozen race cars that have been registered in the classes that will be battling for victory. They will be driven by the crème de la crème of GT racing, dispatched to compete for the top teams by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. Some extremely strong privateer teams will also be in action and there will hardly be another GT race in this season boasting such a diverse, top-class line-up. However, the thrilling battles will not be restricted to the top of the field on the longest, loveliest and most legendary racetrack in the world – the combination of Nordschleife and Grand Prix circuit at the Nürburgring extends for over 25 km. In total, more than 400 drivers will be fighting for wins, and seconds, throughout all the classes. The two races in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) will be the second highlight of the weekend: the strong starting field will be gathering at the Ring for the first time this season and, ahead of the opening race, everyone is excitedly waiting to discover which team was able to make best use of the winter break. Spectators are welcome in the stands: tickets are available for selected stands on the Grand Prix circuit, each of which will be at about half capacity. Strict hygiene plan regulations will be in effect. Only a few tickets are still available for Saturday, but there are plenty to choose from on all other days for the event. Advance ticket sales are taking place online under www.nuerburgring.de. If you would like to watch the race at home, just head on over to the NITRO channel on free TV: the Cologne-based broadcaster will be showing the race live and in full. An internet live stream will also be available from Thursday onwards. This will be broadcast on YouTube (youtube.com/24hnbr) and can also be watched on the official homepage – together with news, results, live timing and a comprehensive race ticker. The address is: www.24h-rennen.de.

Races on the Nordschleife gave the teams three opportunities this year to cross swords ahead of the 24h race. A Porsche topped the standings in both Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) races and in the 24h qualification race one month ago. “Our preparations in ‘Grello’ from Manthey-Racing went well,” confirms Kévin Estre, who won the NLS opener in the Porsche 911 GT3 R. “We were fast at the other events too. We have got a car to be reckoned with.” Alongside his team-mates, the world-class driver is clearly aiming to claim the 13th win for the team from Weissach, which would be his first 24h triumph at the Ring. “Back to the Nürburgring for the 24h race at last,” says a thrilled Estre. “I was unable to participate last year. Out of an abundance of caution, Porsche decided not to send any Le Mans participants to the Eifel. Which means that I am looking forward to the event even more.”

Frikadelli Racing are favourites, Rowe Racing the defending champions

Porsche driver Frédéric Makowiecki, whose Frikadelli Racing team are regarded as favourites after wins in the second NLS race and in the qualification race, adds: “It is one of the finest and toughest races on the planet, so I look forward to it even more each time. This year, we are extremely well-prepared as we come into the race. The last two appearances on the Nordschleife went perfectly.” However, Porsche is certainly not the only potential winner. Porsche, BMW and Audi have shared the pole positions this season. This fact alone is evidence that other teams are performing at the same level. Victory for Rowe Racing at last year’s 24h race showed why BMW now tops the overall statistics for the best brands at the endurance classic, with 20 wins. “We are proud to be able to head to this race as defending champions,” says a delighted Rowe team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf. “Having the #1 on the car is really special.” And the follow-up to the successful BMW M6 GT3, with which the BMW teams will be competing, is already in the starting gate. The team from Munich are using the 24h race to officially introduce the BMW M4 GT3, which is to continue the GT success story from next year.

The cars that dreams are made of

Plenty of others want to get involved in the battle of the German premium manufacturers. The Phoenix team has led the way with the Audi R8 LMS this year, securing two podium finishes already. Mercedes-AMG also has some ambitious goals. “After the weather conditions led to the postponement of the first NLS race of the season, we missed out on the chance to get some important kilometres of testing under our belts on the Nordschleife. Of course, this does have an effect on our preparations for the 24h race,” summarises Maro Engel, who will be making a double appearance in two Mercedes-AMG GT3s for the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT. His prediction: “The level of performance among all participants will once again be very high, which is why we will be giving our all ahead of the race to ensure that we can compete for overall victory all the way to the finish line. We are all looking forward so much to the event.” And let's not forget the privateer and “exotic” teams, who would dearly love to influence the balance of power: these include the Ferrari 488 GT3s, who have some experience of leading the field. The Swiss octane 126 team started the 24h qualification race from third place on the grid and was then able chalk up some kilometres in the lead. Lamborghini is also represented in the top class – as well as the spectacular SCG004c sports car from Glickenhaus Racing. That sports car will be joined in this year’s 24h race by a second enthralling vehicle: a hypercar from the small, high-quality factory belonging to American James Glickenhaus. The racer will be on view for a demo lap on Saturday afternoon (5th June), during the grid line-up for the 24h race. Another very special demo lap will take place on Friday evening before Top Qualifying. That is when Johannes Scheid, one of the most successful team principals at the 24h race, will return to the track. He will be sitting in an accurate replica of the BMW M3 “Eifelblitz”, which has been constructed by BMW M Motorsport over the past few months. He will be driving a lap in honour of Sabine Schmitz, who passed away this year. In 1996 and 1997, she became the first woman to top the podium at the 24h race - both times as a team-mate of Johannes Scheid, who also competed with the BMWs for his team.

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