We all love driving the Nürburgring, whether it’s in public sessions, trackdays or races. But, let’s be honest for a moment, it’s the racing that makes the history. Without real racing, a circuit is just a road.
And if you’ve ever wondered how you should go about taking that next step, how you could enter, compete and even win a race, then this is the page for you.
There’s a lot of racing at the Nürburgring each year, but only certain events and championships actually take to the old 20.8km Nordschleife. Here are the ones you can realistically enter. And yes, this makes iRacing seem like even better value than ever before!
Here’s a very brief guide to it all.
- Bring your racing license
- Choose a race
- Nordschleife Permit
- Bring your own car, or Arrive’n’Drive
As you may have noticed, every racer needs a license. Each country has its own FIA-affiliated club which you can join. They have their own prices, rules and regulations, all approved by the FIA.
• UK – Start with an MSA training course, a practical test then get your National B. You’ll need six results to get to National A. Then another six at three different circuits to get Int C.
• DE – German residents can do a DMSB approved training course to get National A. Then five top 50% results in a National event to get your Int C upgrade.
• USA – SWE – BE – NO – FIN – DK – FR – IT – CH – AUT ? (let us know in the comments below!)
|Series name||Minimum license||Nordschleife Permit||Details||Entry Information|
|Youngtimer||FIA Int. D||B or A||The Youngtimer Trophy comes to the 'Ring four times a year, and the old Nordschleife three times. While historic cars don't need the permit, the youngtimers do. Cars with more than 4.5kg-per-HP need a B, others need an A.||• 2016 YT Calendar
• License Requirements
|RCN||National A||No||Time Trial and regularity rest over a 15-lap race. Can be split between 2 drivers. Eight events per year, no permit required. Ninth event is a 3-hour endurance race and needs a permit!||• R-C-N|
|VLN||FIA Int. D||B or A||Ten races per year, four hours each. One race is a six-hour event. Permits required, either B or A depending on your car.||• VLN.de|
|N24||FIA Int. C||A||The big one! Every competitor needs an FIA Int. C license and the full Permit A||• 24h-information.de|
|WTCC||FIA Int. A||Compulsory testing day||If you've got a WTCC drive, you're probably not reading this guide.|
The permit is something you’ll need for most races at the Nürburgring. It’s an indicator of a drivers experience, and split into B and A grades. The B allows you to drive slower cars while the A allows you to drive any car.
You can get your permit either through a training course (for International C holders), or by racing in RCN. Learn more about the 2016 rules in my article here. There’s also the official DMSB rules translated to English in a PDF just here.
You need different gear in every country, but to race the Nordschleife you basically need everything. To start with; FIA approved pants, socks, undergarments, suit, balaclava and gloves. Secondly your helmet will need a neck-restraint too. Whether that’s a HANS or a Simpson is up to you. But they’re compulsory.
Lastly most teams require you to have a communication headset too.
I’m not going to explain how to build an N24 or VLN car, sorry. But I can explain how most of us race the VLN and RCN – arrive and drive.
When you consider how diverse the grid is, with drivers from all over the world, it’s no surprise that in VLN the arrive’n’drive option is often the most popular option.
How does it work? Local (and sometimes not so local) teams build cars, then charge drivers either per race, or per seat in the car. This year I’m embedded in the Manheller Racing team and able to offer seats in cars like the BMWs above (E36 M3, E46 M3 and E90 325i) from around €1750 per driver in an RCN or from €2500 in the VLN.
You can contact me below, if you’d like to know more.