WTCC Race of Germany - 26-28/05/2016
Germany returned to the WTCC calendar last year for the first time since 2011. However, gone was relatively-tame-in-comparison Oschersleben and in its place came the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, complete with its daunting 25.378-kilometre lap and 64 mostly heart-stopping corners. Supporting the famous ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen, the event produced two dramatic contests with Yvan Muller beating race-one winner José María López to race-two glory by 0.173s, the closest finish in the 2015 WTCC. This year’s event will feature a split grid with the FIA European Touring Car Cup drivers joining their WTCC counterparts on track for the two three-lap encounters.
1: The original Nordschleife opened in 1927 and was combined with the Südschleife at a length of 28.265 kilometres to hold the Eifelrennen events for bikes and cars.
2: Following on from the grands prix of the late 1920s, the 1931 German GP was held solely on the Nordschleife over a lap distance of 22.8 kilometres. Achille Varzi won in a Bugatti T51.
3: The adjacent Nürburgring Grand Prix track was opened in 1984 and also combines with the Nordschleife to hold the annual ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen, or the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
4: Germany shares borders with nine other countries – Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
5: Germany is Europe’s second largest beer consumer – Germans drank 2.55 billion gallons of beer in 2012, the lowest level since the reunification in 1990, but that’s still more than anyone else in Europe apart from the Czechs. There are more than 1200 breweries producing over 5000 brands of beer.
FLASHBACK 2015 (14-16 MAY)
José María López became the first driver since Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in 1983 to win a world championship race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife after claiming victory in the opening WTCC Race of Germany – and then very nearly made it two wins from two in the second event. Starting 10th for race two, the defending WTCC champion charged through the pack in a dramatic contest to close to within 0.173 seconds of Citroën team-mate Yvan Muller crossing the finishing line following a thrilling slipstream battle for glory. The WTCC was making its first appearance on the 25-kilometre layout, which combines the modern Grand Prix Circuit and the legendary Nordschleife loop. López blasted into the lead at the start of race one and remained out in front on the back of an impressive display as fellow front-row starter Hugo Valente hit trouble, eventually crashing out on lap two. Sébastien Loeb kept up his chase of López in the battle for WTCC title success with second place at the iconic Eifel mountain venue, while four-time champion Muller made it an all-Citroën podium, as Norbert Michelisz took fourth for Honda and the Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy spoils. Tiago Monteiro led away from pole in the reverse grid second race but was unable to fend off Muller on the two-kilometre-long Döttinger Hohe straight on lap one. Monteiro remained latched to Muller only for López to drag ahead on the final lap, having slipstreamed Gabriele Tarquini for third seconds earlier. The dramatic action was broadcast live on television around the world and thrilled the thousands of fans watching trackside. Elsewhere, local ace Sabine Schmitz became the first female to score a WTCC point when she finished 10th in race one on her maiden appearance in the series.Official Website
Name: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Location: Otto-Flimm-Straße, 53520 Nürburg, Germany
Length: 25.378 kilometres
Lap record (qualifying): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée) 8m37.327s (176.60kph), 15/05/15
Lap record (race): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 8m40.688s (175.40kph), 16/05/15
WTCC RACE OF GERMANY WINNERS
2015: Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée)
2011: R1: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Franz Engstler (BMW 320)
2010: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320)
2009: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2008: R1: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320); R2: Félix Porteiro (BMW 320)
2007: R1: Yvan Muller (SEAT León); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2006: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Jörg Muller (BMW 320)
2005: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Alex Zanardi (BMW 320)
WTCC RACE OF GERMANY VENUES
2015-Present: Nürburgring Nordschleife