Nurburgring 24 Hour Race 2011

‘Ring-date 8/6/2011

After the sweet success of 2010 when the two Hondas came home 1st and 2nd  in class, Kiwi Team Nurburgring is about to embark the 2011 campaign to bring the trophies back to New Zealand again.

The team this year is reduced in numbers by the decision not to take up a lease for a 3rd car as in 2009 and 2010, when an Audi RS4 was rented from Gotz Motorsport. This means there are only 8 driving slots this year and luckily for me, I’m one of them!

The other drivers are, from last year, Brian McGovern (team manager), Mark Corbett, Rod Hicks, Ali Taylor and from previous campaigns, Mike Eady, Jeff Lowery and Dean Cockerton. The team is staying at the usual manor – the Wald Hotel in Jammeslhofen, about 10kms from the track and a really relaxing and friendly establishment. Good food and plenty of flowing German hospitality. Ah, the German beer, I remember it well…………..

With the scare on at the moment over veges in Europe I guess it’ll be bratwurst, schnitzel and cheese washed down with an appropriate imbibment 😉

The race this year is on  Sat 25th-Sun 26th June with practice and qualifying on Thursday 23rd (my birthday – what a present!) and Friday 24th.

I feel particularly lucky to be going this year, as the team is not receiving a dispensation, as in previous years, from the regulations re driver qualification. If this had been the case last year I wouldn’t have been able to enter this event at all!

The regs state that drivers must have either competed in the 24 Hour race within the last 5 years OR have competed in 3 endurance races at the Nordschleife in the last 5 years. If enforced this will make it very difficult for drivers in NZ and Australia to qualify if they have not been on the event before. In fact last year 5 out of the 8 Honda drivers were in their first event.

My travel plans are kicked into action tomorrow when I fly out to Amsterdam to a conference until next Tuesday. I then plan to tour the World War 1 battlefields of southern Belgium and northern France for a few days before meeting Lynette who flies into Frankfurt on the next Saturday. She then spends the next 4 days visiting with her sister Angela in Tubingen, south of Stuttgart rather than being a motorsport widow while we prep the cars and drivers at the Nurburgring! She comes to Jammelshofen in time for the start of the race meeting on Thursday.

After catching up with her in Frankfurt I travel to Nurburg on Sunday morning, straight to Rent Race Car and pick up a RenaultSport Clio Cup for an afternoon re-familiarisation at the Nordschleife – can’t wait. The GT5 sim of the track is very good, but there’s nothing like the real thing!

I’ll try and keep this blog as up to date as I can. Not sure what internet access I’ll have yet……..

The KTN website (not updated yet) is at ktn.co.nz, where you can also get links to the team Facebook and Twitter sites as well as other links.

Cheers

Greg

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6 responses

8 06 2011
david o'neill

greg – good luck. drive fast and well.

dave

8 06 2011
Matty

Good luck mate, we’ll be thinking of you flying over those blind crests at warp speed!

9 06 2011
Aidan O'Donnell

Good luck Greg! Gran Turismo is the closest I can come to what you’re doing! Hope you enjoy every mile of it. A.

16 06 2011
Sarah and Phil

Enjoy every lap 🙂 Good luck .

16 06 2011
Ewen

Only a week to your birthday. Hope you’re having the best time. I’m wearing a T-Shirt here in Queenstown as the winter stays away, and the tourists, because flights are grounded due to Chile’s volcano. That was your worry last year from Iceland if I recall 🙂 Everybody in Christchurch is ok, but more shaken than usual. Do us proud bro!

Lil’ Bro

26 06 2011
Liz Phillips

Have read the blogs and hope all goes well, go get em Team NZ

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