Weekend at the Green Hell: The iRacing Nürburgring 24 Hours 2023

iRacing Nürburgring 24H 2023 Special Event Logo.jpg
Every year, May has some of the greatest events in racing in store: Not only are the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 held every May, the Nürburgring 24 Hours are part of the schedule as well - and this weekend, the virtual version of the endurance classic at the Green Hell is due. We have assembled the key facts.

Image Credit: iRacing

Thousands of sim racers are going to try their hand at what has to be one of the toughest races on the iRacing Special Event Calendar. Four classes, more than 25 kilometers of race track per lap, a full day of battling the undulations of the legendary Eifel circuit - the Nürburgring 24 Hours are a unique challenge.

The Track​

There are not many sim racers who need an introduction to the Nürburgring: Opened in 1927, the Nordschleife is the last of its kind and is considered to be one of the most challenging circuits in the world. Lap times in excess of eight minutes even in a GT3 car mean that the concentration level has to be enormously high, as hitting one of the many treacherous bumps or kerbs the wrong way can end your race in an instant.

Track map of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and the Grand Prix Circuit without the Mercedes-Arena.png

Image Credit: racingcircuits.info

The configuration of track used in the 24 hour race bypasses what would be the first sector of the Grand Prix Circuit in the Mercedes Arena, instead using a tight right-left chicane to start the lap. Between the GP Circuit and the Nordschleife itself, characteristics could hardly be more different, as the modern track and generous run-off areas give way to a tight ARMCO barrier-lined rollercoaster.

The Cars​

Unfortunately, the iRacing edition of the race can not match the variety of vehicles on track in the real event: As the simulation is limited to a maximum of eight different car models, the five different classes are not filled with many choices each, which is especially evident in all but two classes - the Porsche Cup and Spec classes normally only use one vehicle each as well.

Grids are limited to 55 cars per split.

GT3
  • BMW M4 GT3
  • Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R
GT4
  • Aston Martin Vantage GT4
  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Cup
  • Porsche 992 GT3
Touring
  • Audi RS3 LMS
Spec
  • Toyota GR86

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Race Specs & Time Slots
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About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

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I’d be useless at this sort of thing, I don’t honestly think I could do 5 consecutive laps on the Nordschleife without at least one hiccup or mistake. Kudos to all those than can and can do it hour upon hour, completely incident free.
 
you can start in one of the slower cars, this week for instance the Skip Barber series tackles the 24h track, soNords plus GP minus a little bit just after t1. It's super fun, races are 3 laps, quali is one lap only half an hour before, and using the Skip, one has ample time to figure out which of the many turns comes next. Well, most of the time, anyway ;)
 
I’d be useless at this sort of thing, I don’t honestly think I could do 5 consecutive laps on the Nordschleife without at least one hiccup or mistake. Kudos to all those than can and can do it hour upon hour, completely incident free.
The Nordschleife isn't that bad to be honest. The track has a flow to it and tells you where to go. You just don't have to go all Banzai on the track cause there aren't that many spots to pass in a safe manner.
 
The Nordschleife isn't that bad to be honest. The track has a flow to it and tells you where to go. You just don't have to go all Banzai on the track cause there aren't that many spots to pass in a safe manner.
Keeping your car on the track is fastest way to get to the finish line. Everybody will have their moments there sooner or later.
 
Unfortunately I have no time for these kind of online events any longer, otherwise I would gladly participate.
Remember with joy participating several 2hrs online rF1 Nordschleife events during late 00's, even top view from the podium on a couple of occasions, but this feels now like an ice age ago.

Good luck to those participating!
And remember to enjoy every second, nomatter of the outcome :inlove:
 
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I’d be useless at this sort of thing, I don’t honestly think I could do 5 consecutive laps on the Nordschleife without at least one hiccup or mistake. Kudos to all those than can and can do it hour upon hour, completely incident free.
"Slow in, fast out" have helped me through tricky tracks since early real world gokart days in early 80ies :)

Also my sim debut on Targa Florio, way more tricky than racing today's condition of NS, speaking both sim and real world.

As other states, when at first you get in the zone, you'll experience that NS in fact do have an excellent flow, far easier than doing e.g. Monaco on same race distance.
 
The Nordschleife isn't that bad to be honest. The track has a flow to it and tells you where to go. You just don't have to go all Banzai on the track cause there aren't that many spots to pass in a safe manner.
This. The biggest problem with the track, initially, is learning it. That can take a long time. Then you have to learn how to drive it quickly.
I found that I am fastest when I don't attack the corners, but brake earlier and not as much, coasting through many of them. Once I started doing this I was able to chop off about 10 seconds from my time.
It also helps to have a good set-up.
 
I found that I am fastest when I don't attack the corners, but brake earlier and not as much, coasting through many of them. Once I started doing this I was able to chop off about 10 seconds from my time.
In another thread recently about far more hairy Targa Florio, I reported being about 45 secs slower in an all attack lap than my traditional laid-back "slow in - fast out" relaxed and calm style, pretending being Arturo Merzario in an Alpha Romeo Tipo 33/3 on Abulzz' excellent ongoing mod work version. Relaxed and calm style really pays off here. 'Which is especially prominent in those prototypes, while attack mode is a bit more doable in slower cars as e.g. classic Abarth 1300S or a 'rally friendly' classic Lancia Fulvia HF.

But clearly remember my debut in simracing on NS, in a F1C99-02 track mod and P956 Group C monster mod it was clearly a handfull and "slow in fast out" round all the blind corners and bends was to me deemed as a necessity in order to stay on track.
Then when you get familiar with the slopes, curbs, irregularities it's time for Stefan Belloff attacks. But for endurance I still advice to try to be relaxed and laid back all the time. Any frustration will cause havoc on the long run, to me it's about keeping your mind fresh by being calm and not stressfull.

And yes car setup especially high wing, anti-roll bar and toe-in params becomes essential on twisty tracks, nomatter if a 1 or a 45 mile lap.
 
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