24. Mai 2017

Marathon in “Green Hell”

A “hellish” 24 hours await DTM champion Marco Wittmann at the weekend, as he lines up at the 45th ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring, just one week after races three and four of the DTM season at the Lausitzring. 161 cars will contest the endurance classic in the Eifel region of Germany, which sees Wittmann take his place among more than 600 drivers facing the challenge of completing 24 hours on the world’s longest racetrack – the 25.738-kilometre combination of the GP circuit and the legendary Nordschleife.

This will be the 27-year-old BMW driver’s fifth outing in the “Green Hell”, as the Nordschleife is respectfully known by drivers and fans alike – a nickname originally coined by three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart. Nowhere else is the challenge facing the drivers at a 24-hour race as great as in the Eifel Mountains. And nowhere are the fans so enthusiastic.

After finishing ninth on his debut in 2012, Wittmann’s teams have failed to finish the race in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Last year, a spectacular engine failure brought the team’s race to a premature end before the man from Fürth (Germany) even climbed into the car.

The reigning DTM champion is hoping for a change in fortune this year, as he returns to the Nürburgring in the number 42 BMW M6 GT3, run by BMW Team Schnitzer. He will share the driving duties with his two DTM colleagues Tom Blomqvist and Augusto Farfus, as well as former DTM driver Martin Tomczyk. Brazil’s Farfus was a member of the driving line-up that presented BMW Team Schnitzer with its fifth and most recent overall victory in the Eifel region in 2010. Another win at the weekend would put the team out on its own as the sole record holder when it comes to overall victories. It would also constitute a 20th success for BMW.

The 45th ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race kicks off at 15:30 on Saturday 27th May. RTL NITRO is broadcasting the entire race live, right through to the finish at 15:30 on Sunday 28th May.