2021 Nürburgring 24 Hours preview: to hell and Bach(ler)

Published: 03 June 2021

► 2021 Nurburgring 24 Hours previewed
► 250 cars, 24 classes, 170 corners per lap
► How to watch online

‘It’s the most difficult 24-hour race in the world. It’s the most difficult track most of the time with the most difficult conditions.’

Klaus Bachler (below) is the man behind those words. The 29-year old Austrian will also be behind the wheels of both Falken Porsche 911s at the Nürburgring 24 Hours on 5-6 June 2021.

Only 10,000 fans are allowed at the Nürburgring 24 Hours this year, so we joined Klaus virtually from London. Klaus was in a sunny Nürburg when we spoke to him.

‘Right now it’s sunny and beautiful. But honestly, the weather changes a few times a day here. It’s part of what makes the race so hard.

‘I believe mixed conditions make it more challenging, but it can also create more opportunities.’

Clearly a lover of the track, or a glutton for punishment, Klaus will be driving a total of 12 hours in the race with stints in both Falken Porsche 911s.

‘The good thing is that the cars are the same. Otherwise this would be too difficult. For sure it’s more driving and every hour is demanding. But I am well prepared and will be driving roughly 12 hours, the maximum amount of time the rules allow.’

Why does Klaus put himself through such a gruelling time? ‘The N24 is very special. My favourite. With the track layout, there’s no room for any mistake because of weather conditions and because of the different classes. One misunderstanding can result in everything finishing.’

What is the Nürburgring 24 Hours?

It’s a race around the world-famous Nürburgring, for 24 hours. Its full name is the ADAC Total 24h Race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The event combines the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit. A lap is 15.8 miles, and finishers generally do between 85 and 150 laps depending on crashes/weather.

Most teams have four drivers per car – although some prefer to do it with fewer, like with Klaus.

How many cars and classes?

There are 125 cars this year, spread out over 24 classes. The huge numbers means there are professional, semi professional, and amateur drivers. And the cars are hugely different from one another.

At one end of the scale is SP9, which features cars from the GT3 racing class, such as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and BMW M6 GT3.

At the other end of the scale is the SP3 class. Ollis Garage Racing (sic) has entered a Dacia Logan, with one of the drivers simply called DOOM on the official entry list. We do helpfully know DOOM is from Ludwigsburg in Germany.

In between those classes there are Hyundai i30Ns, Porsche Caymans, an Opel Manta and a Glickenhaus Racing LLC.

Any recognisable faces?

Formula E driver and last year’s winner (alongside Nick Catsburg and Nick Yelloly), Alex Sims, is behind the wheel of a BMW M6 GTE for team Schubert Motorsport.

Serial Nürburgring 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas is racing for Rutronik Racing in a Porsche 911 GT3RS, while Le Mans winner Nick Tandy is driving for the Frikadelli Racing Team, also in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

How to watch the 2021 Nürburgring 24 Hours

There’s a livestream on the ADAC Total 24h-Rennen Nurburgring in English on its YouTube channel.

By Murray Scullion

Petrolhead, journalist and traveller. Loves fast old cars and new tech. Deputy editor of sister site, Parkers.co.uk.