The FIA World Touring Car Championship has just announced one of the biggest coups in the series’ history: the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife will be on next year’s calendar.
The announcement marks the series’ return to German soil following its last visit to the Oschersleben in 2011. It will be run in conjunction with the Nürburgring 24 Hours weekend, which attracts a trackside audience of over 250,000 racing fans.
“The race at the Nordschleife will definitely be a highlight of the season,” François Ribeiro, COO to Eurosport Events, the series’ commercial rights holder and promoter.
“WTCC is a series providing enthralling motor racing and attracting massive attention all over the world,” Walter Hornung, the Sports Director of ADAC Nordrhein and Race Director of the 24 Hours race, added.
“The weekend of the 24 Hours could not have a more attractive opening. With this deal, ADAC Nordrhein also demonstrates that we are keeping on developing the 24 Hours race for the future to make it even more attractive for the fans, media and partners.”
Not surprisingly, the news was greeted with disbelief and joy by the field:
In contrast to the WTCC’s tradition of staging two sprint races per championship round, the sheer length of the Nürburgring Nordschleife – at 25.378km, including the current Grand Prix circuit – will see the new round staged as a single 120-kilometre race over 5 laps with a compulsory tyre pit stop.
The return to the Nordschleife marks the first time in over thirty years that it will host a World Championship event. The World Sportscar Championship had its last race here in 1983, seven years after Formula 1’s last ill-fated visit in 1976.
Image via DerNordschleife