The toughest and most daunting race track in the world plays host to the third round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup, with a bumper 27-car field set to do battle over three races at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Even though the FIA World Touring Car Cup plays a starring support act to the annual Nürburgring 24 Hours, there is no denying that the touring cars have provided action and thrills aplenty.
Dubbed ‘the Green Hell’ by Sir Jackie Stewart, the Nürburgring Nordschleife is one of the toughest circuits in the world, stretching over 25 kilometres and 64 corners as it plunges and rises through the Eifel forest. The circuit is perhaps better described as a high-speed roller coaster, with a seemingly never-ending series of sweeps, climbs and turns.
The 2018 Event
|2018 FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro – Race of Germany|
|Event Dates||10-12 May 2018||Free Practice Session 1||Thu 11:30-12:10|
|Free Practice Session 2||Thu 12:30-13:10||First Qualifying||Thu 15:30-16:10|
|Race 7 (3 laps)||Thu 19:45-20:20||Second Qualifying||Fri 17:35-18:15|
|Race 8 (3 laps)||Sat 11:00-11:35||Race 9 (3 laps)||Sat 12:20-12:55|
|2018 FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro – Nürburgring Nordschleife Weather Forecast|
|Thursday||4°C – 13°C||Friday||8°C – 17°C||Saturday||9°C – 21°C|
Session times quoted in Central European Summer Time (UTC/GMT + 2:00)
The Form Guide
A trio of three-lap races will decide who will be crowned this year’s ‘King of the Ring’, and the event could prove a game-changer in determining the outcome of this year’s exciting championship fight.
This year’s entry list is perhaps the highest-calibre group of touring car drivers ever to do battle. This weekend the grid will be boosted by the arrival of reigning DTM champion René Rast, who is making a wildcard appearance in a WRT Team Audi RS 3 LMS.
The German will compete against the reigning FIA WTCC title-winner Thed Björk and the reigning TCR International Series champion Jean-Karl Vernay, marking the first time the trio has raced against each other.
“Competing against the world’s best drivers in a touring car now is fantastic, it’s a nice challenge,” said Rast ahead of his WTCR debut. “The field includes four world champions, plus many other title winners. These are big names and I’m looking forward to being pitted against them on home soil.”
With two events and six races under our belt, Gabriele Tarquini has surged to an early lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings with two wins at the season-opening Race of Morocco and a further victory in the final race at the Hungaroring. Their BRC Hyundai i30 N TCRs – and those entered by rival outfit YMR – have proven to be the class of the field, and the quartet will be saddled with the maximum compensation ballast this weekend.
Quite how this closes the gap at the front of the field remains to be seen, but the racing has been close so far, as is evidenced by no less than four different customer racing brands having claimed victory so far.
Images via FIA WTCR