737 In 227 At The ‘Ring
There are some 227 (two hundred and twenty seven) teams, with three
to four drivers each, on the entry list for the 32nd Nürburgring
24 Hours, 210 of which will be allowed to take the start on 22 June.
With some driver line-ups still incomplete, let us nevertheless
have a look at the nationalities listed so far.
There are no points for
guessing that the strongest contingent of drivers comes from Germany;
but there is a healthy international interest. Among the 178 non-German
competitors, the best-represented nation happens to be Great Britain,
with 33 drivers listed as British - a grid the British Touring Car
Championship would like to have - and one or two suspiciously British-sounding
names with other nationalities attached to them. No less than 14
of the "genuine" Britons are involved in Britcar racing,
seven of them on a permanent basis, with two Britsports regulars
thrown in for good measure. The EERC has modelled its Britcar championship
after the German Endurance Championship (or VLN, as it was called
not too long ago), and the link clearly seems to be working; another
federation that is following the German example is Australia's PROCAR,
with its Nations' Cup and of course the 24 Hours of Bathurst. An
expeditionary force of ten Aussies is on its way to the Eifel as
we speak, some of them are even bringing their cars along. They
are equal seventh in the ranking of nations, along with France,
Monaco (even though it seems none of the Monegasques were actually
born on, or even near, the Riviera), and Japan. The United States
is not far behind, with no fewer than seven competitors on the list,
which must be an all time American attendance record.
Great Britain 33
Czech Republic 2
New Zealand 1
...all in one motor race.