German News
Including The Date Of The Nurburgring 24 Hours

The organisers of the German Endurance Championship have announced a record entry of 196 cars for the seventh round of the series, the six hour race this Saturday, September 11 – writes Johannes Gauglica. Among them will be a factory Opel Astra V8 for Marcel Fässler, Volker Strycek, and Marcel Tiemann. Mainly a gesture for the fans, or already a first test for next year's 24 Hours? Opel's 2005 racing programme has so far not been announced.

The date for the 2005 Nürburgring 24 Hours has been confirmed: the race will go ahead on the weekend of 26 to 29 May, and therefore not clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans (date not yet confirmed, but expected to be mid-June, as usual).

The ADAC Nordrhein which organises the Nürburgring 24 Hours, has announced a cooperation with the Automotodrom Brno for the 12 hour race that will have its inaugural running next month, on October 9. This year's edition will be an "all comer" race, but an adoption of the Nürburgring 24hr regulations is not
altogether impossible for the future.

Also in Germany, plans have been mooted to establish a German GT Championship. The current Endurance Championship is a series for GTs, touring cars and "Specials" that only takes place on the Nordschleife. The new series will be incorporated into the "Top 10" weekend that currently features the
German "Produktionswagenmeisterschaft", a series for production saloons, and a number of single-make series. To accommodate the GTs within the busy Top 10 schedule, a race length of 60 to 90 minutes is being proposed. If it goes ahead, the series will be open for FIA GTs as well as Nürburgring 24 hour Specials and one-make "cup" GTs. Even without an official German GT Championship, the market for GT style racing in Germany and the surrounding countries is relatively crowded, with a number of series from professional to club level - which in some cases feature woefully depleted grids. Whether the incentive of running in a professionally organised package is big enough to lure competitors away from these other series, and into the German GT Championship, remains to be seen.


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