Short – and just good. The Norisring has been a highlight on the DTM calendar for many, many years. On the circuit at Nuremberg’s ‘Zeppelinfeld’, the DTM drivers are true regulars. Since DTM’s debut season back in 1984, the popular touring-car series contested just two seasons without the Norisring: 1985 and 1986. It’s the atmosphere that turns this event into something very special. The Norisring is the only German street circuit that has survived and the spectators can see nearly the entire track, from the huge grandstand called ‘Steintribüne’. And the fact that the races in Nuremberg usually are contested in midsummer adds to the fantastic atmosphere between Grundig-Kehre and Dutzendteich.
The 2.3-kilometre circuit – the shortest on the DTM calendar – annually is newly erected by numerous helpers. The track layout, however, hasn’t changed since 1972. While the drivers accelerate their racers to a top speed of about 250kph, on the long home straight, the following ‘Grundig-Kehre’ is the slowest section of the lap. The 360° hairpin guarantees spectacular manoeuvres and the entire circuit provides thrilling motor racing while the divers are battling it out for every tenth of a second, just millimetres away from the walls and crash barriers – and sometime beyond.
The ‘Franconian Monaco’ – as the Norisring often is called – is Audi’s home circuit. Nonetheless, Mercedes-Benz have been dominating the event in the recent past. In the 2015 season, Pascal Wehrlein and Robert Wickens secured the 12th and 13th consecutive wins for the Stuttgarters. While the last win of Audi dates back to 30th June 2002 when Laurent Aiello crossed the line as race winner. A feat that was repeated by Mattias Ekström 11 years later. The joy, however, wasn’t to last. Ekström was disqualified due to a violation of the parc-fermé regulations – and the race was scored without an official winner.
This is just one of the countless stories the Norisring produced in its long history – the first car race at Nuremberg’s street circuit as held as early as in 1948. And the 2016 race meeting in Nuremberg certainly also will make for anecdotes galore. The pleasant anticipation of drivers and fans is huge.