There really is nothing like the Nurburgring 24-Hour race. It might sounds like an obvious point to make, but it has a very distinct character even to those day-and-night enduros at Spa or Le Mans. You could go to Le Mans and have a great weekend without even a casual interest in cars, yet N24 feels unapologetically devoted to the motorsport fans - everybody there loves cars passionately, obsessively, never endingly.
No doubt there will be more on PH in the coming weeks around the magic of the N24, but this little story is going to focus on the track itself; specifically when Hans Joachim Stuck set a lap record of 8:19.49 in the BMW M3 GTR during practice for the 2004 race.
This video is an onboard from that incredible lap, with commentary recorded from Stuck as well. It's 10 minutes (with a warm up lap) very, very well spent. It's hard to know what brings a bigger smile to your face: the bizarre array of cars passed during a full N24 lap, the outrageous corner speed generated by the M3, or the infectious enthusiasm of Stuck as narrator. Having had the privilege to meet him in real life, it's nice to confirm that he really is like this face to face: just in love with motorsport, hugely knowledgeable and incredibly eager.
It's really hard to draw yourself away from this one; not just because of driving on display, not just because of the insightful and entertaining guidance, but for those aforementioned car spotting opportunities too: don't 993s look small now? How many E36 3 Series can be in one race? Is that really an A4 Avant in practice for the Nurbugring 24-Hour? Brilliant stuff.
Just think, too, that if you watch this and feel mildly exhausted, that the drivers in a little more than a fortnight's time will be doing this for lap after lap and hour after hour, in even faster cars. With traffic. Madness. Beautiful, glorious madness. 18 days to go...