Nürburgring season opener safeguarded

The World Touring Car Cup season opener at the Nürburgring is set to go ahead as planned in early June after organisers of the ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours took steps to ensure that the event can take place.

The race weekend on the fearsome Nordschleife was delayed to a September date last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a limited number of fans ultimately able to attend at the last minute.

Ongoing restrictions across Europe had called into question whether the 2021 race could run on its scheduled date given the risk that fans may not be able to attend, with a number of key stakeholders and partners agreeing to underwrite the costs of the event.

WTCR promoter Eurosport Events is amongst those to have made what are referred to as ‘significant contributions’.

“Of course, we had hoped that we would have overcome COVID by June 2021 and that we could more or less stage the 24h-Rennen in its old splendour,” Nürburgring 24 Hours race director Walter Hornung said. “Now, reality is different after all and the race will be an even bigger effort for us than last year.”

Ticket sales for the race are currently suspended pending a decision over whether or not fans will be permitted.

“Obviously, that is affecting us in multiple ways,” Hornung added. “Firstly, we are clearly lacking the revenues as an important element of our budget. Secondly, it goes without saying that our fans contribute to the unparalleled atmosphere during the event, and that is something we missed very much last year already.

“For many teams, suppliers and also at the circuit, jobs depend on the 24h-Rennen. Therefore, we really have pulled out all the stops to safeguard the running [on the original June date]. On behalf of ADAC Nordrhein, we express our sincere thanks once more. We are massively looking forward to staging the best possible [event] in these conditions.”