The FIA World Touring Car Championship stops off in Germany from 25-27 May for the Big One: the WTCC’s third visit to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife. This is all you need to know.
Location:Otto-Flimm-Straße, 53520 Nürburg, Germany
Opening Race distance:3 laps (76.134km)
Main Race distance:3 laps (76.134km)
Lap record (qualifying):José María López (Citroën C-Elysée) 8m35.541s (177.21kph), 27/05/16Lap record (race):José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 8m40.688s (175.40kph), 16/05/15
WTCC appearances:Two (WTCC Race of Germany took place at Oschersleben from 2005-11)
Time zone:GMT +2 hours
Nearest airport:Köln Bonn (97 kilometres)
TRACK GUIDE IN 100 WORDS
Germany returned to the WTCC calendar in 2015 following a four-year absence. However, gone was relatively-tame-in-comparison Oschersleben, in its place came the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, complete with its daunting 25.378-kilometre lap, 64 heart-stopping corners and changeable Eifel mountains weather. Supporting the famous ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen, the event produced two dramatic contests with Yvan Muller beating race-one winner José María López to race-two glory by 0.173s. López was a double winner in the 2016 return when drivers from the FIA European Touring Car Cup joined their WTCC counterparts on track for the two three-lap encounters, albeit from a split grid.
2016:Opening Race and Main Race: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée)
2015:Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Citroën C- Elysée)
2011:R1: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Franz Engstler (BMW 320)
2010:R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320)
2009:R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2008:R1: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320); R2: Félix Porteiro (BMW 320)
2007:R1: Yvan Muller (SEAT León); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2006:R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Jörg Muller (BMW 320)
2005:R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Alex Zanardi (BMW 320)
1:The original Nordschleife opened in 1927 and was combined with the Südschleife at a length of 28.265 kilometres to hold the Eifelrennen events for bikes and cars.
2:Following on from the grands prix of the late 1920s, the 1931 German GP was held solely on the Nordschleife over a lap distance of 22.8 kilometres. Achille Varzi won in a Bugatti T51.
3:The adjacent Nürburgring Grand Prix track was opened in 1984 and also combines with the Nordschleife to hold the annual ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen, or the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
4:Germany shares borders with nine other countries – Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
5:Germany is Europe’s second largest beer consumer – Germans drank 2.55 billion gallons of beer in 2012 – while there are more than 1200 breweries producing over 5000 brands of beer.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 2016?
José María López ruled the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife by winning both encounters at FIA WTCC Race of Germany. The Citroën driver charged through from ninth on the grid to claim the Opening Race laurels before converting his DHL pole position into victory number five of 2016 by winning the Main Race. Tiago Monteiro had been leading the Opening Race in his Honda only for a spectacular crash to put him out nearing the end of the final lap. Yvan Muller was also eliminated in the incident, although both drivers were given the all-clear following medical checks. Tom Chilton was a double winner in the WTCC Trophy and second and third overall in the two action-packed races. He also landed the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy – and a TAG Heuer watch – for his 8m47.586s charge around the 25.378-kilometre track. Norbert Michelisz was twice in the top three for Honda, while the works Polestar and LADA squads also scored.
Opening Race DHL Pole Position:Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC)
Main Race DHL Pole Position:José María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
TAG Heuer Best Lap:Tom Chilton (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC), 8m47.586s
WTCC MAC3 winner:Team Honda