‘Thrilled’ was the only adjective that fitted the way I felt when I got to know that the 2016 Sonax Partner Event would be held at the legendary Nurburgring track in Germany.
The town chosen for our stay was Trier. This is a lovely old town in the west of Germany, very close to Luxembourg. Trier is renowned for two things: the Roman ruins, particularly the Porta Negra, and the very good shopping. But to be quite honest we were more interested in the Nurburgring that we did not quite bother with our surroundings.
Inaugurated in 1925, the Nurburgring is one of the oldest tracks and, at 23.8km long, one of the longest. The very first race was held on June 18, 1927 and it was open to motorbikes. The first driver to win a motorcar race at the Nurburgring was Rudolf Caracciola on June 19, 1927.
In 1934 the Nurburgring saw the birth of the myth of the Silver Arrows, the legendary Mercedes team legendary – that same year, driver Manfred Brauchitsch brought home the undisputed victory with his silver shining Mercedes. Legend has it that the Mercedes team had spent a whole night removing paint from the car to comply with the 750kg weight limit that was imposed on cars at the time. The same silvery shining livery is still used in today’s racing Mercedes F1 team.
Only recently, Mick, the son of legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, stormed to victory at the Nurburgring.
The opening of the Leisure and Business Centre at the Nurburgring in 2009 saw the birth of the possibility for companies to organise partner events at this iconic location. Sonax chose the BMW Motorsport area for its event and all the guests were treated to a weekend of sheer racing bliss. Not only was the VIP room very comfortable and had all the amenities including free flowing drinks and all day food but the viewing gallery was just opposite the paddocks and the start line. The view was simply amazing.
Sonax has now concentrated its sponsorships on DTM racing and the reason behind this was that this racing category attracts so many young individuals – all the teams are very young including the drivers, engineers and managers.
The most impactful part of the weekend was the possibility to visit both the paddocks and the track, during specified times, making the whole experience up close and personal. So much so that we could meet the drivers, have a chat and also take pictures. Now for those of you who have had the opportunity to attend other race categories, this is not usually the case and you only get to see the cars and drivers from a very long distance.
This combined with the fact that day tickets are very competitively priced shall most certainly make DTM a very popular category and it will most certainly grow in the coming years.
DTM is dominated by Mercedes, Audi and BMW and the cars used are very similar to the high-end road versions produced by these marques.
Apart from keeping the cost of the cars down, this fact also brings all the know-how and knowledge accumulated on the race track to the road which augurs well for better and more efficient cars in the future.
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