Posted by | July 18, 2014

At the Nürburgring 24 hour race, there are supporting events held before the final race, and the ADAC Classic where cars like the famous Opel Manta drives, is one of them. They drive by at speeds that defy their age, and in a sense they’re scarier than GT3 machines!


Of course there are cars newer than the Opel Manta in this classic race, so it kind of puts a ? on the definition of “Classic”, but the Opel Manta is a legend of its own.

The other support event is the Falken Drift Show, and though it’s a genre that seems unrelated to racing, here at the 24 hours of Nürburgring it’s an annual supporting event for the race.


The performance section is the Dunlop curve. This area is not popular during the race itself and people on the grandstands are sparse, but during this event it is jam packed. The two GT players who didn’t know about the event exclaimed “This is the first time we’ve seen the crowds so excited here!!”


This is the new Skyline set up by Team Falken this year. Though it’s a new car, its an R32 Skyline that is fairly dated. However in the drift scene of Europe, the Skyline is very popular. The drift culture here is different from Japan and the US and its interesting.

This event is popular for not only the media but the off duty course marshals as well, and they can be seen photographing the event with their smart phones.


The area here goes around in a circle like the Karussell, and is another good spot for panning shots.


Photography of motorsports tend to be layouts where the framing is close to the target car. And drifting is basically done through the same section repeatedly, so once you’re home and you open your pictures folder, you often end up with pictures that all look generally the same. To get some variety: Do a panning shot with a wide lens, focusing on the target and letting the large background pan greatly. It makes an interesting picture, and you could try it out on the Photo Mode of Gran Turismo!


Back at the lounge, drivers Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki who drives the Subaru BRZ in Japan’s Super GT, tries a time trial in the Schulze GT-R!


Sasaki san marks an excellent time. Reminds me of the “Stars in Reasonably Priced Cars” in Top Gear. But even here, the fastest Gran Turismo driver in Japan “YAM”(Yamada) held onto the fastest lap until the end of the day. (*Times recorded on Racing Hard Tires)


Aside from the Subaru drivers, drivers Tanaka san and Hoshino san of NISMO and Iida san and Ishiura san of Gazoo Racing visited the GT lounge. Tanaka san holds the record for the highest ranked Japanese driver on the Nürburgring 24 hour race, at 5th place. (The record was set in the Falken GT-R that is included in Gran Turismo.)



The smell of the curry made by the Polyphony Digital freshmen is in the air, and many of the drivers ask “Are you guys making Curry again this year?” It’s definately become a standard Menu at the GT Lounge of the Nürburgring.


The Curry is made with Yamauchi san’s recipe, and the roux of the curry used is the “The Curry” brand made by House Foods corp. of Japan, and the travel luggage of the Polyphony Digital crew every year is apparently full of “The Curry” packages every year. The roux is available to those in Japan, but might be more difficult to find for those living outside Japan…

On the morning of the final, there is a huge traffic jam around the Nürburgring. The traffic continues way beyond the Bilstein bridge seen in the distance.


The GT-R is reborn, going from its full matte black carbon look from yesterday, to a partially colored state.


This is a great design that makes you forget that the car had gone through major repairs:


The two tone color is sort of classic, reminiscent of Japanese racers from the 80’s. Sort of reminds me of the “Iron Mask” Skyline RS Turbo of the day. Thanks to the hard work of the sticker specialist at Schulze Motorsports.

Looking down from the lounge before the start, there was a surprise – THE 24 hours of LeMans winner from last week, the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro number 2 made an appearance!



While pleasantly surprised by the awesome appearance of the Audi, the King of Endurance, it also reminded me that it was Michael Schumacher that did the demo run before the race on the Nordschleife last year. Who would have guessed the misfortune that was awaiting the great hero a year ago today.


Both at Subaru and Gazoo Racing, the mechanics are not professional race mechanics, but often a select group of dealer mechanics hand picked from automotive dealers throughout Japan. “Build up the car, and build up the people.” That’s the policy in their participation.



The Schulze GT-R that almost didn’t make it to the race, finally starts moving towards the starting grid of the Nürburgring 24 hour race.



Pushing the cars are those from Schulze Motorsports, RS Nakaharu, and Polyphony Digital. It’s a manly looking job for sure.

But if you take a step back, you’ll notice there are many female course marshals,


and of course you can’t talk about women on the Nürburgring without mentioning this person: Sabine Schmitz, the regular mentor of the GT Academy, also standing by to race! She’s surrounded by lots of fans including little girls. Though often referred to as the fastest woman on the Nürburgring, it doesn’t matter whether man or woman, because she’s really, really fast! She’s already had many VLN victories under her belt.


Yamauchi san is also asked for signatures by adults and kids.


A guy comes up with a shirt already full of driver signatures, asking for Yamauchi san’s signature on his back. Japanese guys watching were laughing as he wrote his signature, taking up more space than anyone else on the shirt!




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