World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)

WTCC racing on the Nurburgring Nordscheliefe

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    I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced last year. The World Touring Car Championship is racing on the Nurburgirng Nordscheliefe this weekend. Here’s an onboard lap with Sebastien Loeb:


    Aside from having the best facilities to do the best preparation job out of every team out there, the monster Citroen horsepower should help them win by miles. So many long full throttle periods, not just the Döttinger Hohe. I wonder what’s the full throttle percentage of the lap is in a WTCC car (it takes a bit longer to measure than at a more standard track).

    Wonderful clip, thanks for sharing.


    @atticus-2 I just love watching the car tackle the fast version of the NGK Chicane on the new track and then swerve off to the left, and suddenly everything looks much narrower and faster…


    @keithcollantine Yeah, absolutely, it’s the same here. The faster chicane is epic, it’s more like the rest of the modern circuit, more flowing than most of the Tilkedroms – but then you arrive at the Nordschleife and you realise the modern circuit only flows compared to the even more ‘modern’ tracks and you suddenly understand why there were so many who’ve bemoaned it, when it opened. You arrive at said left-hander and realise that from now on it’s a different level entirely. It’s like the start of the Nurburgring proper – in fact, when I saw the video that was my thought when Loeb went through there, that ‘it starts now.’ And I smiled.

    I can’t wait for the weekend.


    I’m massively excited, but I only hope everyone stays safe, drivers and spectators. We saw what happened in the GT3 race. I don’t think the WTCC cars can fly like that but still. It’s the Green Hell, after all.


    What I’d really like to see is for the WTCC to make this a really special event. An IndyCar Month of May, NASCAR “Daytona Speedweeks”, Le Mans 24HR type of event. Make it feel special – they already have had the separate test day – now follow that up with an extended weekend of racing. Follow up qualifying with a “superpole” type thing – top 10 cars get sent out on track, separated by a minute each, with 1 lap to set the top end of the grid. Maybe throw in some sprint races beforehand or something. Then, on Sunday, make it an endurance event worth double the points of a normal race (remember there are normally 2 races on a weekend). 500+km including a driver swap. Allow wildcard entries too.

    I feel like this would bring some more interest to the series, even if only for one round.


    @vmaxmuffin It’d be cool – but it won’t happen. Problem is, WTCC already races on a Saturday – something they’re not used to – due to the round being a support race of the Nurburgring 24 hours, technically.

    And the WTCC is far too… standardized and by the rulebook type of thing compared to the Ozzies, for example, who can certainly made their crown jewel event(s) special in the V8 Supercars. (Or NASCAR, for that matter, which also spices thing up nicely with different formats for Daytona and the Charlotte week.)

    Judging by the onboard lap, the WTCCs – currently, at least – don’t go airborne at Flugplatz; Loeb did the hump flat-out. The problem with the GT3s, as far as I know, was that they always have to lift for Flugplatz in the first place to avoid going airborne. They still go light. Also, although this may be an oversight on my part, I don’t think there’s any parts as critical as Flugplatz left on the Ring, they’ve smoothed out the most dramatic rises pretty well during the years. Flugplatz was always the most critical – hence the name – and I guess will always be.


    Norbert Michelisz had a near-miss in this curious incident during practice:


    Some more cool footage of the cars in action here:

    Fer no.65

    The problem with this race is that… it’s WTCC. It seriously sucks! the field is as tiny as F1, and the cars are not that spectacular tbh. There are so many other touring cars series far better than it, and a lot more competitive.

    But at least we’re going to have some very cool shots of the Nords, which is just heaven on earth. I’ve been there in March 2014 and I still can get over how amaizing it is to drive it and how every single nerve on your body understands right away the significance of the place. Just standing at the carpark, it feels like another planet.


    Michelisz said it was a puncture, @keithcollantine.

    I completely agree with you @fer-no65, I just watch for those ‘very cool shots of the Nords.’ Usually I re-watch the races which my home hero, Norbert Michelisz does something spectacular though – I was there live at the Hungaroring when he took victory two weeks ago, it was amazing, you can imagine how much the crowds ugred him forward lap after lap.

    Also, one advantage of WTCC is, for one-off fans, that is, that it’s short. You just jump in and you can oversee a whole race easily – you can never do that with more prestigious Nordschleife events, such as the 24 hours or the 1000km. So that’s one big plus for the WTCC visit here.

    Now, I’m watching practice 2 and even I have problems recognising a lot of the track parts from the track cameras, despite the fact that I know the layout fairly well from sim racing, haha.

    Iestyn Davies

    @atticus-2 What do you drive? If you want to try GPL.. with GPLrank, you can go up against Norbert’s best times from 2004 ;). I’m just over 13 seconds off, after 24 minutes, when the best lap of each track is combined (which includes the best part of 8 minutes around a lap of Nurbs, and is more than half my deficit to Norbert). He still has some WRs on the replay page, too.


    @fastiesty Yeah, GPL here as well, although I’m not a pro by any means. I just load it in every now and then and go for a ride – I remember I used to just chase personal best hot laps when I first did it (and learnt the track) a few years ago. I can barely break the 9-minute barrier, GPL is actually one of my worst sims in terms of performance, I’m much better in GP4, for example.

    But I still know the circuit pretty well.

    The race is now only minutes away, so I’ll just shut up for now and wish you guys fun out there watching.


    Really enjoyed that one, great circuit and the cars looked amazing going over the Flugplatz and through the Karussel. Van Lagen looked really quick although he was held by Schmitz. I’d love to get every FIA World and European championship to run on here over the course of a week, that would be an amazing event, though of course it can never happen because it simply isn’t safe enough for most cars.


    Wow, what a second race.

    In the first one, there was less action and even that centered around the start mostly – Valente didn’t leave much room for Michelisz off the line towards the wall, but it was unnecessary for Michelisz to counter and steer into the Chevy. Then it was Valente’s turn to be an… the bad guy with Monteiro before the North Curve. Valente wasn’t overly impressed with what happened (see interview).

    But the second race – what a race from Lopez. Even with the cards falling nicely for him with the blatant Citroen horsepower advantage (I wasn’t too surprised), and Ma’s accident. Factory Honda tactics didn’t work on the last lap (Tarquini backing off of Monteiro to avoid Lopez having a three-car slipstream).

    Van Lagen climbed nicely in both races, I wonder what might have been if he had kept his grid position.

    What did you make of the event, guys?

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