Hello, I am Marcel, I am 36 years old – it is never too late to start something, is it? – and today I want to add a chapter to my diary from the motorsport world. Enjoy reading this part of the Diary of a Motorsport Engineer

As winter gives way to spring, the motorsport scene comes alive, signaling the start of a new racing season in Europe. This period marks the end of a two-month hiatus from trackside activities for many, myself included. I’d like to take you behind the scenes to share insights into the intricacies of working at one of the most challenging tracks in the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. From the exhilaration of watching a Porsche 992 Cup speed past to the various challenges we anticipate in 2024, join me in exploring the dynamic world of motorsport from an insider’s perspective.

Success starts with knowledge and reading

As the workshop awakes with activity and the cars are getting ready for the track, my focus shifts to the piles of regulations and rulebooks. Pouring over documents, I ensure that those details are taken into consideration, answering queries from teammates and myself alike.

From technical specifications to organisational bulletins and sporting information, thorough preparation is key to success on each race weekend. The series I am looking at here is the ADAC Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS), formerly known as VLN, taking place eight times on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Nürburgring Nordschleife and the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring

The Nürburgring Nordschleife stands as a bastion of motorsport heritage, its twisting tarmac and well known corners testing the limits of both man and machine. Back in the day the playground of almost street legal cars, the Nordschleife Endurance Racing Series, NLS, has evolved into a semi-professional competition, governed by strict regulations and guidelines. Multiclass endurance racing on this iconic circuit is my true passion and takes a lot of my attention.

Porsche’s legacy in GT racing is unparalleled, and the introduction of the 992 Cup sets the stage for a showdown. With around 15 cars or more entering the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring (PETN), the competition is intense in the quickest one make series driving on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

While the NLS provides a framework of regulations, the PETN regulations are adding up to the specific demands of the Porsche racing platform.

So what’s the job?

I can already feel the excitement. Each day trackside is going to present new challenges and opportunities. As the writer of the diary of a motorsport engineer I sit at a desk for investigation of regulations. The pile of documents I currently look at is here:

There are facts in the sporting regulations like:

  • When is the pit exit green for qualifying?
  • When is the car allowed to go into the fast lane and when does the pit exit light go red?
  • What are the procedures in case of changing tires in the grid, only wet race?
  • What is the speed limit in case of a red flag?

There will be that stressful situation where this knowledge is crucial within seconds to know out of my head. There will be no time to read it up and check it or the laptop or my printed folder will be miles away.

For the technical view on the race events there are two regulations adding to each other: the NLS Technical regulations and the PETN regs: https://www.porscheendurancetrophy.de/downloads

These documents describe the general technical rules for the Porsche 992 Cup car as well as the specifics for the Nürburgring Nordschleife like:

  • Specific parts for the Nürburgring and Endurance racing
  • Setup limitations
  • Tire restrictions

Through the season the regulations will be extended with bulletins and informations sheets. Making this an agile environment in which the team has to react to changes. This is a challenge which adds on top of keeping all this knowledge ready.

Setting Goals for 2024

Besides being trackside for all eight NLS races, I plan to work in three different 24-hour races this year, having already completed the Creventic 24h Dubai. The legendary 24h Nürburgring in June awaits, with one more event possible in my calendar.

Thank you for reading my story from the motorsport world! Did you enjoy it?
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You want to read another story? Checkout about my passion for motorsport photography and my engagement in the 24h of LeMans: LINK

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