Hello, I am Marcel, I am 36 years old – it is never too late to start something, is it? – 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

Welcome back to my motorspot blog. I started to sum up some memories of my 22 visits of the 24h of the Nürburgring. I visit this race since 2001. First as a kid, then as a photographer, and now as an engineer. I also “enjoyed” once watching it from the TV screen at home … 2020 …

We continue 2006 to 2010


2006, racers and teams on the grid come l from Australia to the small Eifel villages around the Nürburgring. They come to tackle the biggest race track in the world. Unbelievable. And they brought a strong V8 in a Holden Commodore. They will show up in the following years about five times and impress the fans with their show.

That picture itself reminded me of something. This must be the year when I started to do some sim racing on my PC. In the game it was possible to install additional cars, like a Holden Commodore, and give them a personal livery, like the one from the grid. So I needed some detail pictures, like the one I show here. I was dreaming of some multi class racing twice around the clock in my bedroom. However I never became good enough in terms of driving on speed and safety around the Nordschleife to make it longer than five or six laps.

If you want to be good at something it requires few things.

➡️ an ambition to learn and do it
➡️ a talent
➡️ time

I never invested enough time to become a good sim racer. Though it helps from a technical point of view💭 to learn the tracks
💭 to understand how it could feel if you have oversteer or understeer or …
💭 how little tweaks of the setup and tire pressures can give you more confidence

Lately the Nordschleife was released for Assetto Corsa Competizione, now I am only lacking some time and talent I believe 😁.


2007, that year when I finished my school and started going to university in a combined work and study setting. I did something with software engineering and a lot of mathematics. Numbers, especially 0 and 1 can make a lot of fun.

The preparation for the weekends camping tour to the official Nürburgring campsite was not easy. We tried to get all the lists remotely together and once we all were at home just hours before we wanted to build up, we packed and found some important things we almost missed.

Don‘t forget your BBQ when you go to the 24h race 😉

The weather, as seen on the picture, was also not very nice. Indeed as far as I can remember there were just like three or four races which were bone dry. 2001 it was dry and hot. The last two years (2021/2022) even there was kind of rain which made us switch at least two times to rain tires. If it starts to rain at the long 25km Nordschleife it is always a gamble. Thankfully you have the eyes of your drivers and the inboard cameras which enable you to see the track conditions. While it is pouring on one part there can be sunshine on another part.

With all this information you can exchange with your drivers about tires and the driver is taking the final decision.


2008 saw quite a handful of Porsche 911 GT3 cars presented in the paddock to fight for the overall win. An upcoming team with a distinctive livery showed their pace already in the VLN races. From the top of my head the #22 car did an out lap in Q1, caught fire on the rear, went straight into the pitlane and the mechanics had to do a longer shift to rebuild the car.

While everyone admires this work and is happy when the car is rebuild and back on track barely anybody outside of the teams can really imagine what that means.

I couldn‘t either at that time. Even when I was closer to some teams some years later who had to rebuild a car in one day for the 24h I could not really imagine until I found myself assisting a repair between Q1 and Q2 within few hours. That‘s a story for 2022 …

I can say that it is incredible physical and mental pain if you do a repair shift before the 24h race. Let‘s dig a bit deeper. So you get up at Thursday 6am for a shower and breakfast. Depending on the team/event/series you‘ll find yourself in a hotel bed, a camper or maybe even in the truck.

After breakfast you‘ll go straight to the track and reach there 7:30 latest. Afterwards you‘ll have a big traffic jam. Then final preparations before the first session, run plan, tires, tidy everything up and check equipment.

Then 13:30 the cars go out … so just imagine the car comes back on fire after the first lap as 2008 the #22 did.

Then you try to get the car back as quick as possible. Maybe at 14:00 you have it. If you cannot repair trackside you‘ll need to organize a workshop. For most mechanics this is now the calm before the storm. As soon as you have the car loaded for transport (maybe 15:00 after cool down) you‘ll need to get your staff and your tools to the workshop, put the car on a lifter, dismount everything. That‘s then about 16:30 o‘clock or a bit later. So 9 hours of work already done. In the mean time someone makes lists of spare parts to organize them – if you don‘t bring them on your own. then repair what is reparabel and replace what needs to be replaced. 18:00 put the car together, 19:00 bring it back to the track, 19:30 maybe time for dinner (can be skipped if the repair takes longer …) and 20:00-23:30 Q2 session.

So you‘ll have at the end of the day roughly 17 hours of work put in before you start to check and prepare the car for Q3, another hour or so plus parc ferme time. After about 19 hours you‘ll be ready for a shower and a bed.

How does that sound to you. I think it is great to have so many people being that dedicated to the sport to take all this on them. Thanks guys! 🤗🤗🙏


Every year I enjoy very much to walk through the grid. The 24h Nürburgring is one of the biggest Motorsport events in the world. You have world class works race drivers, championship winners, ex F1 drivers, rising semi pro drivers and amateurs all in the mix with about 200.000 people around the track.

This attracts sponsors, fans, enthusiasts and party people likewise.

While standing on the grid you might want to know that you‘ll not sit on a grandstand for the start. There are so many people these days that the grandstands are closed already hours before the race twice around the clock goes ahead.

The grid is also a great place to meet people you haven‘t seen for a year or so. Or simply take a bath in the crowd. Or take a picture of exotic race cars like this Porsche 911 Cup S. This is a great representation of the beginning of the GT3 era and at the same time the team is located just around the corner in Spa Francorchamps.


2010 – Looking back at 2010 and the picture, this was the true start of something big on so many levels.

It marked a stage of hybrid engines. The car in the picture was a Porsche 911 GT3 equipped with a flywheel on the passenger seat. This energy storage was charged under braking and released energy during acceleration.

Nowadays the big 963 Hybrid machines for WEC and LeMans, the road cars like Cayenne and Panamera hybrid, they have some little part of technology in common with this race car. Porsche showed here that this type of engine combination is good for a reasonable outfit.

If I don‘t mix the years up, that year the Hybrid car went to the front of the field until it had a failure about three hours before the chequered flag.

Another big thing for me is the fact that the picture is on a very different perspective. After 9 years I have made it out to the Nordschleife – well I was there before – and brought pictures from the fence. I bought a camera in our local electronics shop and played with it already during the VLN races. I borrowed a lens to cover a wider range and made my first steps in motorsport photography.

Stay tuned because from my point of view the next years show my development with the camera …

Thank you for reading my story from the motorsport world! Did you enjoy it?
Do you have a suggestion for the next topic? Or a question to this one? Leave a comment via my contact form or send me an email: CLICK

You want to read another story? Checkout about my passion for motorsport photography and my engagement in the 24h of LeMans: LINK or about moments before and after a race weekend: LINK

See you trackside!

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