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 2011 to 2015


Sparks were flying when BMW tried to repeat their 2010 win in 2011. It was Porsche who eventually took the win with Manthey and a set of pro drivers in a Porsche 911 RSR.

This picture reminds me of the endless hours it takes to take such a picture. Besides learning how to use the camera there is a lot of luck in the game. The driver is taking obviously a very quick and aggressive line to run through the corners with a lot of weight transfer at the front. It was early in the race when it was about to get dark.

Bottoming the right front corner that early in the race at the very beginning of the Nordschleife shows how much the pace was rising over the years. About 10 years ago there were big gaps after several hours and the key was to survive and keep up the pace knowing at about half time who is the potential winner if nothing unforseen happens. Now it started to become a 24h sprint like it is now in almost every 24h race.

It was the last competitive outing of cars like this M3 GT2 or the Porsche 911 RSR from the Le Mans Series. A year after the BOPed GT3 regulations took over and would determine the winners between 2012 and 2023.

It was much like a GTE Porsche or a Ford GT from IMSA had visited the Nordschleife. Nowadays I would say it is not the right way to bring even bigger and faster cars to the grid, but that is a different story.


2012 I managed to successfully apply for a photo accreditation – a milestone for me. I have never before been given the right to be between the armco and the fence. A lot of new perspectives opened up for me. In the mean time I had already invested about 2.000€ into my equipment. I had still the first camera, but bought lenses, SD-cards, back pack etc.

It was also great to be able to join the colleagues in the press room. The collective of Nordschleife photographers knows each other quite well and we had a lot of fun.

In the morning we were at area Schwalbenschwanz just few hours before chequered flag.

That year BMW brought several BMW Z4 GT3 and a set of BMW works drivers to fight for the win. If I remember correctly Dirk Adorf himself wrote onto the rear of the car „THX FANS“ during a pitstop with his finger into the dust. A very nice gesture. THX DIRK!


In the year 2013 I continued my activities between the fence and the armco. Inspired by other photographers I saw a similar picture during a VLN race. Two wheels in the air, wheels spinning, full attack through Hatzenbach. I love this picture. On top of it it is an exotic car, Audi A5.

What looks like a very impressive shot and also nice driving skills is for me a difficult thing during the 24h race.

Yes the race drivers are focused and in full attack mode all day and night during the 24. They know their line and how to drive safely around the track.

On the other hand this curb is so high, it unsettels the car and it puts „uncommon“ forces onto the steering arms and drive shafts. Especially on „landing“ drive shafts and wheel bearings get kind of a punch in their face.

The race is long, about 150 laps, so 150 times a punch in the face is nothing to go for. Better leave this curb out during the 24.

This is only my personal view …


In 2014 I got some professional equipment from a driver of the team I worked for. 5d Mk III, 50mm/1.4, 300mm/2.8m. Things you like to have as a young student when you don’t want to spend much money on your hobby and actually barely get a revenue out of it.

All the photographers are very nice and friendly up at the Nürburgring. Some do better, some have crazy ideas and some stay conservative to serve their clients. Many are helping each other, but at the end of day most photographers either want or even need to make money with it. This creates kind of a shark pool, especially with the young kids with a camera like I was. Maybe this is a story for another time. You want to read about it? Tell me …

Getting back to the picture, I think it is crazy and I love it. For me it shows the calm and the dynamic of a pit stop during a 24h race. In that year it was still „okay“ to have no fire proof wear in the pitlane. This is not possible today anymore. It also shows the development of the race. Everything is more professional and more cost intensive.

It also shows me that with the right equipment and the knowledge gained in taking pictures over 4 years, the „better“ equipment brings outrageous results.

In my point of view: starting with the „top notch“ equipment when you don‘t know what you do and don’t understand all the functions of a modern digital camera is a waste of money and time. Stay with your smartphone then. It is better to collect memories …


The year 2015 I was very much focused on my studies and some international work in various places in the world. I managed to get to the Nürburgring in between and take some high quality pictures like this one.

There was actually a time where the photographers community started to do a „fight“ for the longest exposure time while the picture shows still a very sharp race car.

I did not check the exposure time of this picture, but it must be around 1/50s. When you do this kind of photography in Motorsport, you‘ll have to throw away 2/3 of your pictures and only promote the best of the best. If you are shooting for a client though and they want a specific perspective / time of day / amount of cars in the picture, a single picture can take two or three laps. This can sum up to be half an hour at the same spot. So even during the 24h race with changing light and weather conditions there is sometimes not enough time to take THE satisfying picture. Then you go with compromises as in real life 🙏👌

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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