It has been called one of the most grueling endurance races on the planet. The 24 Hours of Nürburgring begins Saturday, May, 19 at 4pm (10am Eastern time) and finishes Sunday at 4pm. It starts in the historic town of Nürburg, which features a medieval castle that overlooks the city and winds through the German woods. One lap combines the 2.3-mile F1 course with the 12.9-mile Nordschleife (North Course) to total 15.2 miles. Nine manufacturers will compete for overall honors in the top three categories: SP9, SP8 and SP7. They include Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Lexus, Nissan, McLaren, BMW, Mercedes, and Corvette. The fastest 30 qualifiers will be fitted with a blue light inside the windshield. This will increase their visibility and help competitors make way for the 200-mph racers passing them on the circuit. This year 177 entries will compete in this epic event.
Two Callaway Corvettes will be entered: one, from Guttroff Racing, in the slower SP8 category and another, from Haribo Racing, in top SP9 class. Haribo is a German candy company famous for its "Gold" gummy bears, and the company is celebrating its 90th year in business. The Haribo car--the No. 90 GT3 Z06.R--has been painted gold in honor of the popular treats.
The Haribo driver lineup is impressive and familiar: Corvette Racing pilots Richard Westbrook, Tommy Milner, and Jan Magnussen, along with Daniel Keilwitz, winner of the 2010 FIA GT3 Drivers Championship. In practice several weeks ago, the thundering LS3-powered Haribo Corvette lapped the 15.2-mile course in 8:16. You might remember that GM test driver Jim Mero recently lapped the 12.9-mile north course in 7:19 in a stock ZR1. It took the Callaway less than one minute to travel 2.3 miles further, an amazing feat for a modified Z06. The Corvette has its work cut out for it, but with top drivers, a top team, and a winning Callaway Competition Corvette, anything is possible. Stay tuned.