The organizers of the Nürburgring 24 have declared that the event is set to go ahead as planned on June 3-6 although the level of trackside spectator access remains uncertain.
The ADAC Nordrhein motor club issued a statement on Friday giving the green light to the Nordschleife enduro’s original early summer date despite the ongoing challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year’s Nürburgring 24 was postponed from May to September in response to the global health crisis, but a similar move for the 2021 edition is not being pursued.
Additionally, the N24 qualifying race is set to go ahead on its original May 8-9 weekend after being canceled in 2020.
ADAC Nordrhein’s statement said that the possibility of another postponed N24 was put “out of the question” by the date clashes with other championships and major motorsport events that would have arisen from a late summer rescheduling.
However, it added that fan access is “currently not foreseeable” for an early June event. Unused tickets carried over from last year’s race are being withdrawn and refunded.
While the 2020 race went ahead with limited numbers of fans allowed to watch from the grandstands around the start-finish area, the Nordschleife section was closed off.
The early June date was secured with backing from several parties including the Nürburgring circuit, competing manufacturers Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and defending winner BMW and tire brands Falken, Michelin and Goodyear.
Funding has also been secured with marketing partners Sporttotal and Eurosport Events, which brings the FIA World Touring Car Cup to the billing, and Glickenhaus which sponsors the pole position award.
“Of course we had hoped that we would overcome the corona by June 2021 and that we would be able to organize the 24-hour race in its old glory,” said race director Walter Hornung.
“Now things will turn out very differently, and the race will be for us an even greater feat than last year.
“On the one hand, we clearly lack the income [from spectators] as an important component of the budget. In addition, of course, our fans contribute to the inimitable atmosphere at the 24-hour race, and we missed that badly last year.
“Nevertheless, those responsible at ADAC Nordrhein see that the event is important for a lot of people. For many teams, suppliers and also at the racetrack itself, jobs also depend on the 24-hour race. That is why we really pulled out all the stops to secure the implementation.
“We would like to express our thanks on behalf of the ADAC Nordrhein.
“And now we are very much looking forward to offering the best possible 24-hour race that is possible under the conditions.”
The detailing of a plan to hold the event on its original June date comes amid a March resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Germany and elsewhere in western continental Europe.
Germany confirmed 22,657 further cases on Thursday. Robert Koch Institute data shows that almost 10 percent of the country’s population has received a first vaccination dose.
The first step of the road towards the Nürburgring 24 is taking place this weekend.
A field of more than 140 cars is set to line up for the four-hour NLS season-opener on Saturday, which is being organized by the ADAC Westfalen motor club.