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Nürburgring Endurance

NLS Season-Opener Called Off Due to Snowy Conditions

Saturday’s four-hour NLS race called off due to snowy conditions at Nürburgring…

Photo: NLS

The opening round of the NLS has been called off due to snowfall and low temperatures bringing on poor track conditions at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Race control announced the cancelation of the ADAC Westfalenfahrt just after 11:30 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m EST) while the four-hour race was due to get underway at 12 p.m.

Qualifying earlier on Saturday was red-flagged due to snow, while the inclement weather continued throughout the morning. 

“The current track conditions do not allow the race to be carried out safely,” commented race director Frank Taller. “In addition, there is no significant weather improvement in prospect for the afternoon.”

The decision to cancel the race was informed by NLS driver’s representative Nico Menzel, who reported getting into a “snowdrift” at one part of the track on an evaluative tour.

“When we drove out shortly before half-past seven, the asphalt temperature was 5 degrees C (41 F),” said Menzel.

“The conditions were cold, but manageable. Then I got into the snowdrift in Schwalbenschwanz. Ice crystals quickly formed on the track and the grip was suddenly gone.

“A significant improvement in the weather was not in sight at the time of the cancellation. With the inconsistent conditions, the risk of a race would simply be too great.”

Freezing conditions have impacted NLS events in the past, such as the 2019 edition of the DMV four-hour race which was abandoned after less than two laps due to a snowstorm. Last weekend’s official pre-season test was also canceled due to cold weather.

A field of more than 140 cars was due to contest the NLS curtain-raiser, which was set to mark the first stage of competitive preparation for the Nürburgring 24 in June.

“The entire organization team has invested a lot of work in the past few weeks to make the event possible under pandemic conditions,” said VLN VV organization managing director Christian Stephani.

“At the end of the day, we can be certain that everything has worked from an organizational point of view.

“Of course, we would have loved to have competed and delivered thrilling action from the Green Hell to the fans. But unfortunately we cannot change the weather. Now we’re looking ahead.”

The next round on the 2021 NLS calendar is due to take place on April 17.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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