Thinking of racing at the Nürburgring?
Here are all the things you should know before you even start planning.
Which major racing events/championships are taking place there?
- NLS / Nurburgring Langstrecken Serie (Formerly known as VLN)
- RCN / Rundstrecken Challenge Nurburgring
What is the difference between the two type of events?
- NLS is an endurance racing championship with a regular position race system. That means you are fighting for the actual position during the race.
- RCN, unlike NLS, is an event based on timed laps, co-drivers onboard and penalty points to discourage inconsistency.
Ok then, it is settled. I am all for that bumper-to-bumper action, so NLS it is then!
- Not really. You see, the way DMSB (the national association of motorsports in Germany) has done it, you first have to acquire a special “Nordschleife Permit” (also known as DPN).
But I already have an FIA racing license. Isn’t that enough?
- The Nordschleife Permit (DPN), doesn’t replace or cannot be replaced by any other type of racing license. It rather is an additional type of license that one has to acquire before being able to participate in any kind of racing event there.
- And in all fairness, the Nordschleife being such a particular place, you want to make sure that you are all racing by using the same rules. The aim is to improve the safety of these racing events by basically regulating that all attendees already have the minimum of experience.
Ok, I am listening – What else do I need to know about this Nordschleife Permit?
- First of all it has different grades. Each grade gives you different access to events.
- Grade C: Only for RCN Race “Schwedenkreuz” and Youngtimer / FHR. Cost of issue for this permit is 28€.
- Grade B: NLS, 24h Qualification Race (6h) and 24h Race in “small” classes like V2 – V5, Opel Cup, Toyota Cup, BMW Cup. Cost of issue for this permit is 54€.
- Grade A: NLS, 24h Qualification Race (6h) and 24h Race in “big” classes (V6, SP3T, SP5 to SP10 (GT3/GT4), Porsche Cup). Cost of issue for this permit is 82€.
Ok then, if this is mandatory. Let’s do it! How do I acquire this so called DPN (Nordschleife Permit)?
Because I am a racing driver and in case you didn’t know, we racing drivers are in a hurry!
Option No.1 -Undertake the special Nordschleife Driver Training Program, which is a 1.5 day course.
- This is a training program which comes in the format of 0.5 day of theory (Zoom Meeting during COVID times) and 1 day of 8 hours, practical training.
- One can undertake this program even with his own car if it meets requirements. No need for a race car.
- An International C type of racing license is required.
Option No.2 – Through participating in one RCN race “Leistungspruefung” alone or two races in case you are sharing the car.
- Basically have to attend one or two races of the RCN series.
- Same rules apply as described above and below this text here. Continue reading.
- An International C type of racing license is required.
Wait, earlier you are mentioning an RCN race called “Schwedenkreuz” but now, just above, you mention an RCN race named “Leistungspruefung”. Why are you changing things, what’s the difference?
- Does not need a Nordschleife Permit (DPN) as this is your way towards getting one really.
- Is based on timed-laps, like we explained in the beginning of this article
- Allows co-drivers
- Has a penalty system for discouraging inconsistency
- Is usually the last event of the RCN annual championship and is the only one of this type during the whole year.
- Requires a grade C Nordschleife Permit (DPN) or race results from two previous Leistungspruefung events or the special Nordschleife training program.
- Is not based on timed-laps but rather in position during the race. Just like a normal race to make it more clear.
- Allows co-drivers.
- Doesn’t have a penalty system for inconsistent lap times. FLAT OUT!
Well, ok – can we recap please because this is too much information now and I just said I want to race the Nordschleife?
- If you want to participate in a normal fender to fender, bumper to bumper race at the Nürburgring you are going to need the special Nordschleife permit, a.k.a. DPN, grade B.
- In order to acquire this you can either undergo a special training 1.5 day session or participate in two RCN “Leistungspruefung” events and one “Schwedenkreuz”.
- For either of the two above, you will be needing an International C type of racing license additionally.
Ok, clear enough regarding the details of the prerequisites but what about costs. Are we talking about 1.000 – 10.000 – 100.000 or what? I have heard that racing can be quite expensive.
As this is a generic type of post to cover all the major/main questions someone might have before jumping into this adventure, let’s talk ballpark entry level pricing. When it comes to racing, sky is the limit in terms of spending!
Special Nordschleife Training Route
- DMSB Nordschleife Permit Driver’s Training (DPN): 1.990€ + 54€. Excluding a car. You either have to be able to come with your own car or rent a car.
- Car rental: This all boils down to personal preference really as you can undergo the training with whatever car you want to drive/rent. Prices starting from 1.000€.
- Total: Circa 3.000€ for the driver’s training path all included.
RCN Racing Route
But what if I chose the path to participate in the RCN events instead of taking the Training program? Like this I will also get to drive more, get used to traffic management and spend more time in the race car which sounds like a good thing to do before joining a bigger race at the notorious Nordschleife?
- RCN “Leistungspruefung” race: 5.000€/car with everything included + 54€. Entry fees, car, fuel, tires, mechanical support, transportation. With this budget you will be looking at driving a car like a BMW M240 Cup or similar.
- Either you prefer to go directly for the one complete race alone or share the car with another driver to split costs but gather the experience of two events, that’s your call.
- Total: Circa 5.000€/driver all included for the racing route.
Strong suggestion is to participate in two RCN “Leistungspruefung” and one RCN “Schwedenkreuz” race before joining any NLS race. Surely having some more training and putting some more kms in at the Nordschleife can never be a bad thing. If anything, it will help you feel more comfortable with all the traffic management, different classes and the difference in speed and possibly different weather conditions.
I would personally hate driving a wet race without ever having practiced before – and vice versa.
All reasonable so far, the math looks sound and the obligations look clear. Where do I start unravelling the string?
- Well, its quite easy if you have landed here. All you have to do is send an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, explaining a little bit of what you want to do and your goals and allow me to guide you as best as I can through all of the process.
- Basically you are going to have an answer to any of the questions that I might have not covered above, as well as having everything taken care of for you.