Challenge Nürburgring (RCN) (circuit racing challenge Nürburgring),
mainly known as Castrol-HAUGG-Cup (CHC) is a motorsport event that
is similar to rallying on a closed race circuit. Being run since
the early 1960s mainly on the Nürburgring,
it is regarded as Germany's oldest touring car racing series.
For many years, the series
was sponsored by Castrol and HAUGG (a company owned by a race driver,
providing car parts like radiators). For 2007, the sponsorship arrangements
will be changed, putting less emphasis on these two companies.
The event is
officially styled by the FIA/DMSB
as a Leistungsprüfung 200km (LP200, performance test over 200
km). This means that the CHC is not a real race for positions among
cars that are started at once from a grid (like VLN endurance races),
but a time trial, with cars being started one by one, about 5 seconds
apart. This reduces the risks of collisions, as it makes few sense
to lose time by defending his position.
Most CHC events
are held on the Nürburgring,
on the 20.832km long Nordschleife version, on Saturday afternoon
following a constancy
examination run by the same organizers. One or two additional
events are held on the Grand
Prix track, and also on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps if
possible. As season highlight in front of thousands of spectators,
the CHC runs on the Thursday before a 24 Hours Nürburgring
race, which is a holiday, either Ascension Day or Corpus Christi
(feast). The track versions used during that event include various
sections of the Grand
Prix track. In 2005, the CHC was run on 4 different track versions,
three of them at the Nürburgring.
On the Nordschleife,
15 laps of 20.832km have to be run, for 312km overall (longer than
an F1 race). The first (warm up) lap, the last (cool down) and two
laps in between for a pit
stop are not timed, unless a generous maximum time is exceeded.
Of the remaining 11 laps, 9 are run at full speed (like a special
stage in rallying), with each second counting as one penalty point.
Two laps have to be done at a given time similar to a liaison stage
in rallying. If the tolerance of +/- 2 seconds is exceeded, each
second counts tenfold, so some discipline and precision is required.
In wet conditions, these laps can decide the winners, as they can
add a significant amount penalty points to the tally.
The entry fee
is about 400 Euro. As in rallying, a co-driver can be on board,
a quite unique possibility to take a passenger to circuit racing.
Also, two drivers can share a drive, which reduces costs for amateurs.
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