EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR OWENS AHEAD OF EAGERLY-AWAITED 24 HOUR RACE DEBUT
One of the biggest challenges in world motorsport awaits British driver Raoul Owens next weekend, 27th/28th May, when awe-inspiring Eifel track Nurburgring-Nordschleife hosts the annual ADAC Zurich 24 Hour Race.
In a year of wide-ranging firsts for the 22-year-old from Pembury in Kent, the eagerly awaited upcoming twice-round-the-clock encounter at Germany’s immense 24-kilometre venue will be Owens’ maiden experience of a 24 Hour contest and he simply cannot wait for the event to begin.
His most recent competitive outing with Walkenhorst Motorsport came during last month’s six-hour race at the Nordschleife, at that point the longest encounter of his motor racing career, which acted as the Qualification Race for the 24 Hour.
Not only achieving a richly deserved podium finish in the Cup5 Class, where he was partnered by fellow Britons Seb Morris and Hunter Abbott, as well as German driver Thomas Hetzer, the event also enabled Owens to complete the required number of laps to be granted a 24 Hour race permit.
“I think the six hour was a good build up to this and the result was obviously really good too”, said Owens, “This is another whole new challenge for me, it’s a very good event and something you need to experience. There aren’t all that many drivers with the experience of racing in the 24 Hour at the Nordschleife, so it’s a great opportunity to get this on my CV for the future.
“This is very much a year of firsts on many levels, every race has been getting longer and last time, in the six hour, I raced as part of a four driver line-up for the first time which was great preparation for next weekend. Every time you hit the track at the Nordschleife you learn something new.”
With as many as 200 cars expected to participate in the ADAC Zurich 24 Hour at the longest and most notorious track in the world, the event will be one of the most hotly contested of its kind. Quite rightly, BMW 235i driver Owens is going into the race with his eyes wide open.
“Competing in a 24 Hour race is one of the hardest things you can do and while Le Mans obviously has the prestige and the profile, I think the Nurburgring-Nordschleife is a more challenging track”, he commented, “I would like to have been driving something quicker for my 24 Hour debut, but this is a good step and hopefully we can move into something like a GT3 later in the year.
“For sure this 24 Hour will be an eye-opener, the races I’ve been competing in recently have been getting longer and more and more tactical but this is another huge step up. I’m really excited by the night driving aspect too, I managed to do some night driving in practice for the six hour and that was a great experience. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity, I can’t wait.”
Track action for the ADAC Zurich 24 Hour competitors begins on Thursday, 25th May, with free practice and first qualifying ahead of second qualifying on Friday, 26th May. The big race itself will start at 15.30 (local time) on Saturday, 27th May.