- Dec 29, 2006
Finally a new PB @ Nordschleife 6:21.316
Overtaking at the Nord
On the contrary to the popular believe there aren’t many places to do it over the 20+ km lap of the Nord.
The best and the only true overtaking zone of the Nord is the “power hill” area around the toll straight (Castel to the right into Tiergarten) where typical draft overtaking can be done easily if there are the hp to go along with it (the track is much wider here too)."Danger" areas
So yes, be prepared to do 16 km behind that slightly slower driver waiting for the power hill…
In general overtaking is all about getting (wining) a better line than your adversary and not bumping him out of the way (more on this later at the end of the post*).
Other overtaking points that require more skill and little bit of luck are some of the hard braking areas around the track.
- Aremberg (km 3) – It is easier to do it from the inside line (be careful with understeer, don’t hit the other car on the outside), but can be done from an outside line (harder and be careful with understeer/ oversteer and hitting the inside car).
- Bergwerk (km 9) – Taking the Inside line while breaking into this right hander (again be careful with too much understeer hitting the outside line car).
- Karussell (km 12) – With a good exit from the previews turn (hard breaking from a very quick area) it is possible to win the inside line (the quickest) to the karussell (just be careful not to hit outside car when entering the concrete banking).
- Tiergarten (km 19) – With a mother of a long hard breaking is possible (and hard) to win the inside line to the final chicane into the pit area (very dangerous nevertheless as the understeer can be mortal for both cars).
A better tactic and perhaps easier (and safer) than disputing breaking points along the narrow Nord is to wait… along the 16 to 17 km leading into the power hill, the adversary is likely to do small line mistakes somewhere. Stay close (not too close) and capitalize on them while he exits his “wrong” and slower turn exit, typical places for this to happen are:
- Adenaurer Forst (km 5) – Power exiting and overtaking after this S.
- Wehrseifen (km 7) –The front racer understeers into the tight downhill S and the behind racer capitalizes taking the inside line.
- Ex – Mühle (km 8) – Usually the mistake here is oversteering, so capitalize on that and again carefully power exit from an outside line (inside line works too if the front racer is understeering).
- Brünnchen (km 14) – After the famous (infamous) right turn (specially with rain) the usual mistake of the front racer is too much entry speed and the corresponding understeer, power through the small valley on the inside line.
All the above overtaking situations are possible and some require more “help” from the front racer than others. Of course all the above doesn’t take into account giving laps situations or when the front racer permits the overtaking. Speaking of this, as most of you know it isn’t well seen in endurance racing aggressive line defenses unless the final of the event is thereabouts. The reason is simple, the all idea of defending a line for 2.5 hrs is kind of a mute point, so avoid extremely defensive slow inside lines and parking the car in the middle of the track (opt for a line when going into a turn, don’t use the “middle” line).
Regarding overtaking (last but not least), here stay some common public server overtaking mistakes.
On the Nord there are 2 very fast one line sections:
- Flugplatz area (km 1-3) – Speeds up to 300km (GTP)
- Kesselchen area (km 9 -11) – Speeds up to 280km (GTP)
These zones are absolute “one liners”.
Just because the 2nd racer (the one behind) is in the slipstream and is much faster this doesn’t give him the right to force an overtaking. Even if the 2nd racer goes side by side it is very dangerous for both as these zones require crossing lines to be made at high speed.
Other “one liner” areas but done at average speeds (3rd, 4th gear) are:
- Km 6 to 7, km 12 to 14 (big one) and km 15 to 16.
Ok, the track is “hard” as I typed earlier, but in truce is not as “mortal” as other known tracks. A good example of this is Le Mans 77, a less forgiving circuit.
Unless someone falls asleep, the only true “mortal” (kills the engine) areas are the long hard breaking into the final S before the pits (Tiergarten) and the breaking into Wehrseifen (km 7) as there is a barrier on the outside of the track.*Finely and speaking of bumping and accidents; remember, each touch on another car is on average about 1 to 3 km/h less when arriving at one of the 3 high speed areas for both cars. So those small bumps and touches that somewhat are acceptable in Mini or STCC/WTCC sprint races are far from welcome here.
All other common exiting areas (Aremberg (km 3), Metzgesfeld (km 6), Ex – Mühle (km 8), Bergwerk (km 9), the all Karussell area (km 12), Hohe Acht (Km 13), Brünnchen (km 14), Pflanzgarten (km 15), Schwalbenschwanz (km 16) and Galgenkpf (Km 17)) will give you a lost spliter/wing and maybe a lost wheel, but the car will move along “limping” to the pits (once it took me 16 minutes on 3 wheels to undo a mistake in the Aremberg area).
Just as an example, on a recent race at a public server I was bumped from behind 3 times at a few breaking points (heavily but no suspension or wing damage), the car was doing 10 to 15 km speed less up-hill top speed.