Up to 10,000 socially distanced seats will be opened up for spectators to attend next weekend’s Nürburgring 24 at allocated points around the Grand Prix section of the circuit.
The Nordschleife, which makes up most of the N24 track, will continue to be off-limits but fans and VIP guests will be allowed to visit in accordance with measures designed to prevent coronavirus transmission.
The N24 organizing group, which includes the Nürburgring circuit administration and the ADAC Nordrhein motor club, have gained the necessary permissions from the German health ministry to stage the event with limited numbers of spectators.
The BMW M Power, Bilstein and Mercedes grandstands at the start of the lap will be open at half capacity, along with the ’12a’ grandstand on the run down to the back chicane.
Spectator seats will be separated by two seats in all directions, while no more than two people can sit together at any time.
Fans can only enter the Nürburgring with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, vaccination or recovery from infection. Wearing a face covering will be mandatory at all times.
It was previously unclear if spectators would be allowed trackside due to the rising rate of coronavirus infections in Germany and Europe during the early months of 2021.
Spectators were permitted to attend last year’s rain-soaked Nürburgring 24, where access was restricted to the grandstands around the start-finish area and first corners.
“We are very pleased that we can welcome visitors on site this year as well,” said race director Walter Hornung.
“The fact that the ADAC TOTAL 24-hour race is the first major sporting event in Rhineland-Palatinate to welcome a noteworthy number of visitors in the stands is the result of our intensive efforts together with the Nürburgring.
“Even if… more opportunities for our fans in motorhomes in some selected camping areas on the Nordschleife could have been presented.”
Nürburgring managing director Mirco Markfort added: “We see it as a result of our good work that we are once again able to be a pioneer in this area this year.
“This naturally entails a high level of responsibility and increased costs, but it is also a great opportunity to set positive impulses – for the region and the organizers, for motorsport and Nürburgring fans as well as for the entire event industry. Infection protection is our top priority.”
None of the NLS rounds held so far this year, nor the Nürburgring 24 qualifying race on May 8, permitted fans to attend.
In addition to five more NLS races, other major sports car events due to take place at the Nürburgring later this year include ADAC GT Masters (Aug. 7-8), DTM (Aug. 21-22) and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup (Sep. 4-5).
More than 120 cars are on the entry list for the Nürburgring 24, including 35 GT3 cars from Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, Lamborghini and defending winner BMW.