Planning for the Nurburgring 24 Hours started off over a month ahead of the event - after the stormer of an event we had at Sebring, I invited William Burfield (Sir Smokey) to come and race with us at The Nurburgring 24 Hours, and he was more than happy to - bringing some wisdom, experience and a little bit of exposure.
He was quickly promoted to Team Principal to "take charge" of the operation. Using this new power he would neaten up the server a bit
A few days (week) passes and everyone and everything is still calm - It's the week of ELMS Sebring, so attention slightly shifts to that.
On returning to the topic, there was a little bit of conversation about weather we'd run together and it sort of left me in a catch 22 position - do I run with Sir Smokey for my first ever Nurburgring 24 Hours, and leave Kabort to deal with themselves potentially creating a little bit of conflict of interest - or do I race with Kabort and let Will down - and prioritise Kabort - especially after all the races he had done for Kabort in the past. Will always said he was looking for a much lighter atmosphere than Kabort as a serious Esports Racing Team - and during these conversations he made this evidently clear by saying
"24S always has and will be a lone wolf thing really, that's why...it's a story as much as it is a fundraiser"
meaning it's not so much about getting the best result as possible - but more about the fundraising and story.
With that the N24 discussions dropped until a few weeks later when it appeared that Will was back on the team. In the mean time, I had been getting creative with Euro Truck Simulator 2, creating a Kabort truck!
The Livery On the 30th of March, I proposed to Will my idea for a potential livery. The initial plan was to use the same guy I had purchased the Bathurst Liveries from because I was stunned by them...but it would come at a massive price. £80 for three cars. (£26 per car). Had I gone with Doug he could have done them for a fraction of the price - but I wanted something special for my first Nurburgring 24 Hours - especially as the charity we'd be raising for was "The Ambulance Staff Charity" .
Milner (the Designer) said he would start work when I paid roughly £20 - which at the time I didn't quite have to throw at a livery. Will kept the surprises coming as he was kind enough to buy me a (mechanical) keyboard and Bluetooth mouse - a much needed upgrade from the falling apart one I had beforehand. April Fools Day. 1st February. Our first Nurburgring recruit joined the server; Mike McCloskey.
He wouldn't stay for long due to the frequent notifications, but it was a start.
As time went on, more and people filled the server - firstly Martyn Pearson, followed by William Schwed and then Tijmen Berends - a friend of Maxim's.
But on the eve of Kabort's first podium...disaster would strike. Nash would jokingly encourage Will to make some temporary changes to the server. I didn't really want to have these made, so I demoted Will to a role in which he could not make any further changes, before promoting him again after the changes in question were said to be fixed/unchanged.
The changes were happening in real time and I wanted to take control of the situation since I had little control over the changes being made or what the changes could entail.
Following this, I put Will back to the role with no rights, before I quickly reverted the changes made before anything more severe could be done. Shortly after, Will told me that he was the only one who could make undesirable changes to the server and was about to revert it himself straight away. The main problem with this is that I did not trust Will with being in a role with the ability to make changes to the server - and at Nurburgring Nordschliefe you've not only got to trust your competitor, you've got to trust your own team - and if there are trust problems within your own team then you've got a major issue.
After doing everything for Kabort Motorsport Will felt that there was little to no trust after I had both demoted him from the role, and removed the changes made. Trust is a two way thing and if neither party trusts one another then that's an incredibly sour situation to be in.
The Last Drivers Arrive Returning to the positive news, our newest driver had just arrived - our first Mexican - Dante Reynoso - joining for the Merc GT3 squad before German Dirk Reski would join the party in the GT4 - before quickly switching to GT3. The teams were slowly but surely shaping up...but there were still more drivers to come!
As James Powlesland joined the server to race the Mercedes GT3, Wild ideas of all sorts were flying around - such as running Ferrari's and Audi's - but none would come to fruition.
Next to join the server was Arron Brown - at only 14 Years Old he obliterated the previous record for youngest driver to join Kabort - he too would be filling up the Merc seat. 10 Days Before the start of the race - here's how the teams were looking:
GT3 Affinity Maxim Badidi (NTL) Peer Brennscheidt (GER) Tijmen Berends (NTL) Lars Bachmann (GER) Tennyson Whitty (AUS)
Robin Truswell (GBR) James Peace (GBR) James Powlesland (USA) Dirk Reski (GER) Samuel Thurtell (AUS)
Dante Reynoso (MEX)
Daniel Evans (GBR) William Schwed (USA)
(Chris Shaw) Following Arron was Chris Shaw - who as incredibly interested in the GT4/TCR. Jake Manhire made a brief appearance (then disappeared) before Brian Peeters and his 3k iRating entered the stage and headed straight for the Affinity Merc. In his footsteps, another German, Dominick Gahlow stepped in, looking for a calm ride. We were filling quite a few seats by this point, so I stretched the Mercdes' out into three cars - a fast (Affinity), Medium (Global) and slow (Ruhe).
The new drivers perfectly ensured we had an (almost) equal amount for each of the three Mercedes'. GT3 Affinity Maxim Badidi (NTL Lars Bachmann (GER) Peer Brennscheidt (GER) Brian Peeters (NTL) Tennyson Whitty (AUS) GT3 Global Samuel Thurtell (AUS) Dante Reynoso (MEX) Dominick Gahlow (GER) James Peace (GBR) James Powlesland Samuel Thurtell (AUS) GT3 Ruhe Robin Truswell (GBR)
Dirk Reski (GER) William Schwed (USA) Arron Brown (USA)
Chris Shaw The Inevitable Collapse
After this - a little more confusion was added into the mix - Ex-Driver Samuel Swallow didn't quite have enough drivers to fill out his team. Originally he asked if he could burrow some drivers, I then offered him and his team of himself, Chandler Rubeck, Daniel Fisher and a driver from Kabort - this WAS going to be called Kabort Privateer (because it was a group of Sam's friends) but fortunately they sorted themselves out.
The TCR car was also slightly crumbling - but with Fabian W. Kirschgen joining them, I hoped that we could salvage something.... Dirk Reski shortly left after this, despite a short look at racing with the Mercedes AMG GT Team and with no sign of Chris Shaw and Martyn Pearson not fancying to be alone for 24 Hours - Fabian left as quickly as he came. Mikhael would also join but with everything going wild at the last minute, he decided not to race, but stick around for the next one.
The "Ruhe" team would also collapse - with Dirk gone, no sign of William Schwed, it was just myself and Arron Brown left - so we decided to join up with Global - what I failed to do however is register Arron for the global team - this meant he'd miss his first ever Nurburgring 24 Hours...
and with the dust of Fabian settled it was the night before the race.
The morning sun shone through the windows of the Nurburgring Congress Hotel as the drivers awoke. After a quick breakfast, early-bird fan meet and greet it was time for the track walk (or cycle) before heading inside for the briefing... One briefing later and it was finally time...
At long last - we've been preparing months for this...the last hour before the N24.
Everything was leading up to this one moment. The Race