Awe is what the mention of the Nurburgring inspires in the minds of motorsport aficionados worldwide. Aditya Patel is no exception.
Growing up in the 1990s, he was among those who heard horror stories of the old ‘Ring'; venturing online to watch videos of early races, only
intensified the intimidation. “Those videos scare you,” says Patel. “There’s very little racing - all you see are the crashes.”
By age 23, Patel had already conquered two variants of what is touted as the most difficult race circuit in the world. As a 22-year-old, during the inaugural season of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup in 2010, he won a race at a shortened version of the modern GP facility, the approximately five-km-long circuit that hosted, alternatively, the European, Luxembourg and, as recently as two years ago, German Grand Prix.
The North Loop, though, presented a wholly different challenge. “It’s very intimidating and very, very fast; if you lose control, nothing’s going to save you,” says Patel about the 24-km monster that winds up and down the Eifel mountains in western Germany. The Green Hell took some time getting used to. “It’s such a long track,” says Patel, “when you do a lap of it in your mind, you tend to skip a few corners.” But once he did, Patel drove his Audi TT S to victory in the SP4T class of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring last year.
He will have a shot at a three-peat in August, an Audi R8 LMS ultra for the MS Racing team in this year’s ADAC GT Masters. The GT3-class series starts next week at Oschersleben, another circuit where Patel has a win to his credit in the R-Cup.
Of course, Patel is also hoping to have another crack over 24 hours, same team and class, if possible. “The slot is still open, but I’m waiting for sponsorships. Audi India has invested the full amount in the GT Masters, but is helping me find a team for the 24 Hours,” says Patel, who is also backed by JK Tyres, MAS Holdings and Amante.