Every year, the Nordschleife hosts the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Imagine (the better known) Le Mans 24 Hours with jumps, blind bends and 100-ft trees for secondary crash barriers. It is more rally stage than race track and, for the 24 Hours, rammed full of cars and drivers of varied capabilities.
“It is so far from the pits we carry cash for a cab, a rain jacket and an extra mobile phone if we need to call for summon help,” states former F1 driver Tiago Monteiro. The Portuguese ace has also raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours but nothing compares with dicing for 24 hours round the old Nurburgring.
“It is probably the most challenging, the most difficult race on earth,” says the Honda driver. “Twenty-four hours are always tough, no matter where you do it. But when you add changing by the weather, a crazy long 25 kilometres race track, with bumps, twenty- something blind corners… it is really the more demanding.”
If you think Monteiro and the four-wheeled gladiators who take on each other round the Green Hell are tough, meet Australian Josh Hook. He is a 24 hour racer too. Except he races on 2 wheels.
In this time of Covid, 2020’s only major 24 hour bike race was at Le Mans in August. Hook, 27, entered despite having two broken bones in his right foot – sustained in a crash less than a day before the race began.
To pitch Hook and Monteiro against each other in reality is impossible. But in the world of film comparisons are possible. Former WRC, Dakar and F1 presenter Jeremy Hart has just finished making a documentary called 2+4=24. He follows Josh and Tiago to the edges of hell and back in the two toughest 24 Hour races of 2020.