The Rundstrecken Challenge Nürburgring (RCN) is regarded as Germany's oldest touring car racing series. Unlike in regular races for position, the event has similarities to a regularity race, with cars being started one by one, about 5 seconds apart. This reduces the risks of collisions, as there is no benefit for a racer to defend his or her position. Touring cars as well as GT cars participate in the race.
Most RCN events are held on the Nürburgring, mainly on the 20.832 km long Nordschleife version, on Saturday afternoon. One or two additional events includes the Grand Prix track, on the combined tracks as used in VLN or at the 24h Nürburgring.
On the Nordschleife, 15 laps of 20.832 km have to be run, for 312 km overall. Due to being an amateur event without practice, the first (warm up) lap, the last (cool down) and two laps in between for a pit stop are not timed, unless a generous maximum time is exceeded. Of the remaining 11 laps, 9 are run at full speed (like a special stage in rallying), with each second counting as one penalty point. Two laps have to be done at a given time similar to a liaison stage in rallying. If the tolerance of +/- 2 seconds is exceeded, each second counts tenfold, so some discipline and precision is required. In wet conditions, these laps can decide the winners, as they can add a significant amount of penalty points to the tally.
It sounds complicated, but actually is not when you get used to it. In addition, some drivers use the race to get some practice on the Nordschleife and do not care much about the penalty points.
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