Donnerstag, 13. Dezember 2012
Yesterday 20832 was the winner at a contest of official Nürburgring in Facebook, which made me think back in history:
When exactly it was that I created that number?
For that we need to step waaaayyy back: on June 2000 my website nurburgring.de went live to support the 24 Hours race of our Audi 200. I still keep the original version running for historical reasons ;)
At the time I was wondering why nobody registered that domain, official Nürburgring was not interested and after looking at that idle name space for some years I finally found a good reason to register it.
Audi 200 in our workshop in June 2000, with “nurburgring.de” on the fender.
This is what a race team looked like 12 years ago. I’m probably checking the correct position of the stickers - something I still do today! :) Strange to see the Audi without “N”, but I invented that 2 years later.
Remember “Haus D”? Back at the time, when the Ring was about racing. No roller coasters and crap. Martin Kohlhaas on the picture, me half in the car and if I’m not mistaken this is Niki Raeder on the way in too.
Stefan Reinhold, our team manager. A role he enjoyed - he still does today.
It was P 31 on the starting grid in 2000 …
… and even better with P 16 overall after 24 hours.
Supported by a small team we collected all digital webcams our friends had back at the time, which were a total of 3. Still we could do our first “live” reporting and the guestbook with entries from Australia really gave us shivers. Long time ago with not much going on at the internet.
What was intended to support our racing efforts rapidely grew into a community and the website was joined by a forum. I spent some time working on a layout and coded the database support - which is exactly the same layout and coding you look at now - over 10 years later.
The red-and-white-N logo has seen the light of day a little bit later - in 2002.
However, I found nurburgring.de both too long and too obvious and I wanted to come up with something completely new. Like the N logo basically, something never seen before and completely unrelated.
That was the birth of 20832. At the time it was not allowed to register “.de” domains with numbers only. But “.com” was, so I went for it, as it was still free and way shorter as the old domain. Much later “.de” allowed numbers as well, but the run was big and I missed the registration. Only to get a mail from the new owner, who offered to donate it to me for free :)
I registered 20832.com on Oct 3rd 2004, but it’s real introduction came 2005.
When the Audi was tested for the 24h to participate for the 11th time the number really looked very homemade:
But at the 24 Hours 2005 it shined for the first time in it’s full glory at the front and both c-pillars:
Recognize some people here?
Race started from P 31. Again!
Pouring rain in the parade lap.
The field 2005 was one of the best ever.
The #60 Audi on P 9 overall after 15 laps at 6pm! M3 GTR (#1) in front, followed by Manthey Porsche (#46) and Zakspeed Viper (#77). quattro power! :)
This is the second M3 GTR chasing the Audi, it’s the BMW #2 car …
… and it just did it to go 9th. The Viper leading, Audi still 10th …
… with Christian Kohlhaas at the wheel.
Fair enough the #2 won after 24 Hours with Pedro Lamy / Boris Said / Duncan Huisman / Andy Priaulx.
2005 was the 11th and last time the Audi 200 entered the 24 Hours - unfortunately it was a DNF. Best result was 1999 with 11th overall. It was still on the road later, like 2007 STT, which was run alongside the 24 hours. A nice onboard video with Chris driving a 7:40 lap you can find on my renn.tv youtube channel. Don’t miss 7:12! :)
You can’t imagine how many people asked us what the number stands for.
Clearly we didn’t tell! Only a month later I sent a newsletter to explain the mistery ;)
People back then asked me, if I had to change the name. But I had not, in fact official Nürburgring back at the time was my friend (not my enemy) and their homepage always carried a link to nurburgring.de and the N logo under “partners”. Happy days. Good thing about the number is, once you remember it you both know my homepage plus you know the exact length of Nordschleife.
What I liked most of the name change was the fact that we are Nürburgring fans in the sense of Nordschleife. This is what it’s all about and always was. GP circuit is only a necessity to have pits, petrol and a way to heat up tires.
When you now see a red-white-N, which still carries the original nurburgring.de, you know how many years that one survived!
As you do know the copycat, when you see 20832 somewhere else.
And the Audi 200 today? It’s in great shape, ready-to-race, as if nothing has happened. And it still looks exactly like 2005. Only some STR stickers found their way onto the car: