Motodrom Insight // NitrOlympX 2023

Keep the engine running

What began in 1986 as the “International Dragster Race at the Hockenheimring” developed via the “Nitrolympics” into the “NitrOlympX”, the pinnacle European cult event in this field, which also enjoys a fantastic international reputation. After two years of pandemic, which firmly put the brakes on, the event finally took place again in front of a brilliant backdrop at the end of August 2022. At this point, we don’t necessarily want to talk about a “comeback”, because the “NOX” were never gone. It was more the “controlled release of boost pressure” that had built up over this two-year pit stop. Let’s describe it like this: The NitrOlympX as a top-fuel engine, which was meticulously prepared for two years, in whose tuning many new ideas were incorporated, and to which the all-important nitro, we call it “fans”, was added last, and: BANG! Clean, straight, no dropouts, a great time. A furious race weekend.

For the 35th time, around 200 teams from all over Europe competed for valuable points for the FIA and FIM European Championship crowns, as well as in first-class Sportsman classes on the Rico Anthes Quartermile and delivered many top sporting performances. Besides many personal best times and new records, there was also a new German record to report. Team Cleber from Berlin set the class record in the Super Street Bike class with Clemens “Wally” Walleit on a turbo Kawasaki, setting the bar at 322.15 km/h in 7.339 seconds. In the Sportsman class Super Twin Top Gas, German Gerhard Caspari improved the European record to 7.275 seconds and 298.43 km/h.

Farewell run of legend Eric Teboul

One important part of the NitrOlympX since 1991 has been the traditional “Nightshow” on Saturday evening. It is probably the “biggest unrehearsed live show in the world”. This means that the riders and show acts only receive a short briefing and are then thrown into the lion’s den according to a roughly fixed choreography beforehand. Last year, the fans transformed the sold-out Motodrom into a billowing sea of lights with their mobile phone lights. In front of this grandiose backdrop, the protagonists ignited a veritable fireworks display of motorsport highlights: from breath-taking motorbike stunts by the Red Bull FMX Show to top fuelers and jet dragsters that lit up the night with their flames and “burned” across the stage with the force of an Apollo rocket. Things got emotional during the farewell run of drag racing legend Eric Teboul. The Frenchman ended his decade-long career in various bike classes with a run on his unique Rocket bike and was given a standing ovation. With an unbelievable time of 5.123 seconds and a speed of 421.37 km/h, he set a two-wheel track record on the Hockenheim quarter mile in his last run.

The NitrOlympX never sleeps. Yes, a platitude, but nevertheless our motto. Preparations for “23” have been underway since September. For example, we have been working on a new paddock grandstand: The steeper structure will offer an even better and unique view of the Quartermile. As the supporting programme in the fun area of the paddock was also very well-received by the visitors, further activities are being planned.

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