If you call yourself a car enthusiast, you have some knowledge or experience of the famed Nürburgring race track. The legendary German track is world-famous, and this former-Formula One circuit can be raced on any number of video games and sims. For most of us, the Nürburgring Nordschleife is a dream spot that racing fans never even get to visit, let alone drive on.
But now, Optima Batteries has recruited Nürburgring-racer James Clay, to not only be a tour guide but a personal race car driver and instructor, for this rare opportunity as part of the Optima Ride Shotgun campaign. While the Optima Ride Shotgun contest has more than one racing prize to offer (six in total), the trip to the famed 16-mile long track in Nürburg, Germany, is of course, the holy grail for anyone reading TURNology.
Sure winners can run top speed at the Pikes Peak Air Strip Attack, rip around in a Stadium truck, or up the 1320 with these various contests. But, we wanted to look further into the Nürburgring 24-hour race details and what one lucky entrant will expect on this 73-turn dream track.
At the core of the experience is James Clay, who started the BimmerWorld performance parts business 22 years ago and has been involved in racing for more than 15 years now. Naturally, being involved in the BMW performance world, Clay has developed and marketed many parts. But, his relationship with Optima Batteries has passed the 20-year mark now, and his efforts have been important to their product development.
“We have been using Optima Batteries for more than two decades. BimmerWorld retails the product, and we rely on the product to go racing,” says Clay. “Our racing at the Nürburgring 24-hour has been part of DIN-fitment torture testing. When we ran into alternator failure on the 16-mile racetrack three years ago, the Optima [battery] brought us back into the pits with the lights functioning under our own power.”
The results of that torture testing were in-line with Optima’s wide range of useful applications from Pikes Peak to desert racing to demolition derbies and more. The contest plan was formed to turn these torture tests into the Optima Ride Shotgun experiences for car fans from all parts of the country to show them first-hand the environments to which these batteries are subjected.
“At the Nürburgring 24-hour Endurance Race on May 21-23, the Optima Ride Shotgun experience will be no joke,” laughs Clay. “Our BMW will be in full-race trim on a hot track for practice lapping. We should hit 165 mph on the straight in seventh gear turning 8- to 9-minute laps as we prep for the race. So, it isn’t a watered-down experience at all but close to what racers experience, so I hope the winner is ready.”
Optima indicated they wanted to get a load of great submissions and pick one of the best ones that showed the fabric of a genuinely passionate race fan. The aim wasn’t to get high-polished video submissions but car nuts who were certifiable speed freaks. Someone who would really engage with The Ring and the racers with their pit passes. The Nürburgring is undisputedly the wildest functioning race track in the world, and the winner is going to experience it all in a BMW race car, on slicks, through GT3 traffic at race speeds!
“We’ve been impressed with the 2-minute video submissions to date,” says Clay. “Now it’s on us and the selection panel to narrow it down, and viewers can see all the great user-generated content on the microsite.”
Already, we can’t believe what an incredible campaign Optima has put together (and legitimately sad we can’t enter), but organizers sweetened the deal for the lucky winners too. In addition to the trip to the jewel of German racing, the winner also gets a full ride to SEMA 2019! Yes, an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas with accommodations, passes, VIP access and $1,000 cash to splash.
For many gearheads, Optima just assembled two bucket list items into one contest for many waiting to live out the dream. As Clay explained to us, they want winners who are fired up about this very real content with take-aways that will last a lifetime. After several trips to the Nürburgring for both racing and personal, the experience is still not lost on Clay. He says it’s always thrilling to be there, race there, and wants to transfer that experience to a fan through Optima’s Ride Shotgun opportunity.
TURNology will be at SEMA Show 2019 to meet up with Optima and the winners to see just how pumped everyone is about their dream win in each Ride Shotgun category.
For more information visit: https://www.optimarideshotgun.com