At the front of the grid, the more-powerful GT3 cars head off for their formation lap.
Following just a week after the Le Mans 24h, the Nurburgring 24h doesn't attract the same coverage as its more glamourous counterpart, but as a spectacle it's completely unique. Over 200 cars, ranging from a Mk3 VW Golf GTI right up to 200mph McLaren 12C GT3s, line up in various classes and share the same narrow piece of tarmac for 24 hours.
Incidents are a given as the faster GT3 cars scythe through the slower cars on the tight and twisting track, so ultimately the race is about survival - the team that spends the least time in the pits invariably does well.
It's an endurance event for the fans too, some of whom arrive at the track up to a week before the race starts to set up elaborate multi-story track-side camps, complete with nightclub-spec sound systems and bonfires that burn into the night.
This year there was plenty of British interest in the event - Auto Express' senior road tester Owen Mildenhall was competing in a near standard Mazda MX-5, one of the least powerful cars on the grid, while Auto Express contributors Richard Meaden and Jethro Bovingdon took to the track in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 and BMW M235i respectively.