Wayne Moore wouldn't let a ravaging virus stop him from competing at Nürburgring in Germany last year, and despite Europe still being unsettled by Covid-19 he is heading back this Queen's Birthday weekend for a 27th time.
Moore, 69, from Paekākāriki, will be competing in the Nürburgring 24 hour race, the culmination of the four-day programme which is in one of the largest motorsport events in the world.
Held in September last year, delayed due to Covid-19, the event is back in its rightful place on the global motorsport calendar in June.
Permitting 8500 spectators in the 40,000 seat pitlane grandstands last year, there is still no official word yet on the status of spectators for this year's event as the Covid-19 situation continues to be ever-changing.
The track for the 24 hour race Moore is competing in consists of a 25.3km circuit which fully encloses villages, goes through forests and also crosses the main street of Adenau which is the major village in the area.
On a normal year around 230,000 fans camp in the forest surrounding the track to watch, although this year they might again be absent.
"The event without fans provided a surreal atmosphere albeit a purist's race last year," Moore said.
"Drivers could really concentrate on racing without the distraction of flares and fireworks, music louder than the cars and the aroma of steaks cooking."
Last year the race was stopped for a lengthy period during the autumn night due to fog compounded with dangerous flooding across numerous parts of the race track.
"I'm hoping the return to the northern spring will herald more settled weather although it is often a lottery in the Eifel Mountains."
Moore returned to driving a Volkswagen last year after six years with BMW and previously 17 with a factory-supported VW team.
Moore last drove a modified-turbo Golf VI to second place in his class and this year will be driving a Golf VII GTI production car in class V2T.
This will be the twelfth different car he has raced at the Nürburgring ranging from a Suzuki Swift and VW Polo to a very quick BMW335 3 litre twin-turbo.
"My focus is always on fast, tidy and consistent laps and being competitive within my class."
He has won his class twice, both times in a VW and has a personal goal to win a third.
Moore's invitation to drive the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race came by letter from German Florian Schmidt in 1994 after the two had previously met and rallied together in Wellington and lower North Island events in the early 1990s.
Aside from German-nationals no race driver in the world has competed more times in the event than Moore, and last year there were entries from 26 different nationalities in 18 makes of vehicle despite numbers being dramatically down due to Covid-19.
Wayne leaves for Germany on May 22, hoping to come back as the winner of his class for the third time.