Felix Baumgartner’s next challenge? The Nurburgring

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The man that jumped from the edge of space will soon face the Green Hell.

Felix Baumgartner, whose 24-mile space dive as part of the 2012 Red Bull Stratos project made him a worldwide celebrity, was scheduled to take part in the 2013 Race of Champions in Bangkok before the event was ultimately cancelled due to political unrest.

But the Austrian will soon have another challenge ahead of him: The Nurburgring 24 Hours.

Baumgartner will be taking part as a “gentleman driver,” but he’ll have some steady veterans to help him. His team’s co-drivers, Frank Biela, Marco Werner and Pierre Kaffer, have nine 24 Hours of Le Mans victories between them.

Additionally, Baumgartner’s hoping that his past experience in rallying can work in his favor as well as he navigates the treacherous course.

“I think that experience will count for a lot at the Nürburgring, because I think the Nordschleife is a little bit like rally driving,” he says in a story on Red Bull’s official site. “It’s not like a normal race track: it goes up and down, there’s a lot of hills, a lot of corners and conditions that can change swiftly. So, if you come from a rally background, it really helps.”

Baumgartner’s enlisted a former World Rally Championship competitor, Sepp Haider, to serve as his mentor for this adventure. He says the relationship between him and Haider is “pretty much the same” as the one he had with Joe Kittinger, the retired U.S. Air Force colonel who guided him on “Stratos.”

He knows that not many people are giving him much of a chance to do well at the Nurburgring next month. But then again, there probably weren’t that many who though he could break the speed of sound in his dive from space – and we know how that turned out.

“People criticise my decision. They say that with no race experience you cannot compete at the Nürburgring 24 Hours,” he said. “But the Audi Driving Experience and myself have come up with the perfect game plan – and we have the opportunity to prove to everyone our plan works.”

F1 2017 driver review: Nico Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg

Team: Renault
Car No.: 27
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 43
Championship Position: 10th

Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.

With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.

Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.

When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.

But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.

Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.

Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.