If you’re a subscriber or regular reader, you may recall we went on a fairly epic Nurburgring adventure not too long ago (Dec. ’09 issue). As is the case with most first-time visitors to the Green Hell, we all quickly contracted a full-blown case of Ring Fever, with plots being hatched for a return trip almost before we’d left the Touristenfahrten paddock. There simply is no other place on Earth worth visiting more if you’re a serious speed freak and motorsports fan. To call it the epicenter of the motoring world would not be overstating just how special the Ring really is.
When we were there in the summer of 2009, the Ring Werk theme park and all the other touristy facilities over by the GP circuit were still under construction or only partially open, and to be honest, we didn’t want to miss a second of seat time on the Nordschleife’s terrifyingly awesome 13-mile roller coaster ride through the Eiffel Mountains of western Germany. Sure, the new facilities include fancy restaurants, a concert hall, gift shops, a race car museum and a number of unique car dealerships (including Nissan World), but once you swipe your card to the entry gate to the Nordschleife (a racetrack disguised as a one-way public toll road when it’s not being used for private lapping days, OEM testing or race events), all of that window dressing becomes as relevant as high-heel shoes on a race car driver.
That’s because the Ring demands more than your full attention even the slightest loss of focus can quickly result in an expensive and embarrassing experiment in metal-on-metal friction, as you bounce your car off the Armco barriers that lurk just a few feet off the tarmac around the entire circuit. Simply put, there’s no track as demanding and unforgiving of man and machine as the Nordschleife, a fact that also happens to be a big part of its worldwide appeal.
With 73 corners and almost 1,000 feet of elevation change, we’d need to dedicate an entire issue if we wanted to provide a detailed circuit guide. Instead, we’d simply urge you to put a trip the Nurburgring on the top of your motoring bucket list and start your trip planning by visiting Ben Lovejoy’s website, nurburgring.org.uk. This site is by far the most complete online resource for Ring-related info, from a calendar detailing when the track is open for tourist lapping, to what hotels to stay at and restaurants to eat at, to where to rent a Ring car and find the nearest wi-fi hot spots. Lovejoy’s site has it all, including the Ringers forum where Ring-addicted enthusiasts from around the world share their stories, photos and tips about how to best enjoy the greatest loop of asphalt in the world.
Location Nurburg, Germany
Track Configuration 13-mile (20.8 km), 154-turn standard Northern Loop; 15.2-mile (24.4 km), 170-turn Northern Loop, plus part of the modern Grand Prix circuit
Facilities Ring Werk (45,000 sq/ft motorsports theme park), Ring Boulevard (shopping mall), Ring Kartbahn (1,200-foot indoor go-kart track), Ring Arena (concert hall), Ring Casino, Ring bus tours, BMW Ring-Taxi, GT-R Co-Pilot Drive, Off-Road Park (temporarily closed), Driver Safety Center, VIP hospitality and much more
Elevation Change 984.2 feet
Longest Straight 1.33 miles
To see a video of this track, log on to modified.com