Nurburgring Nordschleife

It is almost difficult to believe that the intensely demanding Nürburgring was constructed in 1927 as a purpose-built safer alternative to the older races through the Eifel Mountains’ treacherous roads. However, in the spirit of the older races, the northern loop (“Nordschleife”) is a public toll road, open to anyone for a “touristenfahrten” session for a fee. It’s plethora of turns (by one count 73) include hairpins, banked carousels, and the infamous “flugplatz” (“airport”) bump where fast-moving cars often go airborne. The tortuous circuit gained its famous nickname, “die Grüne Hölle” ("the Green Hell"), due to the majority of the course twisting through a dense forest. The Nordschleife is considered by many manufacturers to be the ultimate test of their high-performance offerings, and the crown for fastest transit around the ‘Ring passes from car to car as the companies compete for the title. However, until the early 1980s it was also the scene of some of the most hair-raising and dangerous Grand Prix racing ever run, until the construction of the dedicated (and much safer) GP track in 1984. Since then, the main racing event run (mostly) on the Nordschleife’s serpentine tarmac is the 24 Hours Nürburgring, a true test of endurance open not just to well-funded teams but also to amateurs who meet competition requirements. Despite the pedigree of the ‘Ring, previously home to the “Ringmeisters” with such legendary names as Ascari, Clark, Fangio, Stewart, Surtees, and Ickx (to name a few), even the weekend warrior can find glory at Nürburgring.

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