Nurburgring Grand Prix Circuit
Racing and danger once went hand-in-hand, and tragedy was thought of as par for the course. Thankfully, attitudes began to change, and it was realized that racing could be exciting and also safe. When car performance simply outstripped the ability to race safely on Nürburgring’s Nordschliefe circuit, track owners constructed a new course called “GP-Strecke,” or “Grand Prix Course.” The inaugural race was an exhibition event, with superstar racers including Jack Brabham, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, and Ayrton Senna competing against each other in identically-prepared Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16s (Senna ended up winning, by the way). While no course could approximate Nordschleife’s challenges without the danger, the GP course stands on its own as a fast course that provides incredible racing thrills, particularly with the 2002 revisions that increased overtaking opportunities. At the new Haug-Hook, a sharp right-hander which replaces a chicane, enterprising racers can find a perfect place to pass a competitor. At virtually every corner there is a technical challenge that must be overcome to utilize the track to its utmost; for example, the Mercedes-Arena turn’s long and complex curvature makes it difficult to find the ideal line. At the Warsteiner Bend, a perfect exit is required to gain every shred of speed for the fastest part of the course, the straight leading up to the flat-out ADVAN Arch bend. With exciting elevation changes and a layout that requires finesse and bravery to master, Nürburgring GP is truly one of the great circuits of the world.