Nürburgring

The Eiffel mountains area, west of the Rhine in Germany, is a countryside of great splendour. However, in the first years of the previous century there was lots of poverty in the region. Consequences of World War I.In the region, with only a limited number of businesses and lack of industrial employment, the only means to make money was in an agricultural way. In 1925 the German government decided to build a special motor road in the mountains in the form of a test-track with traffic going in a clockwise direction only. The idea of the Nurburgring was born.

The idea was to give work to the unemployed in that part of Germany and to provide a testing ground and racing circuit for the growing German motor industry. The Nurburgring was completed in 1927. The city of Nürburg was the heart of the track and the majestic castle looked upon the pits and paddock. The Nurburgring consisted of 2 different loops. The southern one (Südschleife) with a total length of 7.7 kms. The northern one, better known as the Nordschleife, had a length of 22.81 kms. Officials there were 89 left-hand bends and 85 right-hand ones, while the highest point of the track was 620 meters above sea-level at the pits. Lowest point is at Breidscheid near Adenau with a height of 320 meters above sea-level.

The opening of the Nurburgring was in 1927. The German GP over a distance of 509.4km was won by Otto Merz with a Mercedes-Benz at an average speed of 102km/h. A tradition was born and the annual German GP attracted up to 350.000 spectators giving the local economy a boost.  The Nurburgring has always been very popular and other events like the Eifel Races (Eifelrennen) are one of them.

After the Nurburgring was repaired from the damages of WWII, the racing tradition started again and continues up to today. At the Nurburgring, there have been heroic battles and most great names in motorsport have raced it. However, motorsport can be cruel and many lost their live at the Nordschleife too, like Carel Godin de Beaufort.

There have been many changes to the track, to make it safer and more adapted to the ever increased speed of the race cars. After Niki Lauda was almost killed in an insane accident, the F1 circus decided not to race  at the Nordschleife. Nowadays the Nordschleife is being open to the public as a toll road. For a fee you are allowed to get with your car on the track and race it. However, be careful as every year people overestimate their skills and have severe crashes. Many car manufacturers rent the Nordschleife too for test drives for their prototypes. They all try to drive the record lap, but I don’t think anyone can drive the Nurburgring as Walter Röhrl can as you can see in this video when he drove the record lap time at the Nurburgring in a Porsche 918 Spyder.