Nürburgring

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Nürburgring


Configuration for GP-Strecke (2002–present)

Configuration for 24 Hours Circuit – Combined GP Circuit without Mercedes-Arena (2002–present)
LocationNürburg, Germany
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
CEST (DST)
Coordinates50°20′08″N 6°56′51″E / 50.33556°N 6.94750°E / 50.33556; 6.94750
Capacity150,000
FIA Grade
  • 1 (GP)
  • 2 (2 layouts)
  • 3 (combined)
  • 6R (Rallycross)
Major events
Current:
Former:
Websitehttps://nuerburgring.de
GP-Strecke (2001–present)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length5.1480 km (3.199 miles)
Turns15
Race lap record1:28.139 (Netherlands Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, 2020, F1)
Sprint Circuit (2002–present)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length3.629 km (2.255 miles)
Turns12[1]
Race lap record1:19.322 (Japan Kimiya Sato, Lola B05/52, 2014, Auto GP)
Oldtimer Circuit (2002–present)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length4.569 km (2.839 miles)
Turns12
Race lap record1:36.325 (United Kingdom Martin Stretton, Tyrrell 012, 2018, F1)
24 Hours Circuit – Combined GP Circuit without Mercedes-Arena
(2002–present)
SurfaceAsphalt/concrete
Length25.378 km (15.770 miles)
Turns170
Race lap record8:08.006 (Germany Daniel Keilwitz, Ferrari 296 GT3, 2023, GT3)
Nordschleife (1983–present)
SurfaceAsphalt/concrete
Length20.832 km (12.944 miles)
Turns154
Race lap record6:25.91 (West Germany Stefan Bellof, Porsche 956, 1983, Group C)
GP-Strecke with F1 Chicane (1995–2001)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length4.556 km (2.831 miles)
Turns12
Race lap record1:18.354 (Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams FW23, 2001, F1)
GP-Strecke without F1 Chicane (1984–2001)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length4.542 km (2.822 miles)
Turns12
Race lap record1:21.533 (Italy Teo Fabi, Jaguar XJR-14, 1991, C1)
Nordschleife (1971–1982)
SurfaceAsphalt/concrete
Length22.835 km (14.189 miles)
Turns160
Race lap record7:06.4 (Switzerland Clay Regazzoni, Ferrari 312T, 1975, F1)
Nordschleife (1967–1970)
SurfaceAsphalt/concrete
Length22.835 km (14.189 miles)
Turns160
Race lap record7:40.800 (Belgium Jacky Ickx, Brabham BT26A, 1969, F1)
Nordschleife (1927–1966)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length22.800 km (14.167 miles)
Turns160
Race lap record8:24.1 (United Kingdom Jim Clark, Lotus 33, 1965, F1)
Südschleife (1927–1982)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length7.747 km (4.814 miles)
Turns27
Race lap record2:38.6 (Germany Helmut Kelleners, March 707, 1970, Group 7)
Gesamtstrecke (1927–1982)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length28.265 km (17.563 miles)
Turns187
Race lap record15:06.1 (Monaco Louis Chiron, Bugatti Type35C, 1929, Grand Prix)
Tower of Nürburg Castle

The Nürburgring is a 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a long Nordschleife "North loop" track, built in the 1920s, around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. The north loop is 20.830 km (12.943 mi) long and contains more than 300 metres (1,000 feet) of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the track "The Green Hell".[2]

Originally, the track featured four configurations: the 28.265 km (17.563 mi)-long Gesamtstrecke ("Whole Course"), which in turn consisted of the 22.835 km (14.189 mi) Nordschleife ("North Loop") and the 7.747 km (4.814 mi) Südschleife ("South Loop"). There was also a 2.281 km (1.417 mi) warm-up loop called Zielschleife ("Finish Loop") or Betonschleife ("Concrete Loop"), around the pit area.[3]

Between 1982 and 1983, the start/finish area was demolished to create a new GP-Strecke, which is now used for all major and international racing events. However, the shortened Nordschleife is still in use for racing, testing and public access.

History[edit]

1925–1939: The beginning of the "Nürburg-Ring"[edit]

In 1907, the first Eifelrennen race was held on the one-off Taunus circuit, a 117 km (73 mi)circuit made up of public roads starting between the towns of Wehrheim and Saalburg just north of Frankfurt. In the early 1920s, ADAC Eifelrennen races were held on the twisty 33.2 km (20.6 mi) Nideggen public road circuit near Cologne and Bonn. Around 1925, the construction of a dedicated race track was proposed just south of the Nideggen circuit around the ancient castle of the town of Nürburg, following the examples of Italy's Monza and Targa Florio courses, and Berlin's AVUS, yet with a different character. The layout of the circuit in the mountains was similar to the Targa Florio event, one of the most important motor races at that time. The original Nürburgring was to be a showcase for German automotive engineering and racing talent. Construction of the track, designed by the Eichler Architekturbüro from Ravensburg (led by architect Gustav Eichler), began in September 1925.

The track was completed in spring 1927, and the ADAC Eifelrennen races were continued there. The first races to take place on 18 June 1927 showed motorcycles and sidecars, and were won by Toni Ulmen on an English 350 cc Velocette. The cars followed a day later, and Rudolf Caracciola was the winner of the over 5000 cc class in a supercharged Mercedes-Benz "K". In addition, the track was opened to the public in the evenings and on weekends, as a one-way toll road.[4] The entire track consisted of 174 bends (prior to 1971 changes), and averaged 8 to 9 metres (8.7 to 9.8 yd) in width. The fastest time ever around the full Gesamtstrecke was by Louis Chiron, at an average speed of 112.31 km/h (69.79 mph) in his Bugatti.

In 1929 the full Nürburgring was used for the last time in major racing events, as future Grands Prix would be held only on the Nordschleife. Motorcycles and minor races primarily used the shorter and safer Südschleife. Memorable pre-war races at the circuit featured the talents of early Ringmeister (Ringmasters) such as Rudolf Caracciola, Tazio Nuvolari and Bernd Rosemeyer.

1947–1970: "The Green Hell"[edit]

Nürburgring circuit map, taken at the 1964 German Grand Prix; the legend advises "No driving in the Eifel (mountains) without a lap on the Nürburgring".
The Nordschleife from 1927 to 1982, with small changes made in 1967 and 1971

After World War II, racing resumed in 1947, and in 1951, the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring again became the main venue for the German Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship (with the exception of 1959, when it was held on the AVUS in Berlin). A new group of Ringmeister arose to dominate the race – Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx.

On 5 August 1961, during practice for the 1961 German Grand Prix, Phil Hill became the first person to complete a lap of the Nordschleife in under 9 minutes, with a lap of 8 minutes 55.2 seconds (153.4 km/h or 95.3 mph) in the Ferrari 156 "Sharknose" Formula One car. Over half a century later, even the highest performing road cars still have difficulty breaking 8 minutes without a professional race driver or one very familiar with the track. Also, several rounds of the German motorcycle Grand Prix were held, mostly on the 7.7 km (4.8 mi) Südschleife, but the Hockenheimring and the Solitudering were the main sites for Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

In 1953, the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring race was introduced, an Endurance race and Sports car racing event that counted towards the World Sportscar Championship for decades. The 24 Hours Nürburgring for touring car racing was added in 1970.

By the late 1960s, the Nordschleife and many other tracks were becoming increasingly dangerous for the latest generation of F1 cars. In 1967, a chicane was added before the start/finish straight, called Hohenrain, in order to reduce speeds at the pit lane entry. This made the track 25 m (27 yd) longer. Even this change, however, was not enough to keep Stewart from nicknaming it "The Green Hell" (German: Die Grüne Hölle) following his victory in the 1968 German Grand Prix amid a driving rainstorm and thick fog. In 1970, after the fatal crash of Piers Courage at Zandvoort, the F1 drivers decided at the French Grand Prix to boycott the Nürburgring unless major changes were made, as they had done at Spa the year before. The changes were not possible on short notice, and the German GP was moved to the Hockenheimring, which had already been modified.

1971–1983: Changes[edit]

Relative location of the Nürburgring (around Nürburg, not to scale)

In accordance with the demands of the F1 drivers, the Nordschleife was reconstructed by taking out some bumps, smoothing out some sudden jumps (particularly at Brünnchen), and installing Armco safety barriers. The track was made straighter, following the race line, which reduced the number of corners. The German GP could be hosted at the Nürburgring again, and was for another six years from 1971 to 1976.

In 1973 the entrance into the dangerous and bumpy Kallenhard corner was made slower by adding another left-hand corner after the fast Metzgesfeld sweeping corner. Safety was improved again later on by removing the jumps on the long main straight and widening it, and taking away the bushes right next to the track at the main straight, which had made that section of the Nürburgring dangerously narrow. A second series of three more F1 races was held until 1976. However, primarily due to its length of over 22 km (14 mi), and the lack of space due to its situation on the sides of the mountains, increasing demands by the F1 drivers and the FIA's CSI commission were too expensive or impossible to meet. For instance, by the 1970s the German Grand Prix required five times the marshals and medical staff as a typical F1 race, something the German organizers were unwilling to provide. Additionally, even with the 1971 modifications it was still possible for cars to become airborne off the track. The Nürburgring was also unsuitable for the burgeoning television market; its vast expanse made it almost impossible to effectively cover a race there. As a result, early in the season it was decided that the 1976 race would be the last to be held on the old circuit.

Niki Lauda, the reigning world champion and only person ever to lap the full 22.835 km (14.189 mi) Nordschleife in under seven minutes (6:58.6, 1975), proposed to the other drivers that they boycott the circuit in 1976. Lauda was not only concerned about the safety arrangements and the lack of marshals around the circuit, he also did not like the prospect of running the race in another rainstorm. Usually when that happened, some parts of the circuit were wet and other parts were dry, which is what the conditions of the circuit were for that race. The other drivers voted against the idea and the race went ahead. Lauda crashed in his Ferrari coming out of the left-hand kink before Bergwerk after a new magnesium component (lighter but more fragile than aluminum used until then) on his Ferrari's rear suspension failed. He was badly burned as his car was still loaded with fuel in lap 2. Lauda was saved by the combined actions of fellow drivers Arturo Merzario, Guy Edwards, Brett Lunger, Emerson Fittipaldi and Harald Ertl.

The crash also showed that the track's distances were too long for regular fire engines and ambulances, even though the "ONS-Staffel" was equipped with a Porsche 911 rescue car, marked (R). The old Nürburgring never hosted another F1 race again, as the German Grand Prix was moved to the Hockenheimring for 1977. The German motorcycle Grand Prix was held for the last time on the old Nürburgring in 1980, also permanently moving to Hockenheim.

By its very nature, the Nordschleife was impossible to make safe in its old configuration. It soon became apparent that it would have to be completely overhauled if there was any prospect of Formula One returning there - the Nürburgring's administration and race organizers were not willing to provide the enormous expense of providing the number of marshals needed for a Grand Prix - up to six times the amount that most other circuits needed. With this in mind, in 1981 work began on a 4.556 km (2.831 mi)-long new circuit, which was built on and around the old pit area.

At the same time, a bypass shortened the Nordschleife to 20.832 km (12.944 mi), and with an additional small pit lane, this version was used for races in 1983, e.g. the 1000km Nürburgring endurance race, while construction work was going on nearby. During qualifying for that race, the late Stefan Bellof set a lap of 6:11.13 for the 20.8 km (12.9 mi) Nordschleife in his Porsche 956, or 199.8 km/h (124.1 mph) on average. This lap held the all-time record for 35 years (partially because no major racing has taken place there since 1984) until it was surpassed by Timo Bernhard in the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo, which ran the slightly longer version of the circuit in 5:19.546- averaging 233.8 km/h (145.3 mph) on 29 June 2018.

Meanwhile, more run-off areas were added at corners like Aremberg and Brünnchen, where originally there were just embankments protected by Armco barriers. The track surface was made safer in some spots where there had been nasty bumps and jumps. Racing line markers were added to the corners all around the track as well. Also, bushes and hedges at the edges of corners were taken out and replaced with Armco and grass.

The former Südschleife had not been modified in 1970–1971 and was abandoned a few years later in favour of the improved Nordschleife. It is now mostly gone (in part due to the construction of the new circuit) or converted to a normal public road, but since 2005 a vintage car event has been hosted on the old track layout, including part of the parking area.[5]

1984: New Grand Prix track[edit]

The 'GP Strecke' circuit layout in 1985
Complete distance of 2002 in comparison with the track of 1927
Aerial photograph of GP-Strecke

The new track was completed in 1984 and named GP-Strecke (German: Großer Preis-Strecke: literally, "Grand Prix Course"). It was built to meet the highest safety standards. However, it was considered in character a mere shadow of its older sibling. Some fans, who had to sit much farther away from the track, called it Eifelring, Ersatzring, Grünering or similar nicknames, believing it did not deserve to be called Nürburgring. Like many circuits of the time, it offered few overtaking opportunities.

Prior to the 2013 German Grand Prix both Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton said they liked the track. Webber described the layout as "an old school track" before adding, "It's a beautiful little circuit for us to still drive on so I think all the guys enjoy driving here." While Hamilton said "It's a fantastic circuit, one of the classics and it hasn't lost that feel of an old classic circuit."[6]

To celebrate its opening, an exhibition race was held on 12 May. The 1984 Nürburgring Race of Champions featured an array of notable drivers driving identical Mercedes 190E 2.3–16's: the line-up was Elio de Angelis, Jack Brabham (Formula 1 World Champion 1959, 1960, 1966), Phil Hill (1961), Denis Hulme (1967), James Hunt (1976), Alan Jones (1980), Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda (1975, 1977)*, Stirling Moss, Alain Prost*, Carlos Reutemann, Keke Rosberg (1982), Jody Scheckter (1979), Ayrton Senna*, John Surtees (1964) and John Watson. [Drivers marked with * won the Formula 1 World Championship subsequent to the race]. Senna won ahead of Lauda, Reutemann, Rosberg, Watson, Hulme and Jody Scheckter, being the only one to resist Lauda's performance who – having missed the qualifying – had to start from the last row and overtook all the others except Senna.[7][8] There were nine former and two future Formula 1 World Champions competing, in a field of 20 cars with 16 Formula 1 drivers; the other four were local drivers: Klaus Ludwig, Manfred Schurti, Udo Schütz and Hans Herrmann.

Besides other major international events, the Nürburgring has seen the brief return of Formula One racing, as the 1984 European Grand Prix was held at the track, followed by the 1985 German Grand Prix. As F1 did not stay, other events were the highlights at the new Nürburgring, including the 1000km Nürburgring, DTM, motorcycles, and newer types of events, like truck racing, vintage car racing at the AvD "Oldtimer Grand Prix", and even the "Rock am Ring" concerts.

Following the success and first world championship of Michael Schumacher, a second German F1 race was held at the Nürburgring between 1995 and 2006, called the European Grand Prix, or in 1997 and 1998, the Luxembourg Grand Prix.

For 2002, the track was changed, by replacing the former "Castrol-chicane" at the end of the start/finish straight with a sharp right-hander (nicknamed "Haug-Hook"), in order to create an overtaking opportunity. Also, a slow Omega-shaped section was inserted, on the site of the former kart track. This extended the GP track from 4.556 to 5.148 km (2.831 to 3.199 mi), while at the same time, the Hockenheimring was shortened from 6.823 to 4.574 km (4.240 to 2.842 mi).

Both the Nürburgring and the Hockenheimring events have been losing money due to high and rising Formula One license fees charged by Bernie Ecclestone and low attendance due to high ticket prices;[9][10][citation needed] starting with the 2007 Formula One season, Hockenheim and Nürburgring alternated in hosting the German GP.

Rain clouds gather over the Ring during the 2011 German Grand Prix.

In Formula One, Ralf Schumacher collided with his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella and his brother at the start of the 1997 race which was won by Jacques Villeneuve. In 1999, in changing conditions, Johnny Herbert managed to score the only win for the team of former Ringmeister Jackie Stewart. One of the highlights of the 2005 season was Kimi Räikkönen's spectacular exit while in the last lap of the race, when his suspension gave way after being rattled lap after lap by a flat-spotted tyre that was not changed due to the short-lived 'one set of tyres' rule.

Prior to the 2007 European Grand Prix, the Audi S (turns 8 and 9) was renamed Michael Schumacher S after Michael Schumacher. Schumacher had retired from Formula One the year before, but returned in 2010, and in 2011 became the second Formula One driver to drive through a turn named after them (after Ayrton Senna driving his "S for Senna" at Autódromo José Carlos Pace).

Alternation with Hockenheim[edit]

In 2007, the FIA announced that Hockenheimring and Nürburgring would alternate with the German Grand Prix with Nürburgring hosting in 2007. Due to name-licensing problems, it was held as the European Grand Prix that year. In 2014, the new owners of the Nürburgring were unable to secure a deal to continue hosting the German Grand Prix in the odd-numbered years, so the 2015 and 2017 German Grands Prix were cancelled.

Panorama main entrance of Nürburgring

Return of Formula One[edit]

In July 2020, it was announced that after seven years, the race track would be an official Formula One Grand Prix with the event taking place from 9 to 11 October 2020. This race was called the Eifel Grand Prix in honour of the nearby mountain range, meaning the venue held a Grand Prix under a fourth different name having hosted races under the German, European and Luxembourg Grands Prix titles previously.[11] That race was won by Lewis Hamilton, who equalled Michael Schumacher's record of wins.

Fatal accidents[edit]

While it is unusual for deaths to occur during sanctioned races, there are many accidents and several deaths each year during public sessions. It is common for the track to be closed several times a day for cleanup, repair, and medical intervention. While track management does not publish any official figures, several regular visitors to the track have used police reports to estimate the number of fatalities as between 3 and 12 in a full year.[12] Jeremy Clarkson noted in Top Gear in 2004 that "over the years this track has claimed over 200 lives".[13][unreliable source?]

Racing[edit]

Nordschleife racing today[edit]

Several touring car series still compete on the Nordschleife, using either only the simple 20.830 km (12.943 mi) version with its separate small pit lane, or a combined 25.378 km (15.769 mi)-long track that uses a part of the original modern F1 track (without the Mercedes Arena section, which is often used for support pits) plus its huge pit facilities. Entry-level competition requires a regularity test (GLP) for street-legal cars. Two racing series (RCN/CHC and VLN) compete on 15 Saturdays each year, for several hours.

The annual highlight is the 24 Hours Nürburgring weekend, held usually in mid-May, featuring 220 cars – from small 100 hp (75 kW) cars to 700 hp (520 kW) Turbo Porsche cars or 500 hp (370 kW) factory race cars built by BMW, Opel, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, over 700 drivers (amateurs and professionals), and up to 290,000 spectators.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 racing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife VLN Race 8, 2010

As of 2015 the World Touring Car Championship holds the FIA WTCC Race of Germany at the Nordschleife as a support category to the 24 Hours.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld made history on 28 April 2007 as the first driver in over thirty years to tackle the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in a contemporary Formula One car.[14] Heidfeld's three laps in an F1.06 were part of festivities celebrating BMW's contribution to motorsport. About 45,000 spectators showed up for the main event, the third four-hour VLN race of the season. Conceived largely as a photo opportunity, the lap times were not as fast as the car was capable of, BMW instead needing to run the chassis at a particularly high ride height to allow for the Nordschleife's abrupt gradient changes and to limit maximum speeds accordingly. Former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck was injured during the race when he crashed his BMW Z4.

As part of the festivities before the 2013 24 Hours Nürburgring race, Michael Schumacher and other Mercedes-Benz drivers took part in a promotional event which saw Schumacher complete a demonstration lap of the Nordschleife at the wheel of a 2011 Mercedes W02.[15] As with Heidfeld's lap, and also partly due to Formula One's strict in-season testing bans, the lap left many motorsport fans underwhelmed.[16]

Public access[edit]

Nordschleife[edit]

Since its opening in 1927, the track has been used by the public for the so-called Touristenfahrten: anyone with a road-legal car or motorcycle, as well as tour buses, motor homes, or cars with trailers, are able to access the Nordschleife. It is opened every day of the week, except when races take place. The track may be closed for weeks during the winter months, depending on weather conditions and maintenance work. Passing on the right is prohibited, and some sections have speed limits; the normal traffic rules (StVO in German) apply also here.

Nordschleife is often open to the public. Three Caterhams are entering Brünnchen, a spectator vantage point.
Porsche GT3 RS approaching Adenauer Forst, a blind chicane on the Nordschleife
Crashed BMW Z3 M coupé on the recovery truck

The Nürburgring is a popular attraction for many driving enthusiasts and riders from all over the world, partly because of its history and the challenge it provides. The lack of oncoming traffic and intersections sets it apart from regular roads, and the absence of a blanket speed limit is a further attraction.

Normal ticket buyers on tourist days cannot quite complete a full lap of the 20.832 km (12.944 mi) Nordschleife, which bypasses the modern GP-Strecke, as they are required to slow down and pass through a 200-metre (220 yd) "pit lane" section where toll gates are installed. On busier days, a mobile ticket barrier is installed on the main straight in order to reduce the length of queues at the fixed barriers. This is open to all ticket holders. On rare occasions, it is possible to drive both the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit combined.

Drivers interested in lap times often time themselves from the first bridge after the barriers to the last gantry (aka Bridge-to-Gantry or BTG time) before the exit.[17] However, the track's general conditions state that any form of racing, including speed record attempts, is forbidden.[18] The driver's insurance coverage may consequently be voided, leaving the driver fully liable for damage. Normal, non-racing, non-timed driving accidents might be covered by driver's insurance, but it is increasingly common for insurers to insert exclusion clauses that mean drivers and riders on the Nürburgring only have third-party coverage[19] or are not covered at all.[20]

Drivers who have crashed into the barriers, suffered mechanical failure or been otherwise required to be towed off track during Touristenfahrten sessions are referred to as having joined the "Bongard Club". This nickname is derived from the name of the company which operates the large yellow recovery flatbed trucks which ferry those unfortunate drivers and their vehicles to the nearest exit.[21] Due to the high volume of traffic, there is an emphasis on quickly clearing and repairing any compromised safety measures so the track can be immediately re-opened for use.

Additionally, those found responsible for damage to the track or safety barriers are required to pay for repairs, along with the time and cost associated with personnel and equipment to address those damages, making any accident or breakdown a potentially expensive incident. Because it is technically operated as a public toll road, failing to report an accident or instance where track surfaces are affected is considered unlawfully leaving the scene of an accident.[22] This is all part of the rules and regulations which aim to ensure a safe experience for all visitors to the track.

Südschleife[edit]

The entire Nürburgring Gesamtstrecke was open to the public from its initial opening. At several points around the circuit there were access roads and toll points from which drivers and riders could begin or end a drive. The Südschleife had one of these at the bottom of the uphill stretch near Müllenbach.

Commercial aspects[edit]

Production car testing[edit]

For decades, automotive media outlets and manufacturers have used lap times on the Nordschleife as a standard to measure the performance of production vehicles. A car's time on the circuit is commonly used as a benchmark for its overall performance, and cars from disparate marques or time periods may be directly compared via their lap times. Since 2019, two times have been recorded: one for the whole length of the track, and another for a traditional, slightly truncated layout. Nordschleife test cars are piloted by experienced test drivers with intricate knowledge of the circuit, and are often variants specially prepared for circuit racing, as is the case with the Lexus LFA's "Nürburgring package."[23][24][25]

For sixteen weeks per year, the "industry pool" (Industrie-Pool) rents exclusive daytime use of the track for automotive development and endurance testing.[26] As of 2017 the industry pool consisted of approximately 30 car manufacturers, associations, and component suppliers.[26] By 2019, the track was being rented by the industry pool for 18 weeks per year.[27]

Some journalists have opined that Nordschleife testing is deleterious to a car's normal driving experience, producing cars that have sacrificed comfort and driveability in favor of better lap times.[23] Former Top Gear host James May, who is known for his open dislike of testing run on the track,[28][29] has claimed that the Nürburgring prompts designers to focus on a car's grip at the expense of pleasant-feeling handling, and creates cars that are ill-suited for real-world driving conditions.[30] Others have expressed concern over the relevance of these test laps, which lack independent verification and may be conducted using cars significantly different from stock. Porsche is reported as having tried (and failed) to replicate the Nissan GT-R Nismo's record-breaking lap, preparing its own GT-R test car for the task, and the Lamborghini Huracán Performante's time was met with incredulity even after Lamborghini provided video documentation.[25][31]

Television and games[edit]

The TV series Top Gear sometimes used the Nordschleife for its challenges, often involving Sabine Schmitz. The first corner of the Nordschleife loop was renamed as the "Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve" in Schmitz's honor after she died of cancer in 2021.[32] In addition, during series 17 (summer 2011) of Top Gear, James May was very critical of the ride quality of cars whose development processes included testing on the Nordschleife, saying that cars which were tested at Nordschleife got ruined.

Multiple layouts of the Nürburgring have been featured in video games, such as the Gran Turismo series, the Forza Motorsport series, the Need for Speed: Shift series, iRacing and Assetto Corsa. Grand Prix Legends, a historic racing simulator also included the Nürburgring on its roster of default Grand Prix tracks.

Leisure development[edit]

Other pastimes are hosted at the Nürburgring, such as the Rock am Ring, Germany's biggest rock music festival, attracting close to 100,000 rock fans each year since 1985. Since 1978, the Nordschleife is also the venue of a major running event (Nürburgring-Lauf/Run am Ring). In 2003, a major bicycling event (Rad am Ring) was added and it became the multi-sports event Rad & Run am Ring.

In 2009, new commercial areas opened, including a hotel and shopping mall. In the summer of 2009, ETF Ride Systems opened a new interactive dark ride application called "Motor Mania" at the racetrack, in collaboration with Lagotronics B.V.[33] The roller coaster "ring°racer" was scheduled to open in 2011 however was delayed significantly due to technical issues. It eventually opened October 31, 2013 however closed after just four days of operation on November third.[34]

Ownership[edit]

In 2012, the track was preparing to file for bankruptcy as a result of nearly $500 million in debts and the inability to secure financing.[35] On 1 August 2012, the government of Rheinland-Pfalz guaranteed $312 million to allow the track to meet its debt obligations.[36]

In 2013, the Nürburgring was for sale for US$165 million (€127.3 million).[37] The sale process was by sealed-bid auction with an expected completion date of "Late Summer". This meant there was to be a new owner in 2013, unencumbered by the debts of the previous operation, with the circuit expected to return to profitability.[38]

On 11 March 2014 it was reported that the Nürburgring was sold for 77 million euros ($106.8 million). Düsseldorf-based Capricorn Development was the buyer. The company was to take full ownership of the Nürburgring on 1 January 2015.[39] But in October 2014, Russian billionaire, the chairman of Moscow-based Pharmstandard, Viktor Kharitonin, bought a majority stake in the Nürburgring.[40]

In May 2015, the Nürburgring was set to hold the first Grüne Hölle Rock festival as a replacement for the Rock am Ring festival,[41] but the project did not take place. Grüne Hölle Rock changed their name to Rock im Revier and the event was held in the Schalke area.[42]

Layout[edit]

Nordschleife[edit]

Nürburgring Nordschleife
LocationNürburg, Germany
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
CEST (DST)
Coordinates50°20′08″N 6°56′51″E / 50.33556°N 6.94750°E / 50.33556; 6.94750
Websitehttps://nuerburgring.de

The Nordschleife operates in a clockwise direction, and was formerly known for its abundance of sharp crests, causing fast-moving, firmly-sprung racing cars to jump clear off the track surface at many locations.

Flugplatz ("air field", a small airport)[edit]

The eponym of Schwedenkreuz

Although by no means the most fearsome, Flugplatz is perhaps the most aptly (although coincidentally) named and widely remembered section. The name of this part of the track comes from a small airfield, which in the early years was located close to the track in this area. The track features a very short straight that climbs sharply uphill for a short time, then suddenly drops slightly downhill, and this is immediately followed by two very fast right-hand kinks. Chris Irwin's career was ended following a massive accident at Flugplatz, in a Ford 3L GT sports car in 1968. Manfred Winkelhock flipped his March Formula Two car at the same corner in 1980. This section of the track was renovated in 2016[43] after an accident in which Jann Mardenborough's Nissan GT-R flew over the fence and killed a spectator.[44] The Flugplatz is one of the most important parts of the Nürburgring because after the two very fast right-handers comes what is possibly the fastest part of the track: a downhill straight called Kottenborn, into a very fast curve called Schwedenkreuz (Swedish Cross). Drivers are flat out for some time here.

Right before Flugplatz is Quiddelbacher-Höhe (peak, as in "mountain summit"), where the track crosses a bridge over the Bundesstraße 257.

Fuchsröhre ("Fox Hole")[edit]

Fuchsröhre
Adenauer Forst

The Fuchsröhre is soon after the very fast downhill section succeeding the Flugplatz. After negotiating a long right-hand corner called Aremberg (which is after Schwedenkreuz) the road goes under a bridge Postbrucke as it plunges downhill, and the road switches back left and right and finding a point of reference for the racing line is difficult. This whole sequence is flat out and then, the road climbs sharply uphill. The road then turns left and levels out at the same time; this is one of the many jumps of the Nürburgring where the car goes airborne. This leads to the Adenauer Forst (forest) turns. The Fuchsröhre is one of the fastest and most dangerous parts of the Nürburgring because of the extremely high speeds in such a tight and confined place; this part of the Nürburgring goes right through a forest and there is only about 2–3 metres (6.6–9.8 ft) of grass separating the track from Armco barrier, and beyond the barriers is a wall of trees.

Bergwerk ("Mine")[edit]

Perhaps the most notorious corner on the long circuit, Bergwerk has been responsible for some serious and sometimes fatal accidents.[45][46] A tight right-hand corner, coming just after a long, fast section and a left-hand kink on a small crest, was where Carel Godin de Beaufort fatally crashed. The fast kink was also the scene of Niki Lauda's infamous fiery accident during the 1976 German Grand Prix. This left kink is often referred to as the Lauda-Links (Lauda left). The Bergwerk, along with the Breidscheid/Adenauer Bridge corners before it, are one of the series of corners that make or break one's lap time around the Nürburgring because of the fast, lengthy uphill section called Kesselchen (Little Valley) that comes after the Bergwerk.

Caracciola Karussell ("Carousel")[edit]

Shelby Cobra on the Karussell
Ford Fiesta ST exiting Karussell

Although being one of the slower corners on the Nordschleife, the Karussell is perhaps its most famous and one of its most iconic- it is one of two berm-style, banked corners on the track. Soon after the driver has negotiated the long uphill section after Bergwerk and gone through a section called Klostertal (Monastery Valley), the driver turns right through a long hairpin, past an abandoned section called Steilstrecke (Steep Route) and then goes up another hill towards the Karrusell. The entrance to the corner is blind, although Juan Manuel Fangio is reputed to have advised a young driver to "aim for the tallest tree," a feature that was also built into the rendering of the circuit in the Gran Turismo 4 and Grand Prix Legends video games. Once the driver has reached the top of the hill, the road then becomes sharply banked on one side and level on the other- this banking drops off, rather than climbing up like most bankings on circuits. The sharply banked side has a concrete surface, and there is a foot-wide tarmac surface on the bottom of the banking for cars to get extra grip through the very rough concrete banking. Cars drop into the concrete banking, and keep the car in the corner (which is 210 degrees, much like a hairpin bend) until the road levels out and the concrete surface becomes tarmac again. This corner is very hard on the driver's wrists and hands because of the prolonged bumpy cornering the driver must do while in the Karrusell. Usually, cars come out of the top of the end of the banking to hit the apex that comes right after the end of the Karrusell.

The combination of a recognisable corner, slow-moving cars, and the variation in viewing angle as cars rotate around the banking, means that this is one of the circuit's most popular locations for photographers. It is named after German pre-WWII racing driver Rudolf Caracciola, who reportedly made the corner his own by hooking the inside tires into a drainage ditch to help his car "hug" the curve. As more concrete was uncovered and more competitors copied him, the trend took hold. At a later reconstruction, the corner was remade with real concrete banking, as it remains to this day.

Shortly after the Karussell is a steep section, with gradients in excess of 16%, leading to a right-hander called Hohe Acht, which is some 300 m higher in altitude than Breidscheid.[47]

Brünnchen ("Small Well")[edit]

Brünnchen and spectator area

A favourite spectator vantage point, the Brünnchen section is composed of two right-hand corners and a very short straight. The first corner goes sharply downhill and the next, after the very short downhill straight, goes uphill slightly. This is a section of the track where on public days, accidents happen particularly at the blind uphill right-hand corner. Like almost every corner at the Nürburgring, both right-handers are blind. The short straight used to have a steep and sudden drop-off that caused cars to take off and a bridge that went over a pathway; these were taken out and smoothed over when the circuit was rebuilt in 1970 and 1971. The uphill right-hand corner is often referred to as "Youtube corner", because of the large number of videos featuring a perspective of that corner.

Pflanzgarten ("Planting Garden") and Stefan Bellof S ("Stefan Bellof Esses")[edit]

Pflanzgarten

The Pflanzgarten, which is soon after the Brünnchen, is one of the fastest, trickiest and most difficult sections of the Nürburgring. It is full of jumps, including two huge ones, one of which is called Sprunghügel (Jump Hill). This very complex section is unique in that it is made up of two different sections; getting the entire Pflanzgarten right is crucial to a good lap time around the Nürburgring. This section was the scene of Briton Peter Collins's fatal accident during the 1958 German Grand Prix, and the scene of a number of career-ending accidents in Formula One in the 1970s —Britons Mike Hailwood and Ian Ashley were two victims of the Pflanzgarten.

Pflanzgarten 1 is made up of a slightly banked, downhill left-hander which then suddenly switches back left, then right. Then immediately, giving the driver nearly no time to react (knowledge of this section is key) the road drops away twice: the first jump is only slight, then right after (somewhat like a staircase) the road drops away very sharply which usually causes almost all cars to go airborne at this jump; the drop is so sudden. Then, immediately after the road levels out very shortly after the jump and the car touches the ground again, the road immediately and suddenly goes right very quickly and then right again; this is what makes up the end of the first Pflanzgarten- a very fast multiple apex sequence of right-hand corners.

Sprunghügel
Stefan Bellof S

The road then goes slightly uphill and then through another jump; the road suddenly drops away and levels out and at the same time, the road turns through a flat-out left-hander. Then, the road drops away again very suddenly, which is the second huge jump of the Pflanzgarten known as the Sprunghügel. The road then goes downhill then quickly levels out, then it goes through a flat-out right-hander and this starts the Stefan Bellof S (named as such because Bellof crashed a Porsche 956 there during the 1983 Nurburgring 1000 km), which was known as Pflanzgarten 2 prior to 2013. The Stefan Bellof S is very tricky because the road quickly switches back left and right—a car is going so fast through here that it is like walking on a tightrope. It is very difficult to find the racing line here because the curves come up so quickly, so it is hard to find any point of reference. Then, after a jump at the end of the switchback section, it goes through a flat-out, top gear right-hander and into a short straight that leads into two very fast curves called the Schwalbenschwanz (Swallow's Tail).

The room for error on every part of the consistently high-speed Pflanzgarten and the Stefan Bellof S is virtually non-existent (much like the entire track itself). The road and the surface of the Pflanzgarten and the Stefan Bellof S moves around unpredictably; knowledge of this section is key to getting through cleanly.

Schwalbenschwanz/Kleines Karussell ("Swallow's Tail"/"Little Carousel")[edit]

The Schwalbenschwanz is a sequence of very fast sweepers located after the Stefan Bellof S. After a short straight, there is a very fast right-hand sweeper that progressively goes uphill, and this leads into a blind left-hander that is a bit slower. The apex is completely blind, and the corner then changes gradient a bit; it goes up then down, which leads into a short straight that ends at the Kleines Karussell. Originally, this part had a bridge that went over a stream and was very bumpy; this bridge was taken out and replaced with a culvert (large industrial pipe) so that the road could be smoothed over.

The Kleines Karussell is similar to its bigger brother, except that it is a 90-degree corner instead of 210 degrees, and is faster and slightly less banked. Once this part of the track is dealt with, the drivers are near the end of the lap; with two more corners Galgenkopf to negotiate before the 2.135 km (1.327 mi) long Döttinger Höhe straight.

Südschleife layout[edit]

Nürburgring Südschleife
The Nürburgring Südschleife
LocationNürburg, Germany Germany
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
CEST (DST)
Opened1927
Closed1982
Websitehttps://nuerburgring.de

The Nürburgring Südschleife (south loop) was a motor racing circuit which was built in 1927 at the same time as the Nordschleife.

The Südschleife and Nordschleife layouts were joined together by the Start und Ziel (start/finish) area, and could therefore be driven as one track that was over 28.265 km (17.563 mi) long. Races were held at the combined layout only until 1931. The Südschleife was used for the ADAC Eifelrennen from 1928 until 1931 and from 1958 until 1968, as well as for the Eifelpokal and other minor races.

The Südschleife was rarely used after the Nordschleife was rebuilt and updated in 1970 and 1971, and was finally destroyed by the building of the current Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit in the early 1980s. Today only small sections of the original track remain.

Track description[edit]

The shared start/finish area of the Nürburgring complex consisted of two back-to-back straights joined together at the southern end by a tight loop. The entrance to the 7.747 km (4.814 mi) Südschleife lay on the outside edge of this hairpin and was signposted as the road to Bonn. It immediately dropped sharply downhill and under a public road before winding through a heavily-wooded section.

Tight corners soon gave way to fast downhill sections with flowing bends until, at the outskirts of the nearby town of Müllenbach, the track turned sharply right northwards and began a long climb up the hill.

At the end of this run came a right hairpin turn which led to a long left curve around the bottom of a hill. This led onto the back straight of the start/finish area. At this point it was possible to continue onto the Nordschleife or take two sharp right-hand turns in order to enter the starting straight once again.

Photographs of the track in use show that trees and hedges were not cut back in many areas, being allowed to grow right up to the trackside. Although the Nordschleife had very little in the way of run-off areas, the Südschleife seems to have had none at all, which was likely to have been a factor in the choice of circuit for major events.

Sections of routes[edit]

km Section
0 Start and finish
Connection south sweep
1
Bränkekopf
2 Aschenschlag
Seifgen
3
Bocksberg
4 Müllenbach
Rassrück
5
Scharfer Kopf
6
Gegengerade
7
Nordkehre
7,747 Start and finish

The route sections bore the following names, among others Bränkekopf, Aschenschlag, Seifgen, Bocksberg, Müllenbach und Scharfer Kopf.

Stichstraße shortcut[edit]

In 1938 a small section of new track (the Stichstraße) was laid which allowed drivers nearing the end of the Südschleife to bypass the start/finish straights and take a right turn which led back to the start of the downhill twists. This shortened a lap to around 5.7 km (3.5 mi). This layout was used for tourist rides and for testing.

Remaining sections[edit]

The current Grand Prix circuit required the complete destruction of the start/finish area but at a point around 1 km (0.62 mi) into the Südschleife, a modern public road now follows the route, although the bends have been eased and the vegetation does not come as close to the road as it did when the track was open.

This public road continues into the town of Müllenbach but leaves the route of the old track on the outskirts. Nothing remains of the famous corners there.

The road up the hill still exists and is sometimes used to allow access to parking areas for the Grand Prix track. The lower sections are no longer maintained.

Surviving sections, and the parking lots, are still used in competition. The Cologne-Ahrweiler Rally often uses the Südschleife in competition.[48]

Layout history[edit]

Current circuit configurations[edit]

Previous configurations[edit]


Lap records[edit]

Nürburgring Nordschleife[edit]

As of May 2023, the fastest official race lap records at the Nürburgring Nordschleife are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
Short Combined Circuit: 24.369 km (2002–present)
GT3 8:03.113[49][50] Frank Stippler Audi R8 LMS ultra 2013 44. Adenauer ADAC Simfy Trophy
GT2 8:13.408 Uwe Alzen Porsche 911 (997) Turbo 2008 Nürburgring VLN race
Short Combined Circuit: 24.358 km (2002–present)
GT3 7:59.045 Jens Klingmann BMW Z4 GT3 2014 RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen
DTM 8:26.742[51] Manuel Reuter Opel Astra DTM 2004 24 Hours Nürburgring
Short Combined Circuit: 24.433 km (2002–present)
GT2 8:09.949[52] Uwe Alzen Porsche 911 (996) Turbo 2005 Nürburgring VLN race
Full 24 Hours Circuit – Combined GP Circuit (with Mercedes-Benz Arena): 25.947 km (2002–present)
GT1 (GTS) 9:02.206[53] Peter Zakowski Dodge Viper GTS-R 2003 24 Hours of Nürburgring
GT 9:08.008 Lucas Luhr Porsche 911 (996) GT2 2003 Nürburgring VLN race
24 Hours Circuit – Combined GP Circuit (without Mercedes-Benz Arena): 25.378 km (2002–present)
GT3 8:08.006[54] Daniel Keilwitz Ferrari 296 GT3 2023 24 Hours of Nürburgring
GT2 8:36.768[55][56] Marcel Tiemann Porsche 911 (997) GT3-RSR 2009 24 Hours of Nürburgring
TC1 8:37.384 Yvan Muller Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 2015 FIA WTCC Race of Germany
TCR Touring Car 8:53.608[57] Jean-Karl Vernay Hyundai Elantra N TCR 2021 FIA WTCR Race of Germany
Super 2000 9:19.256[58] Petr Fulín SEAT León Cup Racer 2016 Nürburgring ETC round
Porsche Carrera Cup 10:00.222[59] René Rast Porsche 911 (997 II) GT3 Cup 2011 1st Nürburgring Porsche Supercup round
Super 1600 10:35.657[60] Niklas Mackschin Ford Fiesta 1.6 16V 2016 Nürburgring ETC round
Short Combined Circuit: 23.849 km (1984–2001)
Class 1 Touring Cars 8:19.910[61] Volker Strycek Opel Calibra V6 4x4 2000 Nürburgring VLN race
Combined Circuit: 25.359 km (1984–2001)
Group A 8:46.930[62] Johnny Cecotto BMW M3 (E30) Sport Evo 1992 2nd Nürburgring DTM round
Class 1 Touring Cars 8:47.710[63] Nicola Larini Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI 1993 1st Nürburgring DTM round
GT1 (GTS) 8:58.014 Peter Zakowski Dodge Viper GTS-R 2000 Nürburgring 24 Hours
GT 8:58.703[64] Christian Menzel Porsche 911 (996) GT3-RS 2001 Nürburgring 24 Hours
Nordschleife: 20.832 km (1983–present)[65]
Group C 6:25.910[66] Stefan Bellof Porsche 956 1983 1000 km of Nürburgring
Formula Two 6:28.030[67] Christian Danner March 832 1983 Eifelrennen
Formula Three 7:19.670[68] Franz Konrad Anson SA4 1983 Bitburger ADAC 1000 km Rennen F3 round
GT1 (GTS) 7:20.098[69] Peter Zakowski Dodge Viper GTS-R 2002 VLN 27. DMV-4-Stunden
Group B 7:24.290 Harald Grohs BMW M1 1983 1000 km of Nürburgring
Group A 8:02.440[70] Tom Walkinshaw Jaguar XJS 1983 Nürburgring ETCC round
Nordschleife: 22.835 km (1970–1982)[65]
Formula One 7:06.400 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312T 1975 German Grand Prix
Formula Two 7:06.510[71] Stefan Bellof Maurer MM82 1982 Eifelrennen
Group 5 prototype 7:15.900[72] Jean-Pierre Jarier Matra MS670C 1974 1000 km of Nürburgring
Group 5 Special Production 7:22.420[73] Manfred Winkelhock Ford Capri III Turbo 1981 Nürburgring Nordschleife DRM round
Group C 7:23.870[74] Manfred Winkelhock Ford C100 1982 1000 km of Nürburgring
Group 7 7:32.800[75] Willi Kauhsen Porsche 917/10 Turbo 1973 7. Internationales ADAC Nürburgring 300 km Rennen
Group 6 7:33.530[76] Jochen Mass Porsche 908/80 1981 1000 km of Nürburgring
Group 4 7:45.470[77] Hans-Joachim Stuck BMW M1 1982 Nürburgring Nordschleife DRM round
Group 2 8:10.900[78] Hans-Joachim Stuck BMW 3.0 CSL 1974 6 Hours of Nürburgring
Group A 9:02.360 Tom Walkinshaw Jaguar XJS 1982 6 Hours of Nürburgring
Nordschleife: 22.835 km (1967–1970)[65]
Formula One 7:43.800 Jacky Ickx Brabham BT26A 1969 German Grand Prix
Group 6 7:50.400[79] Pedro Rodríguez Porsche 908/03 1970 1000 km of Nürburgring
Formula Two 8:05.300[80] Jackie Stewart Matra MS7 1969 Eifelrennen
Group 2 9:28.000[81] Andrea de Adamich Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm 1970 Nürburgring 6 Hours
Nordschleife: 22.800 km (1927–1966)[65]
Formula One 8:24.100 Jim Clark Lotus 33 1965 German Grand Prix
Sports car racing 8:37.000[82] John Surtees Ferrari 330 P4 1966 1000 km of Nürburgring
Group 3 9:09.000[83] John Surtees Ferrari 275 P 1964 1000 km of Nürburgring
GP 9:52.200[84] Hermann Lang Mercedes-Benz W154 1939 Eifelrennen
Group 2 10:44.000[85] Ragnar Eklund Austin Mini Cooper S 1966 500 km of Nürburgring
Gesamtstrecke: 28.265 km (1927–1982)[65]
Grand Prix 15:06.000 Louis Chiron Bugatti Type 35C 1929 German Grand Prix

Nürburgring Südschleife[edit]

The fastest official race lap records on the Südschleife are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
Südschleife: 7.747 km (1927–1982)
Group 7 2:38.600[86] Helmut Kelleners March 707 1970 Internationales AvD - SCM-Rundstrecken-Rennen Aachen Nürburgring
Group 5 2:43.200[87] Jürgen Neuhaus [de] Porsche 917 Spyder 1971 6th International 300 km race
Formula Two 2:47.000[88] Brian Redman Lola T100 1968 Eifelrennen
Group 4 3:01.800[89] Paul Hawkins Ford GT40 1968 Internationales ADAC-Eifelpokal-Rennen Nürburgring
Group 3 3:28.100[90] Jürgen Neuhaus [de] Porsche 911 S 1967 ADAC-Hansa-Pokal-Rennen Nürburgring

Modern Nürburgring[edit]

As of October 2023, the fastest official lap records at the modern Nürburgring circuit layouts are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
GP-Strecke (with Mercedes-Benz Arena and F1 Chicane): 5.1480 km (2002–present)
Formula One 1:28.139 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing RB16 2020 Eifel Grand Prix
LMP1 1:40.325[91] Marcel Fässler Audi R18 2016 6 Hours of Nürburgring
GP2 1:41.119[92] Edoardo Mortara Dallara GP2/08 2009 Nürburgring GP2 Series round
Formula Renault 3.5 1:43.306[93] Tom Dillmann Dallara T12 2015 Nürburgring Formula Renault 3.5 Series round
Superleague Formula 1:43.463 Antônio Pizzonia Panoz DP09 2008 Nürburgring Superleague Formula round
GP3 1:46.712[94] Facu Regalia Dallara GP3/13 2013 Nürburgring GP3 Series round
LMP2 1:47.794[95] Nicolas Lapierre Alpine A470 2017 6 Hours of Nürburgring
F3000 1:48.597[96] Tomáš Enge Lola B02/50 2002 Nürburgring F3000 round
F2 (2009–2012) 1:48.844[97] Christopher Zanella Williams JPH1 2012 Nürburgring FTwo round
Class 1 Touring Cars 1:49.975[98] Nico Müller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 2020 1st Nürburgring DTM round
LMPC 1:52.560[99] Dominik Kraihamer[100] Oreca FLM09 2009 Nürburgring Formula Le Mans Cup round
Renault Sport Trophy 1:54.540[101] Dario Capitanio [pl] Renault Sport R.S. 01 2015 Nürburgring Renault Sport Trophy round
Formula Regional 1:55.109[102] Victor Martins Tatuus FR-19 2020 Nürburgring Formula Renault Eurocup round
GT3 1:55.832[103] Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2021 3 Hours of Nürburgring
LM GTE 1:55.962[95] Kévin Estre Porsche 911 RSR (2017) 2017 6 Hours of Nürburgring
Formula Renault 2.0 1:56.221[104] Max Defourny Tatuus FR2.0/13 2017 Nürburgring Formula Renault Eurocup round
GT1 (GTS) 1:58.370[105] Alessandro Pier Guidi Maserati MC12 GT1 2010 Nürburgring FIA GT1 round
Lamborghini Super Trofeo 1:59.582[106] Frederik Schandorff [da] Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2 2023 Nürburgring Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe round
Formula 4 2:00.406[107] Jonas Ried Tatuus F4-T-421 2022 2nd Nürburgring ADAC Formula 4 round
Ferrari Challenge 2:02.287[108] Niccolò Schirò Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo 2021 Nürburgring Ferrari Challenge round
Porsche Carrera Cup 2:02.320[109] Larry ten Voorde Porsche 911 (991 II) GT3 Cup 2017 1st Nürburgring Porsche Carrera Cup Germany round
Formula BMW 2:04.689[110] Nico Hülkenberg Mygale FB02 2005 1st Nürburgring Formula BMW ADAC Round
Eurocup Mégane Trophy 2:04.881[111] Fabien Thuner [pl] Renault Mégane Renault Sport II 2012 Nürburgring Eurocup Mégane Trophy round
ADAC Formel Masters 2:05.246[112] Richie Stanaway Dallara Formulino 2010 Nürburgring ADAC Formel Masters round
TCR Touring Car 2:07.962[113] Mikel Azcona Cupra León Competición TCR 2021 Nürburgring TCR Europe round
Renault Clio Cup 2:21.840[114] Anthony Jurado Renault Clio R.S. V 2023 Nürburgring Renault Clio Cup Europe round
GP-Strecke without F1 Chicane (using Mercedes-Benz Arena): 5.137 km (2002–present)[115][116]
LMP1 1:37.955[117] Neel Jani Porsche 919 Hybrid 2015 6 Hours of Nürburgring
LMP2 1:45.697[118] Jeroen Bleekemolen Porsche RS Spyder 2008 1000 km of Nürburgring
LMP3 1:52.533[119] Guilherme Oliveira Ligier JS P320 2023 Nürburgring Prototype Cup Germany round
World SBK 1:54.594[120] Tom Sykes Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R 2013 Nürburgring World SBK round
GT1 (GTS) 1:54.850[118] Antonio García Aston Martin DBR9 2008 1000 km of Nürburgring
LM GTE 1:55.191[117] Gianmaria Bruni Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 2015 6 Hours of Nürburgring
GT3 1:54.985[121] Raffaele Marciello Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2023 3 Hours of Nürburgring
World SSP 1:58.072[122] Kenan Sofuoğlu Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Nürburgring World SSP round
Group 6 prototype 1:59.532[123] Felix Haas Lola T294 2020 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (FHR100)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo 2:00.467[124] Frederik Schandorff [da] Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2 2023 Nürburgring Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe round
ADAC Formel Masters 2:01.584[125] Gustav Malja Dallara Formulino 2012 2nd Nürburgring ADAC Formel Masters round
GT 2:02.353[126] Sascha Maassen Porsche 911 (996) GT3-RSR 2004 1000 km of Nürburgring
GT4 2:05.080[127] Ricardo van der Ende BMW M4 GT4 2019 Nürburgring GT4 European Series round
Super Touring 2:11.040[128] Gerhard Füller Opel Vectra STW 2020 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (Tourenwagen Classics)
Group 2 2:26.798[129] Meinrenken Timm Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAm 2020 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (AvD-Tourenwagen- und GT-Trophäe)
GP-Strecke without Mercedes-Benz Arena (using F1 Chicane): 4.638 km (2002–present)[115][116]
Oldtimer Circuit (GP-Strecke without Mercedes-Benz arena using old chicane): 4.569 km (2002–present)[115][116]
Formula One 1:36.325[130] Martin Stretton Tyrrell 012 2018 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix
LMP1 1:36.771[131] Mike Cantillon Pescarolo 01 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends)
LMP675 1:39.928[131] Mike Newton MG-Lola EX257 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends)
Group 6 prototype 1:42.599[132] Felix Haas Lola T294 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (FHR100)
Can-Am (Group 7) 1:43.399[132] Marco Werner McLaren M8F 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (FHR100)
Group 5 1:43.502[133] Peter Mücke [de] Zakspeed Ford Capri Turbo 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (Tourenwagen Classic)
GT3 1:43.651[134] Nick Tandy Porsche 911 (997) GT3-R 2012 Nürburgring British GT round
Formula 4 1:43.796[135] Joshua Dürksen Tatuus F4-T014 2020 2nd Nürburgring ADAC Formula 4 round
GT2 1:45.297[136] Yannik Trautwein Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (FCD RacingSeries)
Group 4 sports car 1:48.333[137] Simon Hadfield Lola T70 MkIIIB 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship)
Class 1 Touring Cars 1:48.653[138] Rupp Stephan Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI ITC 2018 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix
ADAC Formel Masters 1:48.887[139] Kevin Magnussen Dallara Formulino 2008 1st Nürburgring ADAC Formel Masters round
Group 6 1:49.366[140] Michael Gans Lola T290 2018 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix
Historic Formula 3 1:49.937[141] Robert Moores Chevron B38 2018 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix
GT4 1:52.118[134] Warren Hughes Ginetta G50 2012 Nürburgring British GT round
Group A 1:52.996[142] Richard Weber BMW M3 (E30) DTM 2017 Nürburgring Classic
Historic GP (up to 1965) 1:57.962[143] Peter Horsman Lotus 18/21 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (Historic Grand Prix Cars bis 1965)
Formula Junior 2:01.896[144] Bradley Richard Brabham BT2 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix (FIA Lurani Trophy)
Historic two-seater sports car (1960–1961) 2:03.233[145] Nuthall William Elva Mk VII S 2019 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix
Group 3 GT 2:04.563[146] Marcus von Oeynhausen Jaguar E-Type 2016 Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix
Sprint-Strecke (with Mercedes-Benz Arena + F1 chicane): 3.629 km (2002–present)[115]
Auto GP 1:19.322[147] Kimiya Sato Lola B05/52 2014 Nürburgring Auto GP round
Formula 3 1:20.866[148] Felix Rosenqvist Dallara F315 2015 Nürburgring Formula 3 round
Formula 3000 1:21.218[149] Nicky Pastorelli Lola B99/50 2004 Nürburgring Euro F3000 round
Class 1 Touring Cars 1:21.358[150] René Rast Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2019 2019 Nürburgring DTM round
DTM 1:22.308[151] René Rast Audi RS5 DTM 2017 Nürburgring DTM round
Superbike 1:26.100[152] Illia Mykhalchyk BMW S1000RR 2019 Nürburgring IDM Superbike round
GT3 1:26.348[153] Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 2023 Nürburgring ADAC GT Masters round
Formula 4 1:26.753[154] Frederik Vesti Tatuus F4-T014 2018 Nürburgring ADAC Formula 4 round
GT1 (GTS) 1:27.970[155] David Hart Chrysler Viper GTS-R 2002 Nürburgring Belcar round
Porsche Carrera Cup 1:28.518[156] Larry ten Voorde Porsche 911 (992) GT3 Cup 2023 Nürburgring Porsche Carrera Cup Germany round
ADAC Formel Masters 1:28.999[157] Emil Bernstorff Dallara Formulino 2011 Nürburgring ADAC Formel Masters round
Formula BMW 1:31.641[158] Sebastian Vettel Mygale FB02 2004 2nd Nürburgring Formula BMW ADAC Round
GT4 1:33.166[159] Marcel Lenerz Toyota GR Supra GT4 2022 Nürburgring ADAC GT4 Germany round
Stock car racing 1:33.268[160] Ander Vilariño Chevrolet SS NASCAR 2014 Nürburgring NASCAR Whelen Euro Series round
TCR Touring Car 1:34.825[161] Martin Andersen Honda Civic Type R TCR (FK8) 2022 Nürburgring TCR Germany round
NXT Gen Cup 1:52.456[162] Theo Jernberg LRT NXT1 2023 Nürburgring NXT Gen Cup round
Truck racing 1:54.390[163] Norbert Kiss MAN TGS 2022 Nürburgring ETRC round
Sprint-Strecke (with Mercedes-Benz Arena using old chicane): 3.618 km (2002–present)[115]
LMP3 1:21.864[164] Óscar Tunjo Duqueine D-08 2022 Nürburgring Prototype Cup Germany round
GT3 1:25.664[165] Jeroen Bleekemolen Chevrolet Corvette Z06-R GT3 2013 1st Nürburgring ADAC GT Masters round
Superbike 1:25.804[166] Markus Reiterberger BMW S1000RR 2017 Nürburgring IDM Superbike round
ADAC Formel Masters 1:28.704[167] Alessio Picariello Dallara Formulino 2013 Nürburgring ADAC Formel Masters round
Supersport 1:28.921[168] Kevin Wahr Yamaha YZF-R6 2017 Nürburgring IDM Supersport round
Supersport 300 1:39.769[169] Finn de Bruin Yamaha YZF-R3 2017 Nürburgring IDM Supersport 300 round
Sprint-Strecke (without Mercedes-Benz Arena using F1 chicane): 3.059 km (2002–present)[115]
Sprint-Strecke (without Mercedes-Benz Arena using old chicane): 3.050 km (2002–present)[115]
GP-Strecke with F1 Chicane: 4.556 km (1995–2001)
Formula One 1:18.354 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams FW23 2001 European Grand Prix
LMP900 1:30.418[170] Frank Biela Audi R8 2000 1000 km of Nürburgring
F3000 1:31.669[171] Giorgio Pantano Lola B99/50 2001 Nürburgring F3000 round
WSC 1:31.794[172] Grant Orbell Lola B98/10 1999 ADAC Sportwagen Festival
GT1 (Prototype) 1:33.614[173] Bernd Schneider Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR 1997 FIA GT Nürburgring 4 Hours
LMP675 1:37.813[174] Thed Björk Lola B2K/40 2001 ADAC Sportwagen Festival
DTM 1:37.932[175] Martin Tomczyk Abt-Audi TT-R DTM 2001 2001 1st Nürburgring DTM round
GT1 1:38.270[176] Jean-Marc Gounon Ferrari F40 GTE 1996 BPR 4 Hours of Nürburgring
GT1 (GTS) 1:39.649[170] Olivier Beretta Dodge Viper GTS-R 2000 1000 km of Nürburgring
GT2 1:42.208[173] Olivier Beretta Chrysler Viper GTS-R 1997 FIA GT Nürburgring 4 Hours
N-GT 1:42.208[177] Sébastien Dumez [fr] Porsche 911 (996) GT3-RS 2001 FIA GT Nürburgring 500km
GT 1:43.766[170] Sascha Maassen Porsche 911 (996) GT3-R 2000 1000 km of Nürburgring
Formula Chrysler 1:45.114[178] John Svensson Reynard 2KF 2001 Nürburgring Formula Chrysler Euroseries round
Porsche Carrera Cup 1:46.981[179] Dirk Müller Porsche 911 (996) GT3 Cup 2000 Nürburgring Porsche Supercup round
GP-Strecke: 4.551 km (1984–2001)
Group C1 1:21.553 Teo Fabi Jaguar XJR-14 1991 430 km of Nürburgring
Formula One 1:22.806 Niki Lauda McLaren MP4/2B 1985 German Grand Prix
F3000 1:26.980[180] Rubens Barrichello Reynard 92D 1992 Nürburgring F3000 round
Interserie 1:30.080[181] Karl Hasenbichler HSB-Penske PC-18 Buick Turbo Can-Am 1994 AvD New Historics präsentiert von Ferrari Nürburgring
Group C2 1:33.010[182] Costas Los Spice SE87C 1988 1000 km of Nürburgring
Class 1 Touring Cars 1:37.710[183] Bernd Schneider Mercedes-Benz C-Class V6 1994 3rd Nürburgring DTM round
500cc 1:39.048 Kevin Schwantz Suzuki RGV500 1990 German motorcycle Grand Prix
World SBK 1:39.318 Troy Corser Ducati 996 RS 1999 Nürburgring World SBK round
GT1 1:42.430[184] John Greasley Porsche 911 GT2 Evo 1998 4 Hours of Nürburgring
250cc 1:40.993 Tetsuya Harada Aprilia RSV 250 1997 German motorcycle Grand Prix
125cc 1:42.991 Ralf Waldmann Honda NSR250 1996 German motorcycle Grand Prix
Super Touring 1:43.975[185] Tom Kristensen Honda Accord 1999 1st Nürburgring STW Cup round
Porsche Carrera Cup 1:45.322[186] Timo Bernhard Porsche 911 (996 I) GT3 Cup 2001 1st Nürburgring Porsche Carrera Cup Germany round
World SSP 1:45.591 Piergiorgio Bontempi Yamaha YZF-R6 1999 Nürburgring World SSP round
Group A 1:47.740[187] Armin Hahne Ford Sierra RS 500 1988 Nürburgring 500 km
Group N 1:48.190[188] Johnny Cecotto BMW M3 GTR 1993 Nürburgring ADAC GT Cup round
Sprint-Strecke (without F1 Chicane): 3.039 km (1984–2001)[115]
Group C 58.140[189] Bernd Schneider Porsche 962C 1991 Int. ADAC Bilstein Supersprint Nürburgring
Interserie 1:01.260[190] Josef Neuhauser Minardi M190 Cosworth 2001 Nürburgring Interserie round
DTM 1:05.947[191] Bernd Schneider AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM 2001 2001 2nd Nürburgring DTM round
Porsche Carrera Cup 1:11.739[192] Jörg Bergmeister Porsche 911 (996 I) GT3 Cup 2001 2nd Nürburgring Porsche Carrera Cup Germany round
Group B 1:12.630[193] Uwe Alzen Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.8 1993 XX. ADAC Bilstein Supersprint Nürburgring
Betonschleife: 2.292 km (1927–1982)[116]
Group 7 0:47.800[194][195] Herbert Müller[a]
Tim Schenken[a]
Porsche 917/30 TC[a]
Porsche 917/10 TC[a]
1974 Ïnternationaler Redlefsen-Super-Sprint Nürburgring[a]
1975 Internat. Super Sprint Nürburgring[a]
Group 6 0:48.050[196] Bob Wollek Porsche 936/80 1982 Nürburgring Interserie round
Group 5 0:48.550[197] Manfred Winkelhock Ford Capri III Turbo 1981 ADAC-Bilstein Super-Sprint Nürburgring
Group C 0:49.220[198] Rolf Stommelen Porsche CK5 1982 ADAC-Bilstein Super-Sprint Nürburgring
BMW M1 Procar 0:51.830[199] Siegfried Müller, Jr. [de] BMW M1 1982 ADAC-Bilstein Super-Sprint Nürburgring
Group 4 0:52.600[200] Leo Kinnunen Porsche 934 1976 III. Int. ADAC-Bilstein-Super-Sprint Nürburgring
Group 2 0:52.900[201] Klaus Ludwig BMW 2002 Turbo 1977 Bilstein-Super-Sprint Nürburgring

Lap times recorded on the Nürburgring Nordschleife are published by several manufacturers. They are published and discussed in print media, and online.

The lap record on the Südschleife is held by Helmut Kelleners with 2:38.6 minutes = 175.85 km/h (109.27 mph), driven with a March 707 in the CanAm run of the 3rd International AvD SCM circuit race on 18 October 1970.[202] Previous record holder was Brian Redman, who achieved 2:47.0 minutes = 161.03 km/h (100.06 mph) in the Formula 2 race on 21 April 1968 with a Ferrari.[203]

Competitions[edit]

Formula racing
Sports car racing
Touring car racing
Motorcycle racing
Rallycross racing
Cycling

2024 events[edit]

Climate[edit]

The Nürburgring is known for its frequently changing weather. The near-fatal accident of Niki Lauda in 1976 was accompanied by poor weather conditions and also the 2007 Grand Prix race saw an early deluge take several cars out through aquaplaning, with Vitantonio Liuzzi making a lucky escape, hitting a retrieving truck with the rear wing first, rather than the fatal accident that befell Jules Bianchi seven years later at Suzuka. In spite of this reputation, the Nürburg weather station only recorded an average of 679.3 mm (26.74 in) between 1981 and 2010.[204] Contrasting this, the relatively nearby Ardennes racetrack of Spa-Francorchamps in Wallonia, Belgium has a much rainier climate, as can be implied by data from the village hosting the track called Stavelot and the village of Malmedy, through which the circuit passes.

Nürburg has a semi-continental climate with both oceanic and continental tendencies. It does however land in the former category (Köppen Cfb). Due to the Nordschleife's varied terrain and elevation, weather may be completely different on either end of the track. The elevation shift also makes thermal differences a strong possibility. The modern Grand Prix circuit also has sizeable elevation changes between the start-finish straight and the lowest point on the opposite end of the track, but the geographical distance and actual elevation gain between the two are lower. Annual sunshine is in the 1500s, which is low by European standards, but only slightly gloomier than the nearest large city of Cologne located on a plain. Contrasting that, Nürburg has cooler weather year-round due to the higher elevation of the Eifel Mountains than the Rhine Valley.

Climate data for Nürburg, 485 m asl (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.5
(56.3)
15.6
(60.1)
20.7
(69.3)
25.8
(78.4)
30.4
(86.7)
33.3
(91.9)
34.9
(94.8)
36.0
(96.8)
30.2
(86.4)
25.2
(77.4)
18.8
(65.8)
12.6
(54.7)
36.0
(96.8)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 2.6
(36.7)
4.3
(39.7)
7.7
(45.9)
12.3
(54.1)
16.4
(61.5)
19.7
(67.5)
21.6
(70.9)
21.4
(70.5)
17.0
(62.6)
12.5
(54.5)
6.6
(43.9)
2.8
(37.0)
12.2
(54.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.3
(32.5)
1.6
(34.9)
4.2
(39.6)
8.0
(46.4)
11.9
(53.4)
15.0
(59.0)
16.9
(62.4)
16.6
(61.9)
13.0
(55.4)
9.2
(48.6)
4.3
(39.7)
0.6
(33.1)
8.6
(47.5)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −2.1
(28.2)
−1.2
(29.8)
0.7
(33.3)
3.6
(38.5)
7.5
(45.5)
10.1
(50.2)
12.2
(54.0)
11.9
(53.4)
9.0
(48.2)
5.9
(42.6)
2.0
(35.6)
−1.6
(29.1)
4.9
(40.8)
Record low °C (°F) −18.6
(−1.5)
−17.4
(0.7)
−12.4
(9.7)
−6.4
(20.5)
−1.0
(30.2)
2.1
(35.8)
5.0
(41.0)
3.6
(38.5)
1.1
(34.0)
−5.3
(22.5)
−10.8
(12.6)
−18.1
(−0.6)
−18.6
(−1.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 48.0
(1.89)
51.2
(2.02)
50.6
(1.99)
47.4
(1.87)
60.6
(2.39)
53.8
(2.12)
68.9
(2.71)
77.7
(3.06)
57.0
(2.24)
54.1
(2.13)
57.5
(2.26)
51.5
(2.03)
678.3
(26.71)
Average precipitation days 9.5 10.6 10.9 9.4 9.9 9.8 11.4 9.5 9.6 10.5 12.0 10.8 123.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 56.7 72.1 116.6 166.9 187.0 205.3 204.4 193.3 147.1 105.7 46.5 43.0 1,544.6
Source: Météo Climat [205][206]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Both riders took the same lap time independently on different years.

Works cited[edit]

  • Behrndt, Michael, Födisch, Jörg-Thomas: 75 Jahre Nürburgring. Eine Rennstrecke im Rückspiegel. Heel Verlag, Königswinter 2002, ISBN 3-89880-083-0.
  • Födisch, Jörg-Thomas; Ostrovsky, Robert (2000), Der Nürburgring : Die legendäre Rennstrecke von 1927 bis heute (in German), Königswinter: Heel, ISBN 3-89365-841-6
  • Förster, Wolfgang "Faszination Nürburgring – Gestern und Heute" Heel-Verlag, Königswinter, 2011, ISBN 978-3-86852-496-3.
  • Kräling, Ferdi, Messer, Gregor: Grüne Hölle Nürburgring – Faszination Nordschleife. 1. Auflage, Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2011 ISBN 978-3-7688-3274-8.
  • Nixon, Chris (2005). Kings of the Nürburgring: Der Nürburgring: A History 1925-1983. Isleworth, Middlesex, UK: Transport Bookman Publications. ISBN 0851840701.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nürburgring at Wikimedia Commons