Another One Off The Bucket List
Some of my faithful readers may not know that The Nurburgring is one of motor racing’s most hallowed grounds, a 13-mile loop with 72 corners (or more, depending on how you count them) that has in the past hosted a wide variety of racing events including Formula 1, was the site of Niki Lauda’s famous accident, and also happens to be a semi-public road that anyone with 22 euros can take a spin on when the track isn’t in use for something else.
On the Xbox, my friends and I have ‘driven’ the Nordschliefe (the northern loop, as opposed to the attached, smaller, modern road circuit that currently hosts events such as F1 and WSBK), literally hundreds of times. When I realized that Frankfurt is only an hour and a half away, I decided to go see the Ring for myself and see if I could do my tourist lap.
The trip was easy thanks to my iPhone’s GPS, and I arrived in my rented Opel Corsa at around 11:30. I was worried that I might not be allowed on the track in a rented car, but determined to go if only to see the place in person.
Eventually I knew the track must be getting close, and suddenly this section appeared. I pulled off the highway and into a large lot that is a favorite among spectators during the official events, and also among those who come to watch the amateur nutters drive around. When I arrived I found this guy had set up to watch the day’s tire test, of all things. Most of the turns or sections are named, and this one is Brunnchen. For a map of the Ring, click here. Just standing there was fantastic after so many years of seeing photos of this historic place and pretending to be there in video games.