Driving the Nurburgring Nordschleiffe

DSC_0261Regardless of what sort of cars you’re into, if you’re even the slightest bit interested in driving there’s a good chance that lapping the Nurburgring Nordschleiffe is up there on your bucket list. It was right up there on mine, and I simply couldn’t travel to Germany without driving the most dangerous, challenging and famous racing circuit in the world.

DSC_0163I’ve already discussed in a previous post how crazy/insane/incredible it is that anyone can turn up and drive the Nordschleiffe in a Touristenfahrten session, and in this post I will attempt to describe my experiences of both driving it myself in a modified Suzuki Swift Sport and going for a few significantly quicker taxi laps with a pair of vastly experienced ‘Ring Masters’.

DSC_0198You can drive your own car on the Nordschleiffe, but if you’re travelling from overseas you’ll need to rent a set of wheels. Unsurprisingly regular rental companies prohibit their vehicles from going on the Ring and are rumored to send spotters out to check, so luckily there are several companies located at the circuit offering cars specifically for track use. Your budget (and age, if you’re under 25) is the only limit when it comes to what you can rent, with the choice starting at cars like the Swift and RenaultSport Clio, rising through the Volkswagen Scirocco, Renault Megane R26.R, Toyota 86/BRZ, through to BMW M3’s and all the way up to cars like the Porsche GT3RS, Ferrari 458 and McLaren MP4-12C.

DSC_0162In the end my decision was a relatively easy one, and whilst I was seriously tempted by the Subaru BRZ, I ended up driving a Stage 2 Swift Sport from Rent 4 Ring. I’ve known for some time that the current generation Swift is a pretty good tool out of the box, and the Rent 4 Ring Swift’s have been further improved with a full roll cage, Recaro Pole Position seats with OMP 4 point harnesses, adjustable Ohlins suspension, free flowing exhaust system, Endless brake pads and Toyo R888 Semi Slicks. What’s more, the cheaper hire price compared to the BRZ (or M3!), meant that for my budget I could afford to do more laps, which for me was more important than driving a faster car.  Continue reading

Welcome to the Green Hell

DSC_0270Dangerous. Challenging. Rewarding. Unique. The last of the proper old school race circuits, the Nurburgring Nordschleiffe is all of these things.

DSC_0334Formula 1 stopped coming here in the 70’s because it was too dangerous, which seems oddly juxtaposed against the thing that today makes the Nordschleiffe, or North Loop, so famous today. Anyone, and I mean actually anyone, can simply turn up and drive it as fast as they like.

DSC_0047Buy a lap ticket for 26 Euro…

DSC_0067…validate it in the boom gate and you’re away. Here’s the worlds most challenging racetrack – go nuts! No scruitineering, no helmets, no license checks, no speed limits. And, uh, try not to kill yourself.

DSC_0224It doesn’t matter what you drive. Obviously a GT3 RS is probably the best tool for the job…

DSC_0161…but if you’re just with your mates on a campervan road trip, well then that’s cool too. Continue reading