Address : Nurburgring, 53520 Nurburg / Eiffel, Germany
Tel : (+49) 2691 30 20
Fax : (+49) 2691 30 2155
Web : www.nuerburgring.de
Type : Permanent road course
Length : 3.199 miles / 5.148 km
Corners : 16
There have been many great racing circuits in the history of the automobile but none have compared to the Nurburgring, a 14-mile rollercoaster ride through the wooded hills of the Eifel plateau in the western part of Germany, not far from the Belgian border. Centered on Nurburg village, which is overlooked by the ruins of an old 12th century castle, the circuit was the brainchild of the local district controller, a Dr. Creutz, who felt the construction would not only reduce the crippling unemployment in the area in the mid-1920s but also promote tourism and help the German motor industry by providing a testing facility.
The old Nurburgring was not one but two circuits which could be used together (making a total of 172 corners) or as separate entities. The Nordschleife (North Loop) was 14.2 glorious miles of tarmac and the Sudschleife (South Loop) was a mere 4.8-miles. Where the two tracks met there was the paddock, the pits and wooden grandstand.
It was safety which sealed the demise of the legendary track. Following Niki Lauda's terrifying accident there in 1976 in which he suffered horrendous burns, the Nurburgring's license to hold Formula One events was withdrawn.
The track may not be as challenging as the old circuit, but it is still possible to take a trip down memory lane - literally. For just a few euros one can take a car onto the old track and soak up what was one of the most feared and yet respected circuits in the history of motorsport.