The Nurburgring. The World’s Proving Ground.
Here’s a thought. Out of all of the cars that are pretty much on the road today, or basically the one’s that have been built in let’s say, the past ten years, or so, how were they really tested? The cars, that guys REALLY want, how have they proven their merit? Where is this so called, Holy Ground of Speed & Control? Only one place, can a car be pushed to it’s ultimate edge of power, and it be found out if can actually survive the trip. That place is called the Nurgburgring.
The Nurburgring of course is based in Germany, about 75 miles northwest of well known Frankfurt, and about 40, or so miles south of Cologne. The Nurburgring was created in the 1920′s for the sole purpose of stopping up, and coming racers from driving in the streets, and basically killing themselves, or anybody else for that matter. The track was completed in 1927, and the first race that was held on it was the very first World Cycling Championship. Soon after, the German Gran Prix was held there to a vast amount of spectators who enjoyed racing.
Fast forward to after World War 2, the Nurgburgring reopened for racing, and soon after was dominated by racers of German decent. A racer by the name of Phil Hill, decided to drive the entire course for the sake of warming up his car, and basically getting ready for the 1961 German GP, unknowingly broke the standing course record of 9 minutes. Phil broke the record with his Ferrari 156 Formula 1 car, in a time of 8:55.2. Of course this wasn’t going to last long, but with this began the start of time trials, and pushing cars to their limits.
The Nurburgring’s course called the Nordschleife, which is about 24 miles long, has been a part of the German community’s way of life, so much so that the owners of the Nurburgring, open it on Sundays to the general public. So for about 25 Euros, or $30 US dollars you can take a car, or motorcycle on the course to see where you driving skill lie. For years there have been drivers taking vehicles of all sizes, and shapes on the Nurburgring. Bus Tours, cars, exotics, trucks, and personally owned race cars push their limits to achieve a time on the Ring. All of this would eventually turn into testing of new cars, on the Ring. If you wanted your car to be known, throughout the world, you WOULD take it to the Ring, and make sure one of the world’s best drivers was behind the wheel, and tell them to push it. Push it hard. This way of testing became the norm for automotive manufacturers, such as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ford, Audi, and Cadillac (GM). The Nurburgring is an amusement park for men, and women who love the thrill of driving hard. The Ring has been around for over 80 years, and it’s not going anywhere. So do yourself a favor, when you create your Bucket List, make sure you add “Drive ten laps on the Nurburgring.” If you don’t, then you would not have lived a TRUE driver’s dream.