Huzzah, Nordschleife speed limits to be lifted!

Looking over Quiddelbacher Hohe to Flugplatz accident site, April 2015

Good news for Nürburgring fans, the speed limits imposed on the Nordschleife back in June are set to be lifted.

Of course, there’s a catch. The first being the limits, currently affecting all on-track activities, won’t be removed until 2016. The second being the track will undergo a series of modifications in order to increase safety standards for tourist laps, competitors and spectators.

“Safety on the Nordschleife during races, but also during test drives of the industry and during tourist ride sessions, is our highest priority,” explained Carsten Schumacher, managing director of Nürburgring operator CNG. “Together with all those involved, we responded to the accident by carrying out a detailed analysis of the situation and compiling targeted measures to further increase active and passive safety, and especially the safety of spectators along the Nordschleife.”

The Flugplatz section (pictured) will be resurfaced and new safety barriers and fencing will be added to the high-speed Schwedenkreuz and Döttinger Höhe sections of the Nordschleife.

“Based on detailed measurement, we will renew the track surface in the Flugplatz section over a length of about 500 metres, smoothing out five bumps which are the result of years of high utilisation and heavy use of the Nordschleife,” Schumacher added. “The unique character of the Nordschleife will be preserved. That’s not only important for motor racing but also for the industry, which has been testing its vehicles on this unique race track for decades.”

The modification work will commence in November and while it’s a shame to see the famed track modified it’s not the first time it’s happened and it may not be the last. Moreover, it’s said that a total of 16 measures have been listed for attention, but at this stage we’ve only been made aware of seven of those changes. What will the other nine bring?

Crucially, though, the most important thing to take away from this news is that the medium-long term future of the Nordschleife looks to be assured.

[Source: Pistonheads]

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It was 15 years ago today

Motorsport magazine, February 2000

Serving as a reminder that I need to write my own trip report from April this year, here’s a few paragraphs from MotorSport magazine, first published in February 2000.

Centred around a 12th century castle in the densely wooded village of Nurburg, the plans outlined over 17 miles of track, consisting of two loops: a 4.81-mile southern lap, the Sudschleife, and a leviathan 14.17-mile Nordschleife. Work began in September 1925, with over 20,000 men employed on its construction.

The result pitched and dived, twisted and turned through over 170 distinct corners, sometimes descending and climbing gradients as steep as 1 in 6, at others storming along engine-testing straights nearly two miles in length. At the broad start-finish area stood fifty pits; directly opposite a grandstand and luxury hotel offering spectacular views of the racing.

Today, public demand to sample the circuit has led the owners to construct an incongruous space-aged toll booth half way along the famous Duttinger-Hohe straight There, when the track is not under private hire, you can part with a few deutschmarks and head out onto the track in whatever transport you happen to have pitched up in. Crazy as it may seem you will undoubtedly end up sharing your lap not just with a hoard of Barry Sheene wannabes, but the odd coach, caravan and asthmatically wheezing Trabant.

Accelerating hard in Motor Sport’s BMW 328Ci, the track lures you into ever greater speed, the car admirably poised as you lean into the right-hander that signals the start of the Hatzenbach. Next is a series of S-bends, flowing and smooth. If you are like me, you will have a grin on your face. Prepare to have it wiped off… For there at the end of the Hatzenbach that familiar Niirburgring refrain: one deceptively tight corner after a series of faster ones. I jumped off the throttle just in time but I knew I had escaped lightly. And that’s the Nurburgring through and through—one long lesson in your own personal driving limits.

That last line there is as true today as it has ever been. It’s a great read covering a lot of history and with some quotes from the 1930s and 50s, make sure you follow the link below to see the full article.

Worth noting is the lack of graffiti on the track, too. Fifteen years ago is a long time, yes, but I would have expected to see some paint on the tarmac at that point. Especially as there was plenty of graffiti in 2006.

Something to investigate further perhaps.

[Source: MotorSport]

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Another look at the 1967 German Grand Prix

1967 German Grand Prix

Way back when AUSringers started we featured some clips on the 1967 German Grand Prix. Let’s take another look at that race in this six-minute video that really takes us back to a time when the track was barely recognisable as the Nordschleife we know and cherish today.

Also unrecognisable is a podium featuring an Aussie and two Kiwis!

1967 German Grand Prix

  1. Denny Hulme (Repco-Brabham)
  2. Jack Brabham (Repco-Brabham)
  3. Chris Amon (Ferrari)

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A look at the Nürburgring from 1955

Geoff Duke drives the Nurburgring in 1955

Geoff Duke was a multiple world championship motorbike rider who achieved his success in the 1950s. Here, he takes us for a lap of the Nürburgring on four wheels ahead of the 1955 German Motorcycle Grand Prix, which he duly won.

Forget the most obvious changes, such as the lack of armco, just look at how dodgy the tarmac is in places!

[Thanks to Tiaan & Obi for the tips]

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VIDEO: Nordschleife wet lap guide for FWDs

Dale Lomas shows his wet lines for FWDs around the Nurburgring

Have you got a front-wheel drive car and don’t know the best lines to take on a wet Nürburgring Nordschelife? If so, Dale Lomas is your friend. Check out his video below, filmed onboard in his new Seat Leon ST Cupra wagon, explaining where the grip is, just as importantly, where the grip isn’t.

If you’re new to the Ring, remember, guys like like Dale have countless hours of experience on this track. If you find yourself driving in the wet for your first laps of the Nordschleife drive well within your limits.

Even with Dale’s experience and track knowledge he found himself fighting the wheel more than once as he discovered the grip he was expecting wasn’t always there.

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Day 1 for every new car should include a TF lap

Dale Lomas with his new Seat Leon ST Cupra 280

Dale Lomas from Bridge to Gantry just bought himself a new car. And, as you would, on day one of ownership he took it out on the Nordschleife for a spin. Well, he doesn’t literally spin his new car, of course.

The car in question is a Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 estate. Very cool on two fronts: one because it’s a fast euro estate (the coolest cars on the planet) and two because it’s a funky Seat, which we don’t get here in Australia.

Oh yeah, that Harry’s Lap Timer setup seems pretty cool too, even advising of a yellow flag via the mobile phone app.

Settle in and enjoy the lap.

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