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]

Motorsport magazine, February 2000