|Images courtesy of General Motors|
The north loop or Nordschleife is the area that you always see on car commercials. It measures over 14 miles long. A GP-Strecke portion of the track was added in 1983 and is used for numerous motorsport competitions. It measures just over 3 miles long. In some rare cases, the entire track is used for competitions.
The Nurburgring has been referred to as the Green Hell. The track is extremely challenging and even treacherous as it takes drives through many hairpin turns and straightaways with gradual turns and sudden dips, to name a few of the difficult areas. According to Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC's Top Gear, the track has claimed over 200 lives and counting. Crashes are pretty common as drivers who aren't experienced push their cars too hard at the wrong spots and find themselves unable to negotiate different sections.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Nurburgring is that on some days, mostly the weekends, drivers can take their car to the track to race. It is technically considered a toll road that's open to the public, but there is no speed limit or oncoming traffic. Take that, Autobahn! This feature was in jeopardy when the track went into bankruptcy and some Americans were moving to purchase it, possibly to even demolish the track, but thankfully a group of German investors outbid them with the aim of keeping the track the automotive icon it should always be.
There are many, many videos of the 'Ring, but here are a couple to give you a taste for the track, if you haven't seen it before.