Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blogging From A to Z Day 14: N is for Nurburgring

Images courtesy of General Motors
For the month of April I will be participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Learn more about the challenge by clicking here. Each day (except Sundays) I will be posting a theme based on each letter of the alphabet. This blog is covering automotive topics for the month. To read my other blog posts for the challenge, click here.

Few racetracks rise to the level of celebrity the Nurburgring has enjoyed. Despite all of the talk about the track, and its use as a benchmark tool for automakers trying to show off the performance capabilities of new models, most people understand little about the track.

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.

1 comment:

  1. How often do you get to say, "Thank goodness for the Germans?" Well, today is the day!!!