The fascination of the “Green Hell” – 24h Nürburgring

The annual 24 hours Nürburgring have taken place last weekend and here are some of the impressions.

It’s that time of the year again, over 200.000 motoring enthusiasts pilgrim towards Nürburgring to watch one most challenging races in the annual calendar at the worlds most dangerous and longest racing circuit: The green hell aka Nordschleife. Opened in 1927, the track has started to build up it’s reputation.

I called the track the “Green Hell” back then. I think there was no pilot who was not a bit afraid of the ring. In one lap, in seven minutes, we experienced more anxiety and tension than most people in their entire lives.

JACKIE STEWART, THREE TIMES FORMULA 1 CHAMPION

580 drivers amongst the spectators, from over 32 countries, seated in cars from 22 manufacturers totalling 155 participating cars and all of them will be battling on the 22km long track, leaving no room for mistakes.

Nordschleife facts:

  • Length Nordschleife 20.800km
  • Track length Endurance Championship 24,358 km (Sprint track including Mercedes-Arena and Motorbike-Chicane plus Norschleife)
  • Corners Nordschleife 73 (33 lefthanders, 40 righthanders)
  • Incline Nordschleife maximum 17%
  • Decline Nordschleife maximum 11%
  • Highest spot Nordschleife 620m (Start/Finish)
  • Lowest spot Nordschleife 320m (Breidscheid)
  • Difference in altitude Nordschleife Approximately 300m

The Nürburgring is famed for being the world’s most demanding test course. What is important is that the team ensures its cars run for the entire 24 hours. More important than setting a fast single lap time is enabling the driver to drive at a high pace in a comfortable and relaxed manner. To this end, it is vital that the car responds to driver input as intended—in other words, that the car handles in a predictable and reliable manner.

Even the most experienced racing drivers feel a cold shiver running down their back when they finally enter the legendary Nordschleife after about three and a half kilometres at the Nürburgring short version. This is where the really tough work starts. After the first slow left corner, you accelerate downhill. 

The track section Adenauer Forst separates the men from the boys. The exit if the fast Fuchsröhre is followed by an uphill section through a combination of corners which tighten more and more: right, left, right. The very last pair of bends is of a special kind.

Motorsport is an arena in which companies fight for supremacy over the incredibly simple elements of “speed” and “durability.” From the past to the future, when a car wins a race, it is regarded to as a good car and this led to increased sales. In order to test the durability and performance of their cars, companies ought to participate in auto races, demonstrate the full performance of their vehicles, and compete for superiority. This will both lead to progress in their vehicles and spark the enthusiasm of automobile fans.

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