The merciless Ring.
Nürburgring at last. One of my favorite tracks of all times. Although I am not experiencing the full ‘Grüne Hölle’, it’s great to get a first taste of it. The Blancpain GT Challenge Europe is a sprint series, and at the Nürburgring round the track used is the Grand Prix circuit. It currently has 5.148 meters long and was built between 1981 and 1984 (initially with 4.5km) and extended to the current length in 2001.
It’s really amazing to get one’s feet on such an iconic and full of history race track.
The Green Hell (name given by racing driving legend Jackie Stewart) is one of the most challenging and daunting tracks (if not THE one) with the longest track (20.8 Km) and 73 turns with changing elevations over a course of 300 metres. Nordschleife the merciless track was built in the 20’s and in the 80’s became not safe for Formula 1 (Niki Lauda’s accident in 1976 is one of the examples and contributed to this classification), so all F1 events took place in Hockenheim alone, leaving the Eifel forests track out. Despite not hosting the Grand Prix sport, the ‘Grüne Hölle’ was able to establish itself as the most important test track for the automobile industry worldwide and as a popular touristic destination.
Nevertheless, the Rhineland-Palatinate state, together with ADAC (the German Automobile Association), stood by the Nürburgring and nowadays, the Grand Prix circuit is considered safe and hosts some of the most important motorsport events.
The annual highlight is obviously the 24 Hours of Nürburgring (now called ADAC Total 24-Hour), the gruelling endurance race where anything can happen. This legendary race is held since 1970, on both Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit. Every year, it features up to 200 cars and gathers around 290.000 spectators. Specials (GT3 and GT4 cars), production cars, and Cup classes (plus TCR touring cars), a bunch of different classes, all together in what some call the best race in the world.
In 2020, I’ll hopefully get it out of my bucket list.
Photos: Phaceless Photographer / 24 Hours of Nürburgring 2019