Ring tips

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Hav­ing just re­turned from a trip to the Nür­bur­gring – a school- hol­i­day jaunt with a new car and a son who has done more laps (on Xbox) than Ms Sch­mitz – I was par­tic­u­larly pleased to open evo 239 and dis­cover the ar­ti­cles cel­e­brat­ing the cir­cuit’s 90th an­niver­sary.

I can’t rec­om­mend enough that all petrol­heads should do the short trip (four to five hours from Calais) and ex­pe­ri­ence the track in the flesh. How­ever, there are a cou­ple of things to be aware of.

First is the weather. If the idea of pay­ing your eu­ros (29 eu­ros for the first lap, 25 eu­ros there­after) and giv­ing it a go is de­pen­dant on sun­shine and dry tar­mac, be aware that even in late July the weather can change all day, ev­ery day. Don’t bother looking at the fore­cast as it’s all down to luck.

An­other thing is tim­ing. If you want a tourist lap, the track opens at 5.30pm and closes at 7.30 on week­days (though check in ad­vance that it’s ac­tu­ally open for tourist runs). This means that you wait around all day with very lit­tle to do, which doesn’t help the sweaty palms! There is a go-kart track in the GP com­plex, plus a cou­ple of cof­fee shops and a museum, but once you’ve done these there’s not a lot to do ex­cept head for the view­ing ar­eas to watch all man­ner of cars hack­ing it round test­ing.

Speak­ing of which, al­though I agree with much of Colin Good­win’s ar­gu­ment that a Ring time is far from nec­es­sary to de­velop a great road car, I can’t help think­ing that if man­u­fac­tur­ers shut up shop and stopped test­ing there, the Ring would die for the likes of us, which would be a shame, as it’s a sim­ply epic place. Nick Wright, Lon­don

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