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