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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A lap (or more) of the Nürburgring Northschleife is one of the highlights of many an ED experience. You can find a lot of info on the Ring here if you do a search for ***8220;Ring***8221; or ***8220;Nurburgring***8221; . Hopefully this thread will focus the information into one place and make it easier to plan your trip.


1) First ***8211; where is it? Its west of Frankfurt, probably 5-6 hours from München:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=Petuelring+130,+80788+München,+Germany+(BMW+Werk+München)&[email protected],+6.966094&hl=en&geocode=11530974558954520662,48.176226,11.562028;17073309985036851690,50.345958,6.966094&mra=ls&sll=50.347864,6.97192&sspn=0.006141,0.015857&ie=UTF8&z=8

(no it is not near Nürnberg or anywhere near München)


2) Can you drive on the track during your trip?
Check the Touristenfahrten schedule to see when the track is open for public driving:
http://www.nuerburgring.de/North-loop.361.0.html
and what the opening hours are on the day(s) you want to go. Weather conditions and any accidents on the track can further impact your ability to drive on the track.

3) What does it cost?
1 lap ***8364;21
4 laps ***8364;70
8 laps ***8364;135 (etc***8230;)
I used about $20/lap in gas (yeah, bring a full tank, it goes fast!) and several thousand miles worth of tire and brake wear (for starters).


4) Ben Lovejoy***8217;s page
This page is one of the best pages in English to get most of the information you will need for your visit:
http://www.nurburgring.org.uk/

5) Track Rules:
Track rules are minimal, but important: Stay in control of your car, pull over to the right to let faster cars pass (and only pass on the left), no filming of your drive allowed, you get to pay the track for any damage you cause (i.e. buying new guardrails). Those are the highlights. Take a look at this page for more info:
http://www.nurburgring.org.uk/ringrules.html

6) Hotels
Check out this thread bimmerfest post:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283673&highlight=hotel


7) Photographs.
Many people here want pictures of there car on the track. The best thing you can do is to tell a photographer you want pictures of your car. You probably have best chance of getting your car photographed on busy day, like a weekend with good weather. Of course, if you go to the track on a quieter day during the week, you***8217;ll have a better experience on the track, but probably no professional photo.
You can try this site to see if anyone took your picture, but unless there were a lot of photogs out on your day you won***8217;t find anything:
http://www.nurburgringphotos.com/
Here is a photographer who is often at the ring:
http://images.mw-sportfoto.de/galerie/index.php?cat=3


8) RSR Racing:
If you would like to rent a car, and or take class instruction on how to drive this track, check out these guys. Very Bimmerfest friendly! :)
http://rsrnurburg.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=7&Itemid=30

9) Ring Taxi.
If you want to let someone else drive, you could always book a (an expensive) ride in the ring taxi. From their web site: A ride in the BMW Ring-Taxi costs 185.00 ***8364; for up to three persons. Unfortunately, tickets for single seats are not available.
http://bmw-motorsport.com/ms/ringtaxi.html

continued...
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
...continued:

10) Do it yourself preparation and training (Simulations, video, reading).
With 172 turns and 1000 feet of elevation change, there is a lot to learn to become familiar with the Ring. Videos, Playstation, and the like can help a lot to increase your familiarity with the track (and hopefully minimize surprises). Naturally, the adrenaline, sensory input, and intensity of the real thing is far beyond a video game. Also, video & games do not give you an appreciation of the altitude and contour of the track which makes a big difference. However, the actual simulation and car dynamics are realistically done. If you don't have Playstation, head down to Dave & Buster's (or a similar video arcade) and spend a couple hours (or more) learning the track. If that doesn't work, you can go to the BMW web site and download their Ring simulation:
http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/mseries/m3coupe/2007/experience/game/content.html

Some interesting videos:
You tube has some fast lap videos that can help you find the correct line
watch?v=yAxmOvwRZlI

If you look for the BMW335 video of the ring you can see a lap done by one of our Bimmerfest people on an ED.


Here is a pdf file from Bimmerfiles (although this type of thing may be more useful after you have visited the ring at least once:
http://www.bimmerfile.com/2008/05/01/official-bmw-guide-to-the-ring/


11) ED & Export plates
There was some confusion with ED plates at the ring long ago, but it was cleared up and hasn't been an issue in the last years. Just to be safe, some people pull up to the gate when the attendants are distracted, others will scoot up close to the car in front of them so the plates are not obvious. Basically, driving the Ring with ED export plates is not an issue.


12) things to do in the area
Mosel and Rhine valleys (lots of scenic driving, wine, boat trips, & castles) are right there and nice to visit if you have the time (the two rivers meet in Koblenz ). My favorite castle in the area (on the Mosel) is Burg Eltz:
http://www.burg-eltz.de/e_index.html

There is also Köln and its famous church, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, etc***8230;..............

There are many possible detours and distractions on your drive from Munich to the Ring. Some of the more interesting places: Heidelberg (somewhat overrated) Rothenburg ob der Tauber (and other spots on the Romantic road), the Schwartzwald Strasse (north and south part of the Black forest), Stuttgart (Porsche & Mercedes museums), and France (Strasbourg and Colmar).


13) The Risks
One of the biggest questions is on Insurance. I don't think anyone on bimmerfest has tested the insurance coverage at the Ring, so its rather an unknown (knock on wood). Keep in mind that you are potentially uninsured. It is crazy fast ***8211; being surprised by a blind turn as speeds WELL over 100mph would not be a pleasant feeling. Hitting an apex at top speed, but apexing too early is a good way to go off the track. Do a search on youtube for Nürburgring crash videos ***8211; it is sobering if nothing else. When I was there, an RS4 and a motorcycle had an "incident" that I am sure ruined the day for both of them (the track was closed for ~25 minutes and the police were called out because of this). Good luck and try to keep the adrenalin under control when behind the wheel.
 

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Chaz:

Thanks for the exceptionally complete and well-presented post. Although I have driven at both Lime Rock (in the good old days) and Laguna Seca, I have not been to Nürburgring. This certainly makes it more likely.

One set of follow-up questions: Do you have to bring your own helmet? Do you need special shoes or a driving suit?

(Shameless self-promotion photo of me & the M below.)
 

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Piacere di guidare
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No helmet/ gloves/ shoes/ driving suit/ six-point harness or roll-over structure required. You will see some combination of the above equipment occasionally, but on cars that are used primarily for tracking. Remember that you're taking your street car on the circuit and prepare/ behave accordingly.

Chaz58 made a really nice compilation of useful information for going to the 'Ring and maximizing your experience once there. I'd only add a statement I've made before on this topic: Remember that unlike a computer sim, there is no "reset" button on this experience if you get it wrong. Know the limits of your car and your own skills and drive within them. Most sobering for me was having dinner with some Brits the night before I drove the Nordschliefe for the first time, and having one of them let me know that he had totaled (read that again - I said totaled) his M3 earlier that day on the circuit. Don't get me wrong: it's a great experience that I heartily recommend to anyone with the time to make the journey. But it should be approached with the proper respect and preparation, or not approached at all.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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great write-up but it really should be in the wiki, not as a post, as this will eventually fall beyond the first few pages.
 

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...no filming of your drive allowed...
What!? I guess this changed in the last few years. Bummer.

One last thing I would add is to take this track very, very seriously. The only time I've been on the track and not seen an accident was when it was a torrential downpour 30 minutes before it closed for the day. There are sections of the track that always seem to be slippery, like Hatzenbach.

Also, you may not notice while driving, but the scenery is great.

Thanks for the excellent compilation. It's very handy.
 

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Driving 'en Plein Air'
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Wonderful report Chaz! +1 on the Wiki and thanks for sharing :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #9
You are welcome.

To me, that is one of the oddest things about the ring. No helmet, tech inspection or anything beyond the glance of the guy at the gate. You just pay your money and go. Its basically a public toll road and the rules are not much different than driving to the grocery store.

Chaz:

Thanks for the exceptionally complete and well-presented post. Although I have driven at both Lime Rock (in the good old days) and Laguna Seca, I have not been to Nürburgring. This certainly makes it more likely.

One set of follow-up questions: Do you have to bring your own helmet? Do you need special shoes or a driving suit?

(Shameless self-promotion photo of me & the M below.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yes, I need to put this in the Wiki.

And yes, in spite of the laid back regulations, it is hard to understate how much respect this track deserves. It is a lot faster and tricker than anything I have been on (although any track can bite you in a bad way). And that doesn't even take into account the traffic - which could be a casual sunday driver, or someone with much more skill, experience, and knowledge than any of us have, or worse - someone who thinks they have more skill and knowledge than they actually have.

Some more sobering thoughts, here is a compilation of Ring crash videos.
Something to think about when attacking that curve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3UhlX33KuI
 

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Ich liebe mein BMW
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What great info! :thumbup:
 

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I do'nt make mistakes.
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One last thing I would add is to take this track very, very seriously. The only time I've been on the track and not seen an accident was when it was a torrential downpour 30 minutes before it closed for the day.
+1. On my visit there, one of the first cars out in the evening session hit the wall in the first sharp right-hand turn.
 

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BMW Fahrer
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And yes, in spite of the laid back regulations, it is hard to understate how much respect this track deserves.
+1. I may have stopped breathing for an entire lap.


On the other hand, it took me almost the whole first lap to stop from laughing and shouting from pure joy and exhilaration. :)

Always remember you are the one holding the wheel and making the decisions. So stay inside the comfort envelope and enjoy. :thumbup:

This should go in the wiki for sure...
 

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I'm there virtually every day.

I must say that the above advice is concise and well presented.

Tuition is a very cost effective way of learning the track and getting up to speed safely. You wouldn't attempt the Matterhorn without a guide, would you?

Get in touch if you are in the area.

Ed
 

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Piacere di guidare
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Just made the three well-chosen videos above my lunchtime diversion. From my experience, they're each quite instructive. The first one shows how most of us will experience the circuit: loose line, what seems at the time like really high speeds, and the occasional slalom to avoid slower traffic or road maintenance crews. The second is a wickedly fast lap (maybe it truly IS a record, I dunno), in a fully track-prepared car with someone at the helm with probably hundreds of laps of the circuit under his belt. Should be labeled, "do not try this in your car". And finally, the third is a good reminder of how quickly you and your car can get past the limit without realizing it, and what's likely to happen when that does occur. I especially liked seeing the brief in-car footage in the wet, when the circuit is really diabolical and most people just hang out in the cafe. Only problem is, it makes me wanna go drive it again, like now.
 

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Excellent information. Thanks for compiling it. Definitely belongs in the wiki.
 

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We're planning an ED trip to the Ring in March, and I just wanted to add an excellent link to this already excellent guide: http://www.heiser.net/documents/nurburgring/

There's some great specifics in there about what to bring with you and the logistics of actually getting on and off the track. The real meat, however, is the sections on your "first" and "zeroth" lap around the Ring. As a Nurburgring newbie in need of knowledge, I found this site to be just as useful as Ben Lovejoy's, and the two complement each other quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, that site is amazing! Thanks!

The two things that amazed/surprised me:
- 4 laps is going to use about 1/2 a tank of gas. I'm used to getting less than 10mppg, but dang!

- The track felt about twice as fast as what I am used to. Going through the twisties at well over 100mph is a bit much for a stock BMW sports suspension - the car felt floaty.

When all was done, I was glad I and the car were in one piece (unlike the Audi RS4 that was there). Whew! Its quite a track, but driving it at 10/10th is a bit insane; and it is a lot of work to try to memorize all of those apexes!


We're planning an ED trip to the Ring in March, and I just wanted to add an excellent link to this already excellent guide: http://www.heiser.net/documents/nurburgring/

There's some great specifics in there about what to bring with you and the logistics of actually getting on and off the track. The real meat, however, is the sections on your "first" and "zeroth" lap around the Ring. As a Nurburgring newbie in need of knowledge, I found this site to be just as useful as Ben Lovejoy's, and the two complement each other quite well.
 

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There's some great specifics in there about what to bring with you and the logistics of actually getting on and off the track. The real meat, however, is the sections on your "first" and "zeroth" lap around the Ring.
Ah, my old Willy! What a fun little car that was.

Even if you are planning on just a few laps in your own car it is a good idea to get a bit of guidance, whether professional or amateur. A passenger lap or two can make a lot of difference.
 
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