North loop

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The green hell
Logo Nürburgring Circuit.svg

Nürburgring Betriebsgesellschaft mbH
53520 Nürburg

Nordschleife (Germany)
Red pog.svg
GermanyGermany Nürburg , Rhineland-Palatinate , Germany
Route type: permanent race track
Owner: State of Rhineland-Palatinate and the district of Ahrweiler
Operator: Nürburgring Betriebsgesellschaft mbH
Architect: Gustav Eichler, Ravensburg
Building-costs: 8.1 million Reichsmarks
Start of building: July 1, 1925
Opening: June 27, 1927

Formula 1 venue :
Nürburgring Nordschleife
Circuit Nürburgring-2013-Nordschleife.svg
Route data
24 hour race ; VLN WTCC; RCN
Route length: 20.832  km (12.94  mi )
Curves: 73
Curve superelevation: today 2
Track record:
5: 19.546 min.
( Timo Bernhard , Porsche 919 Hybrid , 2018)
Track record:
(electric vehicle)
6: 05.336 min.
( Romain Dumas , Volkswagen ID.R , 2019)
Track record:
(road legal automobile)
6: 44.749 min.
( Lars Kern , Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR , 2018)
Track record:
(Formula 1)
7: 06.400 min.
( Clay Regazzoni , Ferrari , 1975)

Coordinates: 50 ° 20 ′ 46 ″  N , 6 ° 57 ′ 58 ″  E

The Nordschleife is the oldest part of the Nürburgring race track in the Eifel, opened in 1927 . It is popularly known as "The Ring" or "The Green Hell" ( Jackie Stewart owes this name ).

Since May 2, 2010, it has been operated by Nürburgring Automotive GmbH, 50 percent of which is owned by the Lindner Group and 50 percent by the real estate developer Mediinvest , in addition to the modern Grand Prix track and other motorsport facilities and leisure facilities .


Section "Adenauer Forst"

The Eifel race has been held on public roads in the Eifel since 1922 . However, crossing towns at racing speed was very dangerous and led to the construction of a permanent route.

In 1925, construction work began on a first mountain, racing and test track in the structurally weak region. After up to 3,000 workers had completed the work, the Nordschleife was opened together with the start-and-finish loop and the Südschleife on June 18, 1927. The construction costs amounted to approx. 8,100,000 RM (corresponds to approx. 30,000,000 euros in 2020 ). Rudolf Caracciola won the first car race on a compressor - Mercedes . On July 3, 1927, the first German Grand Prix for motorcycles took place on the Nordschleife. The race was also the European championship run of the 1927 season and crowned the European champions in six classes, including the Germans Willi Henkelmann ( DKW ), Josef Stelzer ( BMW ) and Josef Giggenbach ( Bayerland - JAP ). Up to and including 1931, the German Motorcycle Grand Prix was held on the Nordschleife.

It was not until 1932 that fences were erected on the edge of the previously unsecured slope. During the Eifel race in 1934, the term Silver Arrow was coined here, under which Mercedes racing cars have since started. One attendance record followed another until Rudolf Caracciola won the last Grand Prix before World War II . During the war, racing was idle. The racetrack was not reopened until 1947.

Mercedes only returned briefly to racing and the Nürburgring in the mid-1950s . The top driver at the time was Juan Manuel Fangio .

In the program booklet for the Grand Prix at the Nürburgring 1961 it was said: “The 'Grand Prix of Europe' rightly deserves the name: the biggest race on the longest and most difficult track in the world.” Difficult was equated with dangerous; because serious, often fatal accidents on the Nordschleife were not uncommon.

In 1964 the Englishman Brian Hetreed (Aston Martin) and the Frankfurt Rudolf Wilhelm Moser ( Porsche 904 ) had a fatal accident in training for the 1000 km race ; the Sicilian Vincenzo Arena, whose AC Cobra hit two trees, survived with several broken bones. In the 1000 km race in 1965, Honoré Wagner from Luxembourg was killed when his Alfa Romeo fell down a steep slope. In 1970, the 24-year-old Finn Hans Laine burned in his car after straying from the track during training in the Antonius beech section.

In the summer of 1970, the Nordschleife was boycotted as a Grand Prix track by Formula 1 drivers for a short time after serious accidents had occurred on other tracks. Up to 1971, around 17,000,000  DM (equivalent to around 29,000,000 euros in 2020 ) were invested in renovation work (fewer jumps, hard shoulders and guardrails, installation of curbs for the first time ), and Formula 1 returned.

At the 1974 Eifel race, where cars and motorcycles were races alternately, the top motorcycle riders were boycotted because of the compromises in route safety required for mixed operation. The bales of straw used at the time as impact protection for motorcyclists were a fire hazard for cars.

The end of the Formula 1 track was already foreseeable with the expiry of two three-year contracts and it was final when Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda had a serious accident on August 1, 1976. In 1980 the last motorcycle Grand Prix took place on the Nordschleife. Other racing series such as Formula 2 , the German Racing Championship and the sports cars continued to drive there temporarily, in 1983 also on a route shortened to 20.8 kilometers with temporary boxes, as construction work was underway in the area of ​​the previous start-finish loop were.

In 1981, the Swiss Herbert Müller died during the 1000 km race after losing control of his Porsche 908 on a wet road in the Klostertal area and crashing into a car parked at the edge of the track. The race was then stopped after 17 laps (388.2 km).

Since the opening of the modern Grand Prix racetrack in 1984, the international professional racing series have only been driven there, most of the national series too. The touring car series and especially the popular sports events for amateurs continue to prefer the varied Nordschleife.

On April 28, 2007, Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld drove three demonstration laps in the BMW Sauber F1 from 2006. Due to delays in advertising shots in the three laps, relatively low-grip demonstration tires from Bridgestone , short gear ratio and a body that was raised to the maximum, Heidfeld scored one Best lap time of 8:34 minutes given by BMW. It was around 20 seconds slower than the fastest cars in the endurance championship. It was the first time in over 30 years that a current Formula 1 car drove on the Nordschleife.

During a VLN run on March 29, 2015, the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of the British Jann Mardenborough took off in the airfield section without any outside interference and was catapulted over the safety fence when it hit the tire wall. One spectator was killed and two others were injured. Mardenborough himself survived the accident unharmed. As an immediate measure, the DMSB decided to set a speed limit for individual sections of the route. In the Hocheichen / Quiddelbacher Höhe sections the maximum permissible speed was 200 km / h, in the Schwedenkreuz and Döttinger Höhe / Antoniusbuche areas it was 250 km / h. However, this only applied to DMSB events; other series such as the World Touring Car Championship were not affected. After modifications in the 2015/16 winter season, the FIA ​​and DMSB granted the route a license without speed limits again.

So far, more than 140 people have died in motor sport events and tourist trips on the Nürburgring.


km Route section
0 new entrance to the Nordschleife
Antonius beech
2 Hatzenbach
3 High oaks
Quiddelbacher height
4th Airfield
5 Swedish Cross
Post Bridge
6th Fuchsröhre
Adenauer Forest
8th Kallenhard
9 Defense soaps
9.6 Exit Breidscheid
Steep stretch
Caracciola carousel
High eight
15th Hedwigshöhe
16 Brünnchen
Ice curve
Plant garden
17th Jump hill
small carousel
Gallows head
20,832 new entrance to the Nordschleife

Today the Nordschleife lap is 20.832 km long, has officially 73 curves (depending on how you count it is sometimes even more) and has gradients of up to 18% (increase between Caracciola Carousel and High Eight ) and up to 11% slope (Fuchsröhre) on . It is the longest permanent race track in the world. This does not take into account the former section of the steep section with a 27% gradient, which still exists but has not been used for decades.

The highest points are at grandstand T13 (km 0) in Nürburg and in the Hohe Acht section , the lowest point in Breidscheid . In between there is a difference in altitude of around 290 m, which is not only noticed by drivers of low-powered vehicles, but also by cyclists and runners at the Rad & Run am Ring event .

Route sections

New entrance to the Nordschleife
In 1998 the new driveway was opened at the Döttinger Höhe. For a fee, the Nordschleife can be used from here in a private car.
Antonius beech
To 1935 was on the left side under a beech a the St. Anthony consecrated altar . The altar and the beech had to give way to the federal highway 258 in 1935 .
In the times of the Counts of Nürburg, this is said to have been a burial place for the animals that perished in battle.
Hohenrain is the field boundary ( Rain ) of a high area.
This section is named after the T13 grandstand. In this section or directly in front of grandstand T13 there is the start and finish of pure Nordschleife events . A small pit lane with race management, timekeeping and track security is integrated in grandstand T13 . Until 1998 there was also an entrance for tourist drives here.
The stream of the same name runs alongside the route.
High oaks
Many tall oak trees were felled here for the construction of the route .
Quiddelbacher Höhe
This section is on a hill above the village of Quiddelbach .
On the left was a glider airfield in the 1930s .
Swedish Cross
To the right of the route is a stone cross from the Thirty Years War . In 1638 the mayor of Kelberg Hans Friedrich Datenberg was robbed and slain by Swedish soldiers . Today the 2.90 m high stone cross is reinforced with iron after it broke in 1895.
The Aremberg is about 10 kilometers northwest of this section, it could be seen from here in the 1930s.
Post Bridge
Here the former Poststrasse between Adenau and Quiddelbach crosses the Nürburgring.
During construction, a fox hid in a drainage pipe here, and the construction workers gave the section this name.
Adenauer Forest
The race track leads through the forest of the municipality of Adenau .
The name derives from the today in the Land Registry registered corridor designation from. The field name is in turn a derivation of the former owner name Mertges.
The Kallenhard is a 471 m high elevation around which the route section leads. Hard, or Hardt , stands for mountain forest or a wooded slope.
Defense soaps
Soaps is a Middle Low German name for a stream valley. In the Middle Ages, the Wehrseifen was the border between the domains of Adenau and Breidscheid.
At the Exbach, outside of Adenau, there was still a mill during the construction phase . The start and finish system was to be built on this route after early planning, but the mill owner did not provide the necessary land. The Breidscheid exit is also located here .
Lead and silver were extracted in a mine here until around 1900 .
The name refers to the shape of the valley basin .
There was a Johanniter monastery here in the 14th century .
Steep stretch
The steep stretch that leads straight through the forest and shortens the carousel was originally built for automobile tests. The route has a gradient of up to 27% and can only be used as a footpath today.
Caracciola carousel
The carousel is one of the last used in the European circuit racing Motorsport banked corners . In 2001 the carousel was renamed for the hundredth birthday of racing driver Rudolf Caracciola .
High eight
The section is named after the mountain of the same name 1400 m away . At 747 meters, it is the highest point in the Eifel .
The amount is based on the wife of District Administrator Dr. Otto Creutz , the spiritual father of the Nürburgring. Hedwig Creutz is said to have enjoyed the view here while her husband was on the construction site.
The route section used to be characterized by long bumps . These were defused in the 1970s.
It is named after a stream of the same name and the town of Herresbach -Eschbach.
A headwaters for the municipality of Herschbroich .
Plant garden
The gardens of the Counts of Nürburg were located here in the Middle Ages.
On August 10, 2013, Pflanzgarten II was renamed Stefan-Bellof-S , on the 30th anniversary of his lap record.
On the planning maps, the route looked like the end of a dovetail .
Gallows head
The name was also taken from the field name , the former place of execution and the gallows of the Counts of Nürburg were located here .
Döttinger Höhe
The long straight at the top is named after the nearby municipality of Döttingen .


The highlight of the season on the Nordschleife is the 24-hour race for touring cars, which is held on the 25.378 km long combination of GP track and Nordschleife. Around 700 amateurs and professionals take part in up to 190 cars. On a shorter combination of the GP track and the Nordschleife, VLN long-distance races lasting several hours are completed around ten times a year .

The popular sports events GLP and RCN also take place on Saturdays, and are limited to the pure Nordschleife so that other races can be held on the GP track at the same time. While the RCN is a performance test in which sprint laps are driven against the clock and the participants need a national A license from the DMSB , the GLP is a regularity test . Here on the Nordschleife you have the opportunity to qualify for a racing driver license from the DMSB or the FIA with your own car by successfully participating in several events .

Lap records

The fastest lap times and the highest average speeds on the most varied of route variants always attracted attention. Drivers like Niki Lauda , Clay Regazzoni , Stefan Bellof and Helmut Dähne have set records here. On June 29, 2018, Stefan Bellof's 35-year-old lap record was clearly undercut by Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard in a Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo and a driving time of 5: 19.546 minutes. With regard to this new record, Porsche's LMP1 team boss Andreas Seidl remarked that it was not about the hunt for the record time, but about exploring the maximum performance of the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo. After his new lap record, Timo Bernhard was the first to expressly appreciate the “extraordinary” performance of his idol Stefan Bellof, “who squeezed everything out of his car that was technically possible”.


As early as the 1930s, high-profile records were set and broken. In particular, the symbolic undercutting of full minutes, which were previously considered unreachable “walls”, brought the drivers fame and honor. In 1936, Bernd Rosemeyer was the first to master the 22.810 kilometers in under ten minutes with Auto Union . In 1939, Hermann Lang set a mark in a Mercedes “ Silver Arrow ” with 9: 43.1 minutes, which Juan Manuel Fangio was not able to improve until 1954, despite modifications to the track . The nine minutes were first undercut in 1961 by Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips . In 1966, Hubert Hahne drove a BMW 2000 TI for the first time in touring cars under ten minutes or faster than 137 km / h on average, which BMW used to promote advertising.

The new Hohenrain braking chicane extended the Nordschleife in 1967 by 25 meters. Jim Clark missed the “8-minute wall” at the rainy German Grand Prix in 1968. With the new rear wing, however, it was foreseeable that in 1969 most pilots would “crack” the mark. Jacky Ickx drove the fastest lap in 7: 45.9 minutes and won the race with an average of 174.4 km / h.

Modification work in 1970/71 made the Nordschleife safer, but also significantly faster, as did the racing vehicles, which now have slicks and better aerodynamics . The seven-minute mark was soon within reach, but only Niki Lauda in a Ferrari was the first and only one to undercut this with 6: 58.4 minutes in training in 1975. The absolute lap record, which can only be set in one race, was achieved by his team-mate Clay Regazzoni with 7: 06.4 minutes or an average of 192.8 km / h.

In the following year rule changes slowed Formula 1, which did not return to the Nordschleife after 1976. Other racing categories such as sports cars , touring cars and Formula 2 drove on the Nordschleife until 1982, and drivers such as Klaus Ludwig , Manfred Winkelhock and Klaus Niedzwiedz came very close to the lap record despite completely different vehicles, but could not break it.

Stefan Bellof approached the record on his first Nordschleife outing in a Formula 2 car after 7: 06.51 minutes on the second lap of the Eifel race , but then retired.


During the renovation work, the Nordschleife was shortened to today's 20.832 kilometers in 1983, the two long straights of the start and finish loop and the Südschleife were omitted to make room for the new Grand Prix racetrack . With a tight right-hand bend after the Hohenrain chicane, a direct turn was made onto the short straight towards Hatzenbach after the former north bend. A pit area set up there still enabled races to be held.

The comparison with earlier, now “eternal” lap records can now only be roughly drawn using the average speeds, or by comparing similar driver / vehicle combinations before and after the conversion. For example, Tom Walkinshaw on a Jaguar XJS needed just over nine minutes at the 1982 touring car Grand Prix , while after the conversion the eight minutes were undercut at least in practice with 7:56 minutes. The average rose from 151 to 155 km / h, which may be partly due to the conversion and partly to technical progress.

On May 28, 1983, Stefan Bellof drove the only Nordschleife lap in the works Porsche 956 C with an average speed of over 200 km / h, more precisely even over 202 km / h or in 6: 11.13 minutes. Teammate Jochen Mass was more than five seconds slower with 6: 16.85 minutes and stayed just below the 200 km / h mark. An official lap record can only be set in the race. Here Bellof achieved a time of 6: 25.91 minutes on May 29, 1983, before his car got under air at the Pflanzgarten and overturned.

He was above the 1975 record average of Clay Regazzoni in Formula 1 , the also Christian Danner in the Eifel race 1983 Formula 2 with 6: 28.03 minutes was able to beat.

After the opening of the GP track in 1984, the professional racing series only drove there. However, the Nordschleife continued to be used with events for amateurs, especially 24-hour races , VLN and RCN .

On June 29, 2018, Timo Bernhard managed to break Stefan Bellof's record with the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo with a time of 5: 19.546.


Marco Lucchinelli set the absolute motorcycle record in 1980 on his 500 cm³ Suzuki with 8:22 minutes or an average of about 163 km / h. Helmut Dähne was a little slower, at just under 160 km / h, on the officially fastest motorcycle lap on the 20.8 km variant of the Nordschleife on May 22, 1993: the 7: 49.71 minutes with his street-legal Honda  RC30 will remain an all-time record, as the so-called reliability drives were discontinued the following year for safety reasons, meaning that there will no longer be any motorcycle competitions on the Nordschleife.

Touring car racing

Spectator stands on the Brünnchen section

There are still long-distance races for touring cars , although in the 24-hour race and in the VLN the large, modern pit facilities are used and various track variants with and without various expansion stages of the GP track were used. There were route lengths of 20.832 km over 20.9, 22.8, 23.8, 24.4, 25 to almost 26 km, so that the times and average speeds are difficult to compare. From 1988 to 1993 the DTM also drove on the Nordschleife and increased the speeds considerably during this time.

Since the VLN regulations were changed in 1999, significantly faster vehicles that can achieve speeds of over 170 km / h can again be used. Uwe Alzen achieved an average speed of around 180 km / h in an Alzen - Porsche 996 Bi-Turbo in the 2005 season, which corresponds to a time of well under 7 minutes on the pure Nordschleife. The RCN's lap record was set by his brother Jürgen Alzen in 2008 with 7:00 minutes.

Racing vehicles in the VLN etc. can use treadless racing tires and do not have to be StVZO- compliant, but are subject to other regulatory restrictions, in particular a power limitation based on cubic capacity, boost pressure or air flow limiter , a particularly low noise limit on the Nordschleife. They must have a minimum weight, in the largest class up to 6200 cm³ 1350 kg, up to 4000 cm³ still 1250 kg. So z. B. Invite Porsche from the Carrera Cup and DTM racing cars with approx. 100 kg of ballast. Road vehicles, on the other hand, can be significantly lighter and do not have to endure a competition lasting several hours.

Since 2015, the World Touring Car Championship has held two sprint races as part of the 24-hour race .

Road vehicles

As part of the GLP regularity tests on the Nordschleife, lap times must be set between 16:00 and 11:15 minutes, which corresponds to cuts of 80 to 110 km / h. The former can be achieved with a small car with a relatively normal driving style, for the latter you need to have a knowledge of the route and drive a brisk vehicle with commitment. Sabine Schmitz completed the BTG (Bridge to Gantry) round for the TV show Top Gear in a delivery van ( Ford Transit Diesel) in 10:08 minutes.

The Porsche 997 GT3 RS (here in the “Adenauer Forst” ) lapped the Nordschleife in 7:48 minutes as part of the sport auto Supertest.

In the mid-1990s, undercutting the 8-minute limit was reserved for only a few road vehicles, and professional racing drivers were also required at the wheel. In 1999, the sports car manufacturer Porsche claimed a lap time of 7:56 minutes driven by Walter Röhrl for the 265 kW strong, sporty 911 model 996 GT3, which appeared in the same year . For some years now, some other manufacturers and tuners have also published lap times of their products on the Nordschleife, although the boundary conditions often remain unclear, especially the tires used. An independent criterion that has been established since 1997 is the Nordschleife lap completed in the so-called "Supertest" of the magazine sport auto , especially since it is almost always driven by the same driver, the former editor-in-chief Horst von Saurma . However, as part of the so-called industrial test drives, an area about 230 meters long cannot be driven at full speed, so that the times are stopped before the last right-hand bend at T13 and are a few seconds lower than in a full lap.

With the powerful Porsche Turbo provided by various tuners, times in the range of 7:40 minutes were achieved several times, which has long been considered the limit for cars with road tires. The enormous effort that goes into this is illustrated by the fact that the tread of new tires is ground down to the minimum beforehand in order to obtain maximum grip. From 2001, Wolfgang Kaufmann and a Gemballa Turbo Porsche held the record with 7: 32.52 minutes for a long time . An experienced professional like Roland Asch even had an accident trying to undercut this record.

With 7: 32.34 minutes (average speed: 164 km / h), the Porsche Carrera GT super sports car narrowly beat this record on September 21, 2004 as part of the sport auto super test. On October 24, 2004, however, new standards were set with 7: 18.01 minutes, by Michael Düchting in a Donkervoort RS. This extremely lightweight vehicle with free-standing front wheels, which is based on the design of the Lotus Seven of the 1950s, has received German road approval despite the large wings and other racing car technology. In addition, road-legal tires were used with so-called sports tires, which were usually only given to DMSB- licensed motor sports enthusiasts for competition purposes (rally, slalom) . Although they have the legally required negative tread ratio of 17%, like racing tires they are clearly inferior to conventional road tires with a sporty focus in terms of wear and especially in terms of grip in wet conditions. In the BMW M3 CSL , this option reduced the lap time by around 20 seconds to 7:50 minutes.

With Patrick Simon , a Porsche 996 GT2 Turbo from EDO-Competition , which is officially approved for road use despite racing technology, achieved a time of 7: 15.63 minutes on August 4, 2005 with the help of Pirelli tires and a coilover kit. Michael Düchting won the sport-auto-Trophy back in November of the same year with a time of 7: 14.89 minutes.

In the meantime, on September 28, 2005 Michael Vergers drove a Radical SR8 one lap in 6: 56.01 minutes. For the mass of only 600 kilograms, 265 kW (360 hp) are available from a 2.6-liter V8 engine, which consists of two assembled Hayabusa engines. The weight is similar to that of the Donkervoort, but it is based on a front engine construction from the 1950s, while the Radical, as the name suggests, is constructed like a modern racing car with a mid-engine and effective aerodynamic aids. Although he received a British Single Vehicle Approval , he did not receive a German road approval , which is why sport auto did not award him the trophy for the best performance of vehicles road-legal in Germany. The SR8 was also equipped with road-legal sports tires ( Dunlop Direzza D02G, front axle 195/65 R 15, rear axle 225/45 R 16). Critics of this point of view argue that the British registration would result in an EU-wide road registration. According to the Vergers team, the lap could have been driven around 30 seconds faster with slicks, which would have set the racing records from 1983.

On August 13, 2009 Florian Gruber's record for street-legal vehicles in a Gumpert Apollo Sport was improved to 7: 11.57 minutes.

In September 2013, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb beat this record with the Porsche 918 Spyder . The hybrid super sports car developed a total of 652 kW (886 hp) and was fitted with series tires specially developed for this Porsche. With a lap time of 6:57 minutes, the Porsche 918 Spyder undercut the previous record by 14 seconds and achieved an average speed of 179.5 km / h. This makes the Porsche the first production vehicle that has lapped the Nordschleife in less than seven minutes.

On October 5, 2016, Lamborghini test driver Marco Mapelli set a new fastest lap time in a Lamborghini Huracán Performante , which was 6:52:01 minutes. In the beginning there were many doubters on social media who were later convinced by the publication of the telemetry data.

In May 2017 has Peter Dumbreck in a non-street-legal, all-electric 1  MW strong NIO EP9 a time of 6: 45.9 minutes achieved. Just days later, Kenny Bräck achieved a time of 6: 43.22 minutes on the 230 meter shorter section in a prototype of the McLaren P1 GTR , which was not in roadworthy condition while driving.

On September 20, 2017, the Porsche test driver and works racing driver Lars Kern set a new record for road-legal vehicles with a Porsche 911 GT2 RS over 6: 47.3 minutes. This means that Porsche is replacing Lamborghini as the record holder after less than a year and surpassing its own record from 2013.

With a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and a lap time of 6: 44.97, the Lamborghini test driver Marco Mapelli beat the record for street-legal series vehicles on July 26, 2018. Thus, the back and forth between Porsche and Lamborghini continues, as Lamborghini with it the previous Porsche cracked the record, also breaking again after less than a year.

Tourist rides

Crowds in front of the entrance to the "Döttinger Höhe"
Approach to the “Brünnchen” section on a Saturday afternoon, in the foreground the massive FIA wire fence to protect the spectators

When there are no racing events or test drives, the route is opened to the public in the evenings and on weekends, as has been the tradition since it opened in 1927 (so-called tourist drives ). For this use, the Nordschleife is signposted as a motor road at the main access and at the access road in Breidscheid with sign 331 .

Every road-legal motor vehicle that, as required by motorways, reaches a design-related minimum speed of 60 km / h is allowed to drive one lap. However, the access of coaches and similar vehicles is now restricted. In addition, the Road Traffic Regulations , the Vehicle Registration Ordinance and an additional, monitored restriction of the sound pressure level to 95 dB (A) apply . Vehicles with red license plates and vehicles that are louder than 95 dB (A) are not allowed to drive on the route. Motorcyclists must wear protective clothing.

In terms of traffic law, the Nordschleife is not a race track, but a public traffic area with the status of a toll road. The right-hand drive and the ban on overtaking on the right apply. Driving on the ideal line in the presence of others is reserved for participants in races and other closed events. Since the route does not lead through built-up areas, there is no general speed limit, but speed limits have been set for safety and noise protection reasons in the areas of entrances and exits as well as the towns of Nürburg and Breidscheid.

The access road set up in 1983 in the area of ​​grandstand 13 (km 0 on the map) next to the then new Grand Prix track was no longer able to cope with the rush in the mid-1990s, as traffic jams formed on the narrow, steep access road so that vehicles could no longer extend either. In addition, the sale of tickets and the control of the vehicles entering and / or passing through were usually carried out by just one employee. For this reason, a new access area was specially set up in 1998 next to the long straight ( Döttinger Höhe , km 18 on the map), with a large car park, restaurant, four toll gates and ticket machines. This place is also very overcrowded on weekends with good weather, vehicles back up on the country road.

Apart from the long straight Döttinger Höhe , which is about four lanes wide, the development status is historically not comparable to a conventional motor road, but rather to a winding and uneven country road. Behind every curve or crest, a slow vehicle, such as a coach, a mobile home, a car with a trailer, a motor scooter, etc., can be traveling at low speed, especially in the sometimes steep mountain passages. At the same time, however, there are many pilots with good route knowledge - often in possession of an annual ticket - and fast vehicles with speeds of over 200 km / h, so that mutual consideration is urgently required.

In order to obtain comparison times for one's own laps or to compete with other drivers, although no full laps can be driven, the BTG time (Bridge to Gantry) is used to measure the time . The travel time from the bridge after the tourist driveway (Antoniusbuche) to the lattice bridge for advertising posters after the gallows head , again on the Döttinger Höhe , is measured. It should be mentioned, however, that it is forbidden to bring stopwatches with you during tourist trips and can lead to a house ban. The same applies to cameras with which your own journey is to be recorded as a souvenir or for subsequent timekeeping, as images of accidents have already been distributed with them.

In addition to the tourist trip, there is also the option of driving the route in a ring taxi (currently a BMW M5 with 560 hp). The taxi will u. a. driven by racing drivers such as the VLN champion of the year 2005 Claudia Hürtgen , Hans-Joachim Stuck and up to 2010 by the two-time winner of the 24-hour race Sabine Schmitz .

Comparable to similarly demanding country roads, accidents occur again and again, from relatively harmless twists to crash barrier contacts with personal injuries, which necessitate the use of tow trucks, fire brigades or even rescue helicopters. The route can remain closed for several hours.

On days when tourist drives take place, there are usually not only spectators but also a number of hobby photographers along the route who photograph or film / record the passing vehicles. There are several internet forums where these images are published.


The Nordschleife can also be “driven” on the screen with racing simulations . It all started with Grand Prix Legends for the PC in 1998 . A demo version with the Nordschleife (based on the status of the 1967 Automobile World Championship ) was included on a CD in the official Nürburgring magazine in 1999 or later sold by a PC magazine.

For other racing games, fans developed unofficial extensions with the Nordschleife, such as the rFactor and GTR simulations . In the meantime, the major software providers have also recognized the popularity of the Nordschleife and offer it for PCs or game consoles; for example for the PlayStation 2 in the games Gran Turismo 4 and Enthusia Professional Racing . On the Xbox and Xbox 360 you can drive the Nordschleife in the games Forza Motorsport 1 to 7 and Project Gotham Racing 2 to 4, among others . Since August 2008 there is also a licensed version for the PC with GTR Evolution . For the games Gran Turismo 4 , Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4 and Forza Motorsport 2 , the Nordschleife and, in some cases, the area around the racetrack were measured and implemented in the game display; however in different levels of detail. Within the Need-for-Speed series, the Nordschleife is included in the racing simulations Need for Speed: Shift and Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed , which are available for various game consoles.

For Gran Turismo 5, which appeared on November 24, 2010, the route was measured again and implemented to a large extent in detail. Even the greetings from the fans on the road were documented until summer 2010 and implemented in the game. The Grand Prix course and the Nordschleife can be used in five variants: GP course long, GP course short connection ( DTM variant), Nordschleife, VLN version (Nordschleife and GP course short) and 24-hour variant (Nordschleife and GP course long, without Mercedes Arena). In the meantime, implementations based on a millimeter-accurate laser scan of the track exist for some racing simulations . These include Assetto Corsa , Forza Motorsport 6 and 7, iRacing , Project Cars 2 and RaceRoom Racing Experience .


  • Gregor Messer (author), Ferdi Kräling (photographer): Green Hell Nürburgring. The fascination of the Nordschleife. Delius Klasing Verlag, Bielefeld 2011, ISBN 978-3-7688-3274-8 .

Web links

Commons : Nordschleife  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Handover completed at the Nürburgring . Published on May 6, 2010.
  2. a b c The legendary Nordschleife (
  3. Program for the German Grand Prix 1961
  4. Heidfeld on the Nordschleife. In: Focus . April 28, 2007. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  5. ^ Sönke Brederlow: VLN - after an accident: Nordschleife ban for GT3 cars. Safety is a top priority. In: March 29, 2015, accessed March 29, 2015 .
  6. ↑ Race car flies in spectators: Fatal accident on the Nürburgring. SWR, March 18, 2015, accessed on March 18, 2015 .
  7. New safety regulations for the Nordschleife specified., April 10, 2015, accessed April 20, 2015 .
  8. Free travel on the Nordschleife. , March 24, 2016, accessed April 15, 2016 .
  9. Open Nordschleife: The myth lives on! ( Memento from June 13, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (
  10. ^ "Stefan-Bellof-S" on Nürburgring , Gieß from August 17, 2013, accessed on August 29, 2013.
  11. Porsche has set a new all-time record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
  12. ^ The 919 Tribute Tour: On-board record lap, Nordschleife.
  13. 5: 19,546 minutes - Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo sets fabulous time in the Green Hell. In: June 29, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018 .
  14. Horst von Saurma: "Orange County" - Supertest: Porsche 911 GT3 RS . In: "sport auto" , issue 3/2007, page 35.
  15. ↑ Lap times Nürburgring Nordschleife (20.8 km). In: December 14, 2016, archived from the original on December 1, 2007 ; accessed on August 8, 2017 .
  16. Gert Hack: "Sports-Wear" - Driving report: Porsche 911 GT3 . In: "auto, motor und sport" , issue 11, May 19, 1999, p. 35.
  17. Marcus Schurig: Porsche 918 Spyder Ring record drive: New fabulous time at the Nürburgring. In: September 10, 2013, accessed September 11, 2013 .
  18. Lamborghini Huracán Performante with new Nordschleife record. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 4, 2017 ; Retrieved March 3, 2017 .
  22. GT2 RS fastest Porsche 911 of all time with 6,47.3 minutes . In: Porsche Newsroom . ( [accessed September 27, 2017]).
  23. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupé: Watch Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Break Nürburgring Record In 6: 44.97. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .
  24. Aventador SVJ Sets Nürburgring Lap Record Ahead of its Unveiling. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .
  25. Sign 331 at the access road in Breidschei. (No longer available online.) In: Formerly in the original ; accessed on May 27, 2017 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  26. Safety rules for tourist drives , PDF file of the Nürburgring, accessed on February 28, 2011.
  27. Operations by the Adenau fire brigade