One of the most famous and challenging road racing courses in the entire world, the Nurburgring has been home to some of the greatest racing of all time.
The original ring was built in 1927 and became home to the dominant Mercedes and Auto Union - - now Audi F1 racing teams. At over 14 miles and 176 turns the 'ring was a course of unparalleled difficulty. Phil Hill, the first American to win the World Driving Championship, said he hated Nuburgring because it was so long it was impossible to learn. If wanted to win you had to drive it hard enough to ensure a surprise at least once on every lap.
But the old ring, or the A-ring is it sometimes called was home to some of the great races ever. In 1927 Tazio Nuvolari's Alfa overcame Manfred von Brauchisch whose Mercedes suffered a last minute puncture. In 1957 Juan Manuel Fangio won perhaps his greatest victory here, over Peter Collins who would later die there. Jackie Stewart won three times at the Nurburgring. But the surprises made the old ring a very hazardous track, and several drivers were to die there besides Collins, including the Count de Beaufort.
The old facility was retired from F1 competition in 1984 and a new 2.8 mile circuit was prepared adjacent to the old course. In fact, the two may be connected, and for a small fee you can drive the course which in this form is over 15 miles long. The current 2.8 mile circuit is very safe, with wide runoff areas, but lacks the panache and character of the old 'ring. It hosts many international competitions, including Formula 1, F3000, F3 and German Touring Cars.
The Nurburgring is located near Koblez and Cologne in Germany. The track has its own web site: http://www.nurburgring.de