Nürburgring Nordschleife track guide with photo locations
The Nordschleife operates in a clockwise direction, and was formerly known for its abundance of sharp crests, causing fast-moving, firmly-sprung racing cars to jump clear of the track surface at many locations. In only two years, engineers drew up a 23.8 km circuit, which could be used in different versions. 25,000 persons were hired to construct the racetrack from 1925 to 1927.
It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer Nordschleife "North loop" track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. The north loop is 20.8 km long and has more than 300 meters of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track "The Green Hell".
The first motorcycle race on 18 June 1927 was won by Toni Ulmen with an English 350 cc Velocette on the new track. Just one day later, Rudolf Caracciola was the first driver to win a motorcar race at the Nürburgring or The Eifel Race as they called it.
Originally, the track featured four configurations: the 28.265 km long Gesamtstrecke "Whole Course", which in turn consisted of the 22.810 km Nordschleife "North Loop", and the 7.747 km Südschleife "South Loop".
In 1953, the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring race was introduced, an Endurance race and Sports car racing event that counted towards the World Sportscar Championship for decades. The 24 Hours Nürburgring for touring car racing were added in 1970.
Several touring car series still compete on the Nordschleife, using either only the simple 20.8 km version with its separate small pit lane, or a combined 24.4 km long track that uses a part of the original modern F1 track plus its huge pit facilities. Two racing series (RCN/CHC and VLN) compete on 15 Saturdays each year, for several hours.
The annual highlight is the 24 Hours Nürburgring weekend, held usually in mid-May, featuring about 220 cars. From small 100 HP cars to 700 HP Turbo Porsches or 500 HP factory race cars built by BMW, Opel, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, and up to 290,000 spectators.