If all the words written about the Nürburgring on the internet were stretched out in a line how many times would they go round the Nordschleife? Quite a few. Probably more times than Walter Rhörl has in his life. And to that already impressive total you can add a whole lot more in the wake of last weekend’s pile-up. Sod it, here are a few more…
The internet forum topic that will never die, the Nürburgring is one of those subjects everybody has an opinion on. Pistonheads, predictably, has been a real hotbed of discussion with two separate threads running, one with 205 responses and the other with 29 pages of chat. All with opinions ranging from the ‘they should put big fluffy cushions all the way round to make it safer’ hand wringers to ‘nonsense, they should install landmines and snipers to sort out the men from the boys’ heroes. And most stops between.
As ever, separating those talking sense from the forum experts is a test of patience though, like a pile-up of supercars in the middle of a German forest, you can’t help stopping to have a look. If you’re looking for a bit of sense amid it all Dale Lomas at Bridge To Gantry is, once again, a beacon of good sense and righteous, informed anger. Emphasis on the informed too.
Perhaps, due to popularity, the time has come where the Touristenfahrten model is no longer sustainable, and the Nordschleife needs to be turned into a controlled track with warning lights, lawyers, organized events, insurance, restrictions on who and what can enter and when, and everything that goes along with that. (Including maybe even a bigger parking lot!) Maybe that’s what needs to happen.
I myself, however like the fact that the ‘ring is what it is today. A monumental track that is as daunting by today’s standards as the days of yore when we wore leather helmets in open-topped roll-happy formula cars. Some day it will all be gone, the ‘ring only travelled by electric cars with 300 airbags, inside and out, and those who participated in the early days of mayhem will be legend. Right or wrong, the ‘ring is legend, and I hope it holds out as long as it can.
…is a flavour of what was said by one of the people responding. Robert, whoever you are, you’ve got it spot on.