I guess it just never occurred to me that a good deal of the Nürburgring’s Sudschleife survived after it fell into disuse in the early 70s and was (largely) demolished to make way for the GP circuit. How about a pleasantly leisurely drive around what remains?
A bit more standard a map than I usually showcase on our Track Maps of the Past series, but how can you not love the Südschleife?
Redditor SirDunny posted a few (North and South) American track maps in scale a few days ago, but this update to include great racing circuits from around the world proves one thing fairly handily: The Nürburgring is not to be messed with. Only Pike’s Peak and La Sarthe even come close to the grandeur of the ‘Ring.
Imagine now if we lived in a world that could include the Mille Miglia or Targa Florio on this illustration. It only highlights that, as important as the Nürburgring is—and how vital it is that we save it—it is only the last best reminder of what racing courses once were.
SirDunny has made prints available at RedBubble.
I can’t speak German. I suffer from the same clichéd American point-of-view that zee Germanic languages sound threatening and guttural. I know that’s not fair and I’m working on it.
This video helps. Somehow the hushed reverence with which this narrator describes the Ring makes German sound like a soft, romantic, seductive language.
Then again, it’s hard to go wrong with Von Trips, the Ring, and a Bolex camera.
Not that it needs to be said, but Save the Ring.
Yesterday’s post had me craving more of the forgotten Sudschleife and now I’m sure of it: If the Nordschleife weren’t right next door this would have been considered a fantastic track.
It was only the big events that were raced on the combined glory of the North and South loops of the Nürburgring into it’s complete 17 mile configuration. Of course, the Nordschleife got all the fame and left it’s little brother Südschleife to languish away alone: oft-forgotten and little loved (even in its prime) compared to the more challenging technical turns of the Nordschleife.
Today, while much of the public roads remain, the connecting pathways to the Nordschleife were destroyed during the construction of the GP circuit. This Formula Vee race from 1968 though, shows the Südschleife in all its glory. It must be hard to be considered great when the basis for comparison is the Nordschleife but on it’s own this looks like a hell of a track. Also, helicopter footage of the F-V race? Who would have thought….
Let’s hope at the Nordschleife lives on in more than just videos of this kind 50 years from now.
With the future of the Nürburgring in some doubt, I think it’s worth celebrating how much of this master class from Hermann Lang (with voice over from Graham Hill) still applies today. Let’s hope that Mr. Lang’s example is applicable for at least another 50 years. Save the Ring!
Thanks for sending this one in, Bret!
Tell us about the greatest track in the world won’t you, Sir Jackie.
I’m not usually into “Crash Porn”, but this video of folks taking on the Nurburgring in their road cars demonstrates a few things: 1. road cars of the 60s and 70s were fragile and made an enormous mess when you rolled them (Except for Beetles, which look to be tough as Hell). 2. the Nurburgring’s reputation is no joke.
Green Hell, indeed.
And what’s more; the Adenauer Forest esses are still kicking people’s asses today.