top of page

The Nürburgring  1 Lap = 26 kms  

The track was completed in spring 1927. The first races to take place on 18 June 1927 showed motorcycles and sidecars, and were won by Toni Ulmen on an English 350 cc Velocette. The cars followed a day later, and Rudolf Caracciola was the winner of the over 5000 cc class in a supercharged Mercedes-Benz "K". In addition, the track was opened to the public in the evenings and on weekends, as a one-way toll road.[4] The entire track consisted of 174 bends (prior to 1971 changes), and averaged 8 to 9 metres (8.7 to 9.8 yd) in width. The fastest time ever around the full Gesamtstrecke was by Louis Chiron, at an average speed of 112.31 km/h (69.79 mph) in his Bugatti.

After World War II, racing resumed in 1947 and in 1951, the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring again became the main venue for the German Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship (with the exception of 1959, when it was held on the AVUS in Berlin). A new group of Ringmeisters arose to dominate the race – Alberto AscariJuan Manuel FangioStirling MossJim ClarkJohn SurteesJackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx.


From 1971 to 1983 further changes were made in accordance with the demands of the F1 drivers, the Nordschleife was reconstructed by taking out some bumps, smoothing out some sudden jumps (particularly at Brünnchen), and installing Armco safety barriers. The track was made straighter, following the race line, which reduced the number of corners. The German GP could be hosted at the Nürburgring again, and was for another six years from 1971 to 1976.

In 1973 the entrance into the dangerous and bumpy Kallenhard corner was made slower by adding another left-hand corner after the fast Metzgesfeld sweeping corner. Safety was improved again later on by removing the jumps on the long main straight and widening it, and taking away the bushes right next to the track at the main straight, which had made that section of the Nürburgring dangerously narrow.

The new GP track was completed in 1984 and named GP-Strecke (German: Großer Preis-Strecke: literally, "Grand Prix Course"). It was built to meet the highest safety standards. Together with the old Nordschleife the full length of the extended track was now over 26 miles.

To  demonstrate how technology had improved over time  consider that for the 1965 F1 GP race taking place on the old 22km race track, Jackie Stewart's qualifying time for 2nd on the grid was 8minutes 29 seconds. He won that years race. Not quite 15 years later my qualifying time which was also 2nd place on  the starting grid was 8 minutes 24 seconds!!I also won my race. Consider the  Lotus 33 F1 Car back then with a 2.0l Climax engine had about 220 HP against my 1.5l Renault Engine with 150HP.  The big difference however was the F1  cars back in 1965 did not have any aerodynamic aids such as rear wings and front spoilers which my Formula Renault did have!!

bottom of page