How to turn your Nürburgring fantasies into Nürburgring realities

By J.G. Pasterjak
Oct 1, 2023 | Nürburgring, Rent4Ring | Posted in Features | Never miss an article

Photography Credit:

You don’t need to hang out around the Nürburgring very long to pick up on the vibe. Sure, there are plenty of tracks in the U.S. with a corresponding town culture supporting them–Watkins Glen and Road America come to mind–but none match the ’Ring for sheer inclusion in the local culture. 

All you have to do is look at the geography …

This content is available for GRM+ members and Grassroots Motorsports magazine subscribers only.

You can read it for free in 117 days or subscribe to GRM+ to read right now.

Subscribe now

Already a member?

Login to read

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Nürburgring and Rent4Ring articles.
View comments on the GRM forums
hybridmomentspass Dork
10/1/23 8:48 p.m.

Absolutely one of my favorite days of my life was renting a 09 3series and doing 6 laps on the Ring as well as blasting (lol, it was a 4 banger) down the highway

Cool write up, JG

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/1/23 9:19 p.m.



Props to the rental company for recreating the iconic Zent Supra theme in a clever way. laugh

Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
10/2/23 7:44 a.m.

The past two years I've had the privilege/pleasure of going to the Ring and Spa with a group that Ross Bentley vets and assembles.  We use cars from RSR Nurburg/Spa (Ron Simon's outfit).

A couple things that JG does not mention that I believe are key to a good experience:

1) Do your homework on a sim.  With so many turns, many of which have similar-looking blind entries with vastly different exits, it's key to know where you are going.  The goal being to be able to visualize entire laps from your couch.  I spent a couple of weeks at home doing five three-lap sessions a day with Forza on an Xbox with an inexpensive Logitech wheel/pedal set.  I picked/modded a sim car that was similar to what I was going to be driving on track. 

When I took my first laps in Germany, it was amazing not just how well the sim work translated for knowing what was coming up, but also how much of the steering/braking muscle memory correlated.  The rhythm that JG mentions was already second-nature.  I was on pace within just a couple of laps.

2) TF can be a zoo.  Sure, buy a couple of laps for recon if you arrive a day early, but your money and time is better spent on a private track day.  Also, pick your time on track carefully.  Most days are "open pit lane", meaning there are no groupings.  You go when you want.  I've found that first thing in the am is usually less busy, as is right after lunch (or during, if your group does not take a break).  Same with near the end of the day.  Of course, weather plays a factor, as do red flag closures.

3) Do/don't be afraid of the rain.  It's both terrifying and terrific.  Given how often sections are re-paved (every winter they do some), there aren't that many that benefit from true rim-shot rain lines, but there are some.  Learning those in the heat of the moment with no trophies on the line can deliver a tremendous sense of accomplishment.  But do be smart about it.

10/2/23 10:11 a.m.

I agree with Andy Hollis. I have driven the Nurburgring during 3 separate trips with Ross Bentley and Tom Roberts SpeedSecrets group, renting the Ron Simons RSRNurburg cars (including the group Andy was with this year).   Now having logged over 100 laps.

Sim: I started using iRacing 6 months before my first trip, continued to use it prior to my second and third trips as well.  It was invaluable and necessary. The sections beginning with Wipperman, through Eschbach, Brunnchen, Eiskurve and ending with Pflanzgarten, a driver can become "lost".  So, a sim is a must.

TF: I agree, avoid the TF sessions, unless during Sunday mornings (when most have been up too late Saturday night and the track is empty)

Rain:  Agree, do not be afraid, but be aware and respectful.  It can be sunny at Tiergarten and pouring down rain at Bergwerk.  So, be prepared - it is a 14 mile long road course with 1,000 foot elevation changes.  Our second day this year (Sep 1) was one of constant rain.  I drive my home course at VIR in the rain quite a lot, so rain is not an issue for me and enjoy it quite a bit.  But, having been my third trip (and driven in rain during one of the prior trips), I elected not to drive that day, after deciding I did not want to pay for a rental car I could not bring home.

For comparison, we drove SPA-Francorchamps during the same trip.  I found SPA, having been modernized for F1 purposes, to be much easier to learn after a couple laps and not as challenging as the 'Ring.  SPA has ample run offs, with gravel pits, so no real risk of damaging the car in comparison to the 'Ring.  Remember, it takes over 3 laps at SPA to cover the same distance as one lap at the 'Ring.

Fellow drivers:  Experiencing the Nurburgring with 20 fellow enthusiasts in the SpeedSecrets group creates some long-term memories and friendships.  Hard to find an equivalent experience.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/2/23 4:39 p.m.

Yeah I'll second what both Andy and MCOOK said above. Unfortunately I had limite pages to work with, otherwise that story could have easily ballooned to a dozen more pages with detailed TF discussion.

The thing that I'll add is that coaching is also available and WELL worth the cost. When I did my school Dale Lomas right seated for me and absolutely crushed my learning curve. He or one of his talented crew will ride along for 50-euro, and there's some package discounts available, too. Having that real-time narration is huge for fine tuning your laps, particularly when you have the basic flow of the track down pretty well and want to actually start finding time. There's more than a few parts that are pretty counterintuitive and don't drive the way they look.

Our Preferred Partners