Germany’s Nürburgring racing circuit is a curious collection of automotive history, both past and in the making. In particular, the Northern Loop (Nordschleife) has become the de facto common test ground for high performance cars. Being able to claim the fastest lap time on the Nordschleife is the Holy Grail of automotive marketeers and engineers alike.
It turns out that the Nordschleife actually has some specific utility beyond just being a fast, 13-mile stretch of road. One section, unique enough to have its own name – the Flugplatz – which is German for airport, has the right stuff to send most fast cars completely into the air. As it happens, there was at one time an airport located near to this portion of the track.
Our friends over at Autoblog managed to source some photos from local shooters at that very spot. It is quite clear from these that even a powerful, low slung Corvette is not exempt from the laws of physics.
In case you think that such experiences are restricted to professional test drivers. the German government is very egalitarian when it comes to sharing Nordschleife access. The roadway is is open mostly on Sundays, but also on many Saturdays and weekday evenings. For as little as €24, you and your roadworthy car, minivan or SUV can drive one lap of the 12.9-mile circuit which is governed by, and enforced to, German road law while open.
There is no overall speed limit on the Nordschleife, although speed is restricted in some segments for noise or safety reasons. Having an “off” on the Nordschleife can be a rather expensive business. Armco barrier is close to the road in most places, and costs for a tow truck and recovery of your vehicle, as well as for shutting down the roadway, are enough to make your insurance company shudder (not that they”d cover you…)