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Presented by BMW M GmbHThe Nordschleife line Bend by bend guide Tips from the professionals All the facts All the infoIn 8.22 minutes aro-und the NrburgringNordschleife in theBMW M3 with SMGDrivelogic.Im auto motor und sport Kart Camp beobachten wir junge Rennsport-Talente und fr-dern sie systematisch bei ihrer Karriere manche sogar bis zu DTM und Formel 1.So tun wir etwas fr unsere groe Leidenschaft den Motorsport. Und sorgennebenbei dafr, dass uns auch in Zukunft die interessanten Personality Stories undInterviews nicht ausgehen! Weitere Informationen bei: in Michael Schumachers Rckspiegel.Coming soon to Michael Schumachers rear mirrorAt auto motor und sport Kart Camp we watch up-and-coming motor racing talentand systematically promote youngsters careers some even as far as DTM andFormula 1. This is our contribution to a great passion: motor racing. In so doing, wealso ensure that there will be no lack of interesting personal stories and interviewsin the future! Further information at: kartcamp.deReady for take-offThe mystery of the Nordschleife can be expressed in precise figures:the lap records reflect heroic feats and technological summits3 Nordschleife specialThe rule applies both to racing carsand road cars: nothing reveals mo-re than the lap time on the Nrbur-gring Nordschleife. Why? Because thespeed of a car has to be in its genes: lowcentre of gravity, pulling power, balancedweight distribution and a perfectly adju-sted chassis which can cope with theattacks of this bumpy track.A glance at the history book of re-cords attests to milestones of racing tech-nology and automobile construction and demonstrates the state of technolo-gy as the years passed. Since Formula 1engines have not been heard at the Ringsince 1976, their best time has long beensurpassed by todays standards: Clay Re-gazzoni burned a lap time of 7.04 minu-tes into the Eifel circuit. The fastest ofthe fast was Stefan Bellof in 1983: 6.25minutes in the Porsche 956 for a lap ofthe Ring in racing trim. In the qualifying,he even made it 14 seconds faster, at anaverage speed of 200 km/h. All other re-cords pale in comparison, mainly becauseprofessional racing has avoided the Ringsince then. This is actually a shame, asshown by the DTM record of Johnny Ce-cotto in the BMW M3: 8.46 minutes forthe 25.3 kilometre combination of Nord-schleife and GP circuit.Because the Ring is no longer used forracing cars, it is now used more by regu-lar road vehicles: Wolfgang Kaufmannsqueezed a lap time of 7.32 minutes outof a Gemballa Porsche with over 600 bhp on regular tyres. But the fascination ofa new record will always be there afterall, fast lap times promise fame and glory.Marcus Schurig Formula 1 record:Clay Regazzoni took 7.04 minutes Fabulous best time: 6.25 minutesfor Stefan Bellof in the Porsche 956 DTM record: Johnny Cecottoholds the M3 record Road record: 7.32 minutes forthe Gemballa Porsche Record-breaking:in the past, not only thelap times counted butalso the road holdingassessment.START/F IN ISH TO HOCHEICHENAfter a short high-speed passage at just over 200 km/h, we go into one of the technicallymost demanding sections of the Nordschleife, the Hatzenbach-Geschlngel. Entering thiscan be treacherous as the pace is reduced in two stages, as it were: in the undulating brakingzone at the end of the straight you should brake short and hard and shift down from fifth tofourth gear. At the end of the first left-hand bend there is then the second deceleration for thelong double right, taken in almost all cars in third gear and with a fixed steering angle. Sin-ce being given a new layer of asphalt, the double right bend has lost much of its hor-ror: many a car used to get stranded in the tyre piles here due to the dangerouslyslippery surface. 3Bridge0,695 kilometresCrestStartNordschleife special 4The left bend after the starting line is the first challen-ge: before the initial braking zone there is a crestwhere the car can become slightly unsettled. So always bra-ke before or after the crest. The braking zone itself hasmany small bumps. Because of the narrowing left-hand exitto the bend, it is better to turn in late so as to be able to un-wind the steering lock again immediately after the apexand then progressively accelerate out of the bend. In sodoing, ride well towards the curb though avoiding anycontact. Insensitive acceleration is particularly fatal in wetconditions with rear-wheel drive: this second-gear bend isas slippery as soap. It can be taken in third gear, dependingon axle ratio and drive concept, but rear-wheel drive cars inparticular will quickly tend to understeer because of thelack of punch.For speed freaks, the first test of cou-rage occurs only 500 metres after thestarting line. The ultra-fast Hatzenbachcurve is highly demanding. Braking as youapproach will be lighter or harder, depen-ding on engine power. When braking, caremust be taken to ensure that the car isstanding as straight as possible this facili-tates finding the ideal turn-in point. Becau-se this is an off-camber turn with roughbumps making things very unsettled fromthe apex, the driver has to gently ease thecar into the fourth-gear bend. Coming outof it again, ride well out and then accelera-te very early. Caution is essential in heavyrain: wide rivulets form right across thetrack!The data for gears, distance measurementand speed recommendations is based on ameasurement lap in the BMW M3 SMG,with a Nordschleife lap time of 8.22 minu-tes. The ideal line is shown in colour, as inour Formula 1 graphics, the braking zonesprior to the turn-in points are marked asdouble black lines.12Allow for a safety marginRound the fastHatzenbachcurve, youshouldntride too farout to the left just tobe on the safe side.Because of the bumpysurface, a lot cars willtend to displace oreven jump.Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg MlleronesCobble ston2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zoneTurn-in point1,265 kilometres1st gear 5 Nordschleife specialPart two of the Hatzenbach-Geschlngel isfor drivers with feeling. After acceleratingevenly out of the double right, hold your accele-rator pedal and your breath: the left-hand kink istaken at the far right-hand edge of the track soas to use a wide radius and under constantthrottle, i.e. with a fixed accelerator pedal positi-on. Experienced Ringers will be mindful of thetreacherous bump at the apex, largely elimina-ted since a new asphalt layer was added. The ad-vantage is that you no longer have to clip the in-side curb to keep the car stable. Between exitingthis bend and going into the final S of the Hat-zenbach-Geschlngel, sensitive and carefullycontrolled deceleration work is required: withsoft suspension settings, the car will tend to rockon a fast change of bends. If this tendency isreinforced by abrupt braking, the result is coun-terswing and departure into the nearby Hatzen-bach crash barriers.One of the characteristic and most fascinating passages of the Nrbur-gring Nordschleife bears the name Hocheichen: the S following on fromthe Hatzenbach bends nestles wildly and awe-inspiringly in the topographyof the surrounding Eifel landscape. Before the new asphalt was laid, the ent-rance was so slippery that even experienced drivers frequently misjudged.Even now, especially in the autumn when fir needles cover the track, the run-up to the right kink can still turn into a slide: with road tyres, even 70 km/hcould mean the end. Because the right-hand kink leads up to a blind crestwhich is off-camber from the apex, speed control is absolutely crucial. Here,less is usually more otherwise turn-in understeer can get you into quite sometrouble. The broad left arc as you come out of Hocheichen is simply amazing:the steep downhill slope gives the driver a sense of being on an oval racetrack and you have to really hit the acceleration as early as possible on thelong subsequent straight. Racing cars with tight suspension tend to jump andshift a little here. Tip: run wide, even as far as the cobblestones - here you canalready change into fourth gear.The exit of the Hatzen-bach passage turns outto be a treacherous stopperat the end of quite a fluidbend combination. The finalleft corner in particular tigh-tens very nastily. For this rea-son, speed has to be perfect-ly regulated coming into thistightening left: either do thebrake work when turning in-to the final S or brake downagain slightly before the lastleft corner. Come out of thebend as far to the left of thetrack as possible so as to open the radius for the tight bend. The steering is kept hard downand then unwound so as to be able to gain optimum acceleration and not understeer and clat-ter up onto the curbs. You then change immediately to the left of the track to position for bra-king into the Hocheichen bend. The new road surface provides good grip even in the rain. Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step!465QUIDDELBACHER HHE TO AREMBERGNordschleife special 6Cobblestononone rumb e strip2,196 kilometrescrest Bridge2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zoneTurn-in pointPosition of expert-car1,950 kilometres1st gear After the tight and technically demanding Hatzenbach Geschln-gel and Hocheichen, we head on for Quiddelbacher Hhe at fulltilt. The track is very narrow and uneven and the old surface is very slip-pery. The bridge over the B 257 is as narrow as the eye of a needle, andcars tend to get caught up with each other here in heavy traffic. If thepath is clear, you take the right bend over the bridge from the middle ofthe track and allow yourself to run out to the left, so as to be ideally po-sitioned for the double right at Flugplatz. The climb to QuiddelbacherHhe is so steep, it is like going up a take-off ramp. You should alwayskeep left here, overtaking on the right is risky at best: the enormousbump is even higher there, and the ensuing flight therefore longer. Po-werful cars should be tempered with sensitive braking on the crest tostop them from lifting off.1The doubleright atFlugplatz hasbe approachedwell over to theleft, otherwiseyour car will jump awayfrom you on the crest.Better to go in slightlyslower and then getback on the gas morequickly thats thequicker way to do it.The Flugplatz separates the men from the boys: depending on your car, you will come flying over thecrest of the Quiddelbacher Hher in fourth or fifth gear, brake short and hard mainly to stabilise thefront axle before turning in, and allow yourself to fall into the dramatically fast double right kink at highspeed.The two curves should be combined to a single bend with a turn of the steering wheel. On the first cur-ve section keep close to the inner curb. Between the first and second curve there is a lengthy bump whichgently lifts the car out of its springs for the second section: for this reason, it will tend to drift on all fourwheels as you come out of the double right. Here you know you cant go much faster! Be careful in wet wea-ther: deep puddles await you as you exit!2Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerThe crest is dangerousThis is one of the Nordschleifes real tests of courage:Schwedenkreuz. At this treacherous crest there is across from the 30 Years War - and even today, car, driver andtrack can find themselves at war with one another at thispoint. The approach is awe-inspiring: you fly over the firstcrest at top speed. The car gets lighter, the suspension has tosettle a little after landing before you can begin initial brakingon the right-hand side of the track. Because you turn in blindfor the left-hand bend over the crest, the release point has tobe just right: if you turn in too early, you have to make a cor-rection around the apex, if you move away from the right-hand side of the track too late, you will easily find yourself onthe soiled outside lane. Taking the Schwedenkreuz bend is al-ways a balancing act because the car is completely derailedon the crest at the apex and thus very unsettled. In order toget the subsequent brake manoeuvre right, do not allowyourself to ride out too far at Schwedenkreuz itself. It is alsoimportant to build up gradually to possible speeds: anyoneflying into the Schwedenkreuz at 200 km/h should be fullyaware of what they are doing!4The section between Flugplatz and Schwe-denkreuz is often underestimated: the twoleft curves are quite gentle and the line on the left-hand side of the track and the following dip beforethe Schwedenkreuz are not a problem if you are fa-miliar with the circuit and conditions are dry. Ho-wever, this section is hellishly fast fifth or sixthgear, depending on your car and the peacefulscenario changes dramatically in wet conditions.The second left-hand bend before the deep dip isparticularly nasty in rain: the aging surface causesundersteer in front-wheel drive vehicles and sud-den oversteer in rear-wheel drive vehicles whenyou turn in at full speed. At the appropriate speedshere of well over 200 km/h, this kind of stunt caneasily end in a write-off.37 Nordschleife specialDipManhole coverCrest Crest BridgeGravel bed2,990 kilometres3,345 kilometresThe Aremberg bend actually begins in the Schwe-denkreuz section: you fly towards the braking pointat least 200 km/h, with many bumps making decelerationdifficult. Shifting down rapidly on the left-hand side of thetrack over bumps often causes the wheels to block: so donot brake too late and leave some room at the left-handside, as most cars tend to shift dangerously when brakinghere!Although the Aremberg bend has an even radius, the lineis quite angular: for this third-gear bend you turn in quitelate and hard so as to shift the apex towards the bend exit.The advantage is that you can unwind the steering lockearlier and accelerate out faster, so you can slingshot intothe Fuchsrhre. Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step!5The section bet-ween the Arem-berg bend and theFuchsrhre looks sim-ple but can be verynasty. The passagedips down a steepslope over bumps, arough surface makesit difficult to main-tain your course at ahigh speed. Basically,you try to combinethe left-right-leftcombination into a straight, so you approach the passage from the Arembergbend on the right-hand side and then speed through on a straight line downto Fuchsrhre. In doing so, you keep close to the curbs but never clip them! Itis also important to find a sensible shift rhythm: if you shift up at the wrong ti-me, the car unsettles. This section is tricky in the rain: the surface is as very slip-pery in the area of the first left-hander! A possible surprise: if you are trainingin the early morning, watch out for deer crossing!1The dramatic end of the downward slope goes by the name of Fuchsrhre and is asspectacular as it is fast. In dry conditions, with confidence on the accelerator and nottoo much power, the bend can be taken at full throttle in most cars but beware: if youoverestimate yourself here, you will end up in the Eifel brushwood. The key to masteringthis passage lies in rhythm and faith in your car. Stay well to the right as you approach,then turn in gently never jerkily. If you want to reduce speed before Fuchsrhre, youshould definitely do so before the dip, but never brake in the dip! Always come into theFuchsrhre in top gear, keep on the inside at the apex of the dip, then allow yourself toride to the right as you exit. A deep undulation unsettles the car at the braking point es-pecially dangerous for vehicles with ABS. Since speeds can be well over 200 km/h, it is im-portant to explore potenti-al intelligently here!2FUCHSRHRE TO METZGESFELDTurn-in pointPosition of expert car5,095 kilometres4,445 kilometres1 2341 2342nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear deep dip RampCobblestonerumble stripFuchsrhre is trickyIn theFuchsrhredip you have alot of grip, onthe reboundthe car issuddenly very light. Youhave to take this intoaccount when brakinginto the next tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerAfter the Fuchsrhre dip, you decelerate short and hard over the subsequent ramp inorder to settle the car and reduce speed for the left-right combination betweenFuchsrhre and Adenauer Forst. It is not necessary to shift down before the left-hand bendsince rear-wheel drive cars in particular tend to break away suddenly at this point whenthe clutch is engaged. Instead, let the car roll through swiftly on trail throttle. It is one ofthe disputed Nordschleife questions as to whether the curb should be avoided completely,clipped or actually ridden. Coming out of the bend, dont run out too far in order to be ab-le to find the optimum approach to the right-hand bend going up to Adenauer Forst of-ten difficult in the heat of battle. A point of caution: the braking zone has many small rip-ple marks so never brake too hard. On the fourth-gear right-hander, hug the curb and stayto the right in order to position yourself for the blind and tight left-hand corner at Aden-auer Forst.35,745 kilometres55Crest9 Nordschleife specialSpectators stand here for a good reason: afterthe ultra-fast Fuchsrhre and the fluid left-rightcombination, a crest at Adenauer Forst blocks the dri-vers view of the subsequent section. It is easy to over-look the entry to the left bend and clatter straightahead into the dirt. The left hairpin is easily missed,very slow and also tightens. With rear-wheel driveand a little more smoke at the tyres you can also ap-proach the left hairpin more centrally which wouldbe a more competitive racing line to block out un-wanted overtakers. With more power under the bon-net, the exit is more important than the approach, soapproach the right exit bend cleanly in a broad arc onthe left-hand side so as to be able to open up the ra-dius and accelerate early. Rhythm is crucial at Aden-auer Forst: if you mess up the approach, you haveproblems exiting since this error will stay with you.This is why it is better to take the initial left more slo-wly, use the optimum line on exiting and pick upspeed early on. Never ride the curb as you come outof this section!If you make a good exit from Adenauer Forst, you will not have to fear anyovertake onslaughts up the straight to Metzgesfeld. If traffic is light, the left-right curve after Adenauer Forst is combined to a straight. There are two options forthe approach to Metzgesfeld: since the turn-in point is hidden behind a crest with aprevious left turn, you can keep the line left of centre and take the crest head-on.The advantage is that the car is straight for braking on the bumpy ridge. With a po-werful car, this line would be first choice. With less power, you can move over to theright earlier on, but you have to steer slightly left to the turn-in point. The advanta-ge here is that the turn-in manoeuvre for the Metzgesfeld left-hand bend is lesstight and hard. If it is raining heavily, small rivulets flow across the track from rightto left very dangerous! The fifth-gear left-hand curve is fast but nice because theradius is very even. If you take this bend perfectly, you finish up exactly on the whi-te sideline as you exit. Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step!54 Caution: crest! Adenauer Forst is a modelof bad visibility.Turn-in pointPosition of expert car(large picture)6,345 kilometres2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear 234234 7,195 kNordschleife special 10METZGESFELD TO WEHRSE IFENSince theturn-in pointat Metzges-feld isbehind acrest, thebend should be takenlightly from the centreand not to the farright. This way the caris almost straightwhen you begin tobrake.The left-right combinati-on after the fast Metz-gesfeld bend is tricky, startingwith the braking. In fifth gear,you enter at speed well overto the right, brake hard andshift down to third gear. Thecar drifts slightly because the-re is a slight dip going into thebend. The initial left is heavilycambered, so you take the carin very fast. The radius is relati-vely constant which alwayspromotes over-confidence. Ifyou want to get a perfect exit,keep close to the inside curbon the first left-hand corner.The opening right over a crestat the end of the combination is tricky: the driver approaches thebend blind and has to make perfect use of the space available. Thisis why it is a good idea to keep as central as possible so as to be ableto open the radius perfectly for the right-hander. Be careful: just be-fore the apex of the right-hand bend there is a large bump whichcan cause sudden understeer. Inexperienced drivers will tend to re-lease throttle and the load change takes them into the crash bar-riers. In the rain, all this is even more difficult: even the initial left isvery slippery, so never turn in too fast! The second part of the com-bination is much more awkward when wet as the car has to be sett-led at constant throttle on the driving line, and abrupt steering mo-vements have to be avoided at all costs. Under no circumstancesshould you launch into the exit right-hander too fast you will eit-her understeer and plough into the field or veer off to the rightstraight into a solid verge. Please work towards your ownpersonal upper limit step by step!1 Blind belief: the exit of the left-right combination before Kallen-hard is hidden behind a crest The Kallenhard bend takes you blind around alarge promontory: you keep left till late here,braking at the last minute and turning in very late.Since the bend tightens like a knot at the exit, set theapex well over to the exit so as to gain optimum ac-celeration coming out. The first half of the heavilycambered bend is taken on trail throttle: dont startto accelerate again until you can see the curb at theexit, and then only carefully. Front-wheel drive carswill tend to understeer heavily here dramatically soin rain - while rear-wheel drive vehicles can be beau-tifully guided out with the throttle. At the exit youwill have to move over quickly to the right-hand sideof the track.32Its better to approach centrallySpecial tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerThere are points on the Nordschleife which leave even experienced driversspeechless: the nameless downhill left-right combination after Kallenhard iscertainly one of them. Since the car gains speed rapidly after a steep downhill pas-sage, you reach the S combination in fourth gear at over 160 km/h. Even though no-thing is hidden, it takes a lot of courage to take it at speed: varying surfaces provi-de changing grip conditions, particularly at the entrance, and extreme caution isrequired here in rain also because the track is heavily off-cambered at the turn-inpoint! The initial left is approached from the far right-hand side, in most cars a dabon the brakes will be required at this point. There is a sudden dip at the apex of theleft-hand bend: in cars which are old or have soft suspension, the bodywork willbuckle so badly that the doors will even be forced open slightly. The deep undulati-on on the initial left-hand bend runs through to the right-hand exit bend, where thetrack again has adverse camber. The result of this tectonic displacement is literally acrest: if you are really going fast, you will actually jump but the steering wheel hasto be straightened up again! A faulty estimation of turn-in speed can ha-ve catastrophic results in this section: if the car is not guided per-fectly through this fast, narrow passage, the curbs become a se-ries of jumps.3Unfortunately, the triple right before Wehrseifenhas seen better days: with the old surface it was ahuge challenge especially in the rain. Since re-asphaltingthe only remaining challenge is the correct choice of lineand the right turn-in point. This is still difficult enough,since this fourth-gear passage takes you around the hill inthree blind bends. Many drivers fail when braking on theapproach: if you start too late, you will be doubly punis-hed by the undulating surface. Aim for the centre of thecurb as the first apex, then move to the outside and comein very close to the second curb. The trick is to sweepthrough the passage calmly with an almost constant stee-ring angle then the car lands exactly on the white lineon the left-hand side as you exit.45,745 kilometres1515kilometres11 Nordschleife specialWhether its the 24-Hour Race or the long di-stance championship: the Wehrseifen section al-ways attracts lots of fans and their interest is usuallyrewarded since many drivers get the speed wronghere and hit the hard little wall at the edge of the cur-ve. In fourth gear, you brake into the first blind right-hand corner on a steep descent keeping well to theoutside left. Before turning in, you hit the throttleagain and guide the car tightly along the curbsthrough an off-camber bend. Co-ordination has to beperfect here: if you are still on the brake when turningin or having to take your foot off the accelerator pedalmid-corner, things will look bleak. The car will sudden-ly unsettle and there is very little space for correction.Since the subsequent left hairpin tightens to the ex-treme, you will usually take it wide and turn in to theleft very late preferably in third gear, saving yourselfa shift during the transverse acceleration phase at theexit. It is unwise to come in tightly on a competitive li-ne since the track slopes off on the inside like a ramp all your wheels could easily come to a standstill as youbrake on the approach. Understeer is the last thingyou need as you come out of Wehrseifen but unfor-tunately almost all cars do understeer here! So alwaysallow for some room for manoeuvre and dont racetoo fast into this tight hairpin. Beware: the right curvecoming out of the passage towards Breidscheid is dan-gerously slippery in the wet.5 Keep on the ball: the left kink at Wehrseifen tightensat the exit, so never go in too fast!No sooner have you mastered the lowest point of the Nordschleife inBreidscheid than you are literally catapulted back upwards: the right-hand Ex-Mhle takes you around the hill as if on a ramp. The task here is tofind the optimum entry speed: if you overdo it, you understeer and slide uponto the high curb, if you are too cautious, you will hardly make it up thesteep climb, especially with a less powerful car. Approach Ex-Mhle to the leftof the track, give only a short, hard stab of the brakes, and keep close to theinside curb at the apex. Beware: at the exit, front-wheel drive vehicles willtend to understeer heavily, rear-wheel drive cars will oversteer so be sure toaccelerate early and cleanly, but never too hard.Nordschleife special 12BRE IDSCHE ID TO BERGWERKStability has priority over lineBecause ofthe manybumps I brakeinto theBreidscheidbend not tothe far right on the idealline but slightly overtowards the centre ofthe track. This keeps thecar much more stablewhen brakingTurn-in pointPosition of expert car(large picture)7,925 kilometres2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear Breidscheid8,130 kilometresEx-MhleCrest21212The bridge at Breidscheid marks the lowest point of the Nrburgring Nord-schleife and the lowest point of brake performance, since the long downhillstretch from Metzgesfeld to Breidscheid heats up the brakes considerably. Thisshould be taken into account at least in regular road cars when flying towards thebridge and wall - at 180 km/h. Always brake after the initial slight right-handbend. Turn in late to the third-gear left-hander over the bridge, approximatelywhen you are level with the high fence on the right. Take the left-hand bend wide,using the entire width of the bridge, and allow yourself to ride well out to theright. Most cars easily understeer in the dry and this tendency is reinforced in therain. In order to approach the subsequent Ex-Mhle bend as cleanly and as straightas possible, you have to stay on the outside of the bridge in Breidscheid for a longtime. A hard bump just after the bridge unsettles the car even more.1 Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step!Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg Mller13 Nordschleife special 9,280 kilometresBergwerkierCrash barrieDipip 33433334The shady Bergwerk bend has a considerableinfluence on lap times, marking the beginningof an uphill high speed passage at least two kilome-tres in length. If you make an error on entry, giveaway space or fail to pick up sufficient impetus, youwill lose a lot of time. This is why it is extremely dif-ficult to take the bend cleanly in one and withoutapplying tricks of driving dynamics. Braking on theapproach in fifth gear, keep well to the left. Thefact that the turn-in point and further course of thetrack are difficult to judge tend to make drivers bra-ke a little early here anyway. Since the bend tigh-tens up somewhat at the exit, turn in late so as toopen the radius for optimum acceleration as you co-me out. This is not an easy task, since this third-gearbend takes you blind around an enormous promon-tory, so you dont see the exit until very late. Yourmain concern at the Bergwerk bend should be opti-mum acceleration: thanks to positive camber, thedriver can start accelerating again well before theapex. But be careful: if you accelerate too hard andtoo early, you will have to cope with nasty under-steer and may have to release throttle again at theexit because of a lack of space. These are preciselythe errors which will be punished with a considera-ble loss of time due to the long straights which fol-low. Be careful in the wet: this section has been re-asphalted but because it is almost always in theshade, it stays damp longer than anywhere else onthe track. In the rain, be even more sensitive withthe accelerator pedal or understeer will send youstraight into the curb and the crash barrier.The left-hand bend before Bergwerk is one of the Rings more famous cor-ners: Ferrari driver Niki Lauda had his spectacular fire accident exactly herein 1976 an accident which marked the end of Formula 1 history on the Nr-burgring Nordschleife. Christened the Lauda Bend by fans, it requires true cou-rage especially in a powerful car. In fifth gear at over 200 km/h, you headstraight for a huge promontory. The track surface is old and bumpy, the passageitself rather shaded and thus somewhat damp in the morning so be sure tocheck conditions on your first lap! Turning in is not a problem since the trackcambers heavily at the apex, providing the load-bearing outer wheels with ex-cellent support. Problems often occur at the exit. With plenty of speed, you lite-rally shoot out of the little dip at the apex and the track slopes heavily to theright of centre as you exit, so the car can become extremely unsettled with thewrong choice of line. As you exit, never ride out too far to the right but work so-me magic to get the car back under control again. Taking this section in a packor a competitive race is particularly hair-raising. Speed differences on the ap-proach to the Lauda bend can be quite significant, depending on engine size: nomore than two cars fit through, but only if the drivers involved know exactlywhat they are doing and leave space for each other. Due to the high speed, theLauda bend is very risky in the wet. Be particularly careful as you exit: high speedundersteer is no fun here!34 Your line on Bergwerk bend will determine your topspeed on the long uphill Kesselchen stretchBERGWERK TO KARUSSELLNordschleife special 14Take the bend at speedIn the left-hander at theend of theKesselchenstraight Ialways think Iam too slow. Here youhave pick up as muchspeed as possible,otherwise you lose time Please work towards your own personalupper limit step by step!Nordschleife veterans talk respectfully of the guts required to take the superfast left-hand bend at the end of the long Kesselchen uphill straight. Even theapproach is quite tricky in powerful cars. At well over 200 km/h, you first have to ta-ke a gently curving right-left combination. The asphalt has recently been renewed,so the surface no longer slopes off to the sides as much. The bumps and terrible gripin rain are also a thing of the past. The real test of nerves is the left-hand bend its-elf: approach on the far right-hand side as the turn-in point comes late at the endof the cobblestone rumble strip on the right. If your name doesnt happen to beSchumacher, you will enter too slowly: it takes many practice laps to find the rightturn-in speed here. The car is carried a long way towards the cobblestone rumblestrip on the exit, and there is some slightly adverse camber at the end of the curve,too. In most cars, the driver will brake gently into this fast left bend, in rare cases itwill be necessary to change down too. If you position yourself correctly at highspeed, you will fly out of this bend only millimetres from the cobblestones on theright hand side but it is imperative to avoid going over the curb. The rain intensi-fies the dangers of this bend even further: since the track at entry is off-camber, re-ar-wheel drive vehicles struggle with sudden oversteer, whilst front-wheel drivecars can be subjected to a treacherous alternation between understeer and over-steer.10,440 kilometresKesselchen11CrestTurn-in pointPosition of expert car2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear The passage after Bergwerk bend looks simple on the map but itisnt. You take the three wide left-hand bends in fourth gear, ide-ally with an almost constant steering position up to the so-called dipleft. The more power you have under the bonnet, the faster you com-plete the section and the more radical the passage changes from thedrivers subjective point of view: it might be straightforward to blastthrough in a Golf, but in a Porsche it will be a test of nerves. The tripleleft after Bergwerk also has a few unpleasant surprises in store: the sec-tion is almost always in the shade and thus dries very late. There are se-veral points to watch on the actual dip left itself: you enter at a consi-derable pace and you dont see the radius until very late because thefast left-hand bend is hidden behind a high crest. In most cars you willchange into fifth before the crest and turn into just after it. The car hitsan undulation right on the apex, but all other tectonic depressions havebeen almost entirely eliminated by a new coat of asphalt. Be careful inrain: there is still a danger of sliding!12Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg Mller15 Nordschleife specialThe 180 degree steep Karussell bend is probablythe most famous section on the Nordschleife:with at least 30 degrees of banking, the Karussellwinds its way through a large spectator area. Thereare two problems for the driver here: firstly, it is diffi-cult to find the perfect approach and entry, secondlythe radius decreases so much in the final third thatyou are always in danger of being removed from thismotor racing rollercoaster. On your approach, use thebig larch as your guide: head straight for it and thatwill give you a perfect position. The choice of the cor-rect braking point depends to a large extent on thedriver and the car: many will brake as they come ontothe concrete strip, but the reduced friction can meanthat wheels block more easily! The second-gear benddoes not allow high speed, though the banking doesprovide solid support for the outer wheels. Be carefulon the exit: if you accelerate too much on the bend,you will be forced out in the final third. Be especiallycareful in the afternoon: a low sun blinds you on theapproach.For many drivers, the Klostertal bend is amongst the greatest challenges onthe Nordschleife, despite its peaceful-sounding name. If you head into the un-dergrowth at 200 km/h here, you will definitely get hurt a number of tragic racingaccidents over the years bear witness to this fact. For the ambitious hobby driver, theclassic rule of three applies on the Nordschleife: 1. Familiarity with the track, 2. Ide-al line, 3. Speed. This is the only way to get successively and safely faster on theKlostertal bend. On the short section between the last left-hander and Klostertal,first change from the right to the left-hand side of the track. There are no shifts tobe made, but initially at least there is some braking to be done: since the turn-inpoint for the Klostertal right is almost exactly on the ridge of a crest, it is a good ideato stabilise the vehicle slightly with a dab of the brakes. The reason is that many carswill tend to high speed understeer on turn-in because the weight on the front stee-ring axle is reduced. Just a few metres later, the front wheels regain optimum loadand traction but now the bend is heavily off-cambered up to the apex. Dependingon the design of the vehicle, this means that you can expect an extra dose of un-dersteer or oversteer after the turn-in understeer. Anyone who is really fast here hasprobably not braked and has very neutral and hard suspension settings: the resultwill be a slight four-wheel drift exactly on the white line at the curve exit. The satis-faction of going fast here is enormous but then so is the risk.35After working your way up Talkessel at more or less full throttle, youenter one of the slowest passages of the Nordschleife: the right hair-pin before the legendary Steilstrecke is very narrow at its entrance, the ra-dius of the bend changes from increasing to decreasing and the fact thatyou dont see the exit as you turn in is virtually standard on the Nord-schleife anyway. In the braking zone on this steep bend, there is also aslight left which is hidden - which is why you either have to correct thesteering slightly while on the brake or take it slightly wider from themiddle of the track, straighten up and then brake. Since the apexis very late, you turn in late and head for the exit of the U-sha-ped curb on the inside, from then you can then unwind stee-ring lock and accelerate increasingly. It is better to approachthe initial narrow part of the curve more slowly: too muchentry speed causes powerful understeer! However, it is im-portant to pick up plenty of speed as you exit for the uphillstretch to Karussell. But beware: if you accelerate too vigo-rously, you will understeer again costing impetus and in par-ticular time.42322223333rumbmble strip12,040 kilometresKarussell11,179 kilometresKlostertal11,460 kilometresSteilstreckeCobblestonerumble strip5544Cobblestonerumble stripNordschleife special 16KARUSSELL TO ESCHBACHThe left-rightpassagebefore theHohe Achtis fairlydemanding: the left-hander has plenty ofgrip but you losetime on the right-hander if your areincorrectly positionedon for the turn-inBlind corners are treacherous: if you cannot see the coursethe track takes, you have to know it perfectly. Only then will the ti-ming between turn-in speed and turn-in point be perfect. Also remember:the higher the pace, the more dangerous the whole undertaking. A goodexample is the fast uphill left after the Karussell. Heres the scenario: fourthgear, over 160 km/h. There is a slight right before the fast left-hand bend: ifyou come away from the right-hand side of the track too early you will co-me completely unstuck. To pick up as much speed as possible on the steepuphill stretch and open the radius at the same time, you have to stay rightfor a long time almost to the end of the curb. In not-so-powerful cars youcan take the left-hander at full tilt, with more power you will have to relea-se throttle or even apply the brakes. Since the exit of the left-hand bend con-tinues in an arc, over-confidence in the right foot is punished by a spell onthe grass. Funnily enough, the driver only knows in the last tenth of thebend whether he has done everything right: only then does he see the whi-te of the line and the green of the field. A point of caution: be sure to avo-id load change on this bend!1At the highest point of the circuit, you theoretically have a great view - though only in yourrear mirror and only very briefly, since the bad visibility at the Hohe Acht requires the driver-s full concentration. From the left-right combination there is 100-metre straight, then a short andhard brake manoeuvre is required you will be in third gear here or will have to change down in-to third, depending on the car. The right-hand bend opens slightly, but tightens again at the veryend due to the subsequent minimal left-hand curve. The track layout itself does not essentially po-se any problems, and with constant steering lock and a good portion of load on the rear wheels youcan take the Hohe Acht in one. Depending on the type of car and its construction principle, you willhave to allow for either understeer or oversteer at the exit since there is some adverse camber inthe last third. This minor detail can have dramatic consequences in the wet, however: if you applytoo much throttle in a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive car here, you can expect a much larger por-tion of understeer or oversteer. In particular, Porsche drivers with rear engine should be patient: ap-ply careful trail throttle through the bend, and remain cautious even when you think youre there.After all, the off-camber track is only the first stumbling stone, the second one comes in the subse-quent left-hand curve: there is a ridge which takes the load off the powered rear axle considerab-ly. Things are complicated by the fact that you will normally shift from third to fourth gear exactlyat this point. The interplay of topo-graphy and driving dynamics stee-ring lock, load change, ridge hasplunged many a Porsche 911 driverinto a duel with his car. In this kind ofduel, its usually the crash barrier thatwins.The entry S to the Hohe Acht is for precision artists: it is noteasy to find the rhythm and the limit here. Because theideal line of the second section is determined in the first section,the following points must be observed: the left-hand bend hasa wider radius than the right-hand arc at the exit. there are alsosome very nasty curbs not dissimilar to ramps. The problem onthe initial left is understeer: on the one hand you want to pickup plenty of impetus as you have a steep uphill climb. If the dri-ver is too fast and thus too far right coming out, he is badly pla-ced for the subsequent right which climbs steeply. Any errorhere will cost dearly in terms of speed. The switch from left toright is also tricky: there really is no room for any kind of turn-in understeer here! So it is better to go a little slower into theinitial left and take a little extra height into the subsequentright.2333Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerThe key is organise your 17 Nordschleife special1254125413,740 kilometresWippermann13,388 kilometresHohe AchtTurn-in pointPosition of expert car2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear You only get safely through the blind crest right-hander at Eschbach if youtemper your courage with prudence. The recommendation here is to ob-serve the experts at work in the long-distance championships. You will see thatthere are many lines as there are drivers: nobody dares use the full track widthright up onto the cobblestone strip. Drivers say it is not necessary, and that thebend can be taken quickly enough with slicks on the tighter line. They also saythat you save yourself the switch from left to right, facilitating braking into theinitial left before Brnnchen. Whatever the arguments, you should ideally hitthe brakes hard on the short straight coming out of the Wippermann S so as todecelerate into the right-hand bend. Many people brake very late some wait-ing for the rise into the right-hander. Others prefer to be back on the accelera-tor at this point. There are various theories on the choice of entry line here, hereGenerally, you should keep the turn-in point for later so as to have somethingin reserve at the exit. The bend leads you round a ridge which is quite impressi-ve, you drive and drive and drive and theres still no sign of the exit. With roadtyres, you will need the entire track width. Specialists wont be happy until thecar is rumbling across the cobblestones at the exit! Here again: there are asmany opinions as there are drivers. In the wet, the entry into the right-handbend is no longer a problem thanks to the new asphalt layer.5Right, left, right, varying speed, adverse camber, ten possible lines at the exit there can be nowdoubt we are talking about the Wippermann S. If you have no power to speak of under the bon-net, the Wippermann S is the benchmark of driving technique on the Nordschleife. The section goesdownhill, power is not the main concern, so courage and vehicle control are what count: you can passa Porsche in something smaller and youll be grinning from ear to ear. To get fast on the WippermannS takes many hours of practice. You enter in fourth gear and dive into a dramatic off-camber right-han-der, introduced by a short, hard stab on the brakes. The greater the wheel camber angle and the har-der the suspension, the more fun it is. You are so fast at the exit that you can hardly stop the car be-fore the next double left! To brake, straighten up briefly and then turn into what is initially a wider,and then a gradually decreasing, radius around the double left. You know youve got it right if you arevery close to the curb on the left-hand side of the track as you shoot out. In terms of the choice of li-ne, you should remember that it is important not to ride too far out on the left, otherwise the radiusof the exit right is too tight. If you have sufficient height for the last right you save yourself having toclip the cobblestone strip at the right-hand side. Generally speaking, cars with tight suspension dontlike the being tortured over the curb anyway but it is alright to try it occasionally with road cars. Ta-king the wheels over the red and white inside curb on the inside of the bend is recommended, sincethis dampens the impact of the bump at the apex. If you go into the last right too straight, the stee-ring has to be corrected at the exit resulting in understeer and a loss of speed.4 In the Wippermann S-bend, not en-gine power but courage, choice of li-ne and vehicle control are whatcounts Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step!spaceESCHBACH, BRNNCHEN, E ISKURV ETurn into theEiskurverelatively lateand hard,straight up thecar quickly, thenaccelerate early and hard,otherwise youwill losepreciousseconds on thesteep uphillclimbOn the second Brnnchen bend, the track goes upsteeply like a ramp and should be taken with plentyof impetus and not much power which is difficult becau-se you cant see the exit and you tend to misjudge the ent-ry speed. Generally, the driver brakes hard coming intothis third-gear right-hander so as to be prepared for aslightly tightening exit. Understeer is just what you dontwant, though cars do just this from the apex because theload on the front wheels is lost on the crest. The driverneeds to be sensitive to find optimum traction when acce-lerating out you literally wait for the right moment toapply your right root. If you handle things correctly here,you will be on the cobblestone rumble strip or on the flatcurbs at the exit not a problem as long as it is not rai-ning! In the wet, try to vary the line by keeping left of theideal line, there is a lot more grip there!3The first Brnnchen bend is not easy starting withthe fact that many are distracted by the many specta-tors positioned there. You will generally take this right-hand bend in fourth gear and fail to see the braking andturn-in point at the last moment: the left-hand corner be-fore it goes around a promontory and also heads steeplydownhill. There is also hea-vy off-camber from theturn-in point to past theapex, with a radius which isslightly tighter than theprevious bends, so errorsare common. Be carefulwhen turning in just afterthe cobblestone rumblestrip on the left-hand side:be sure to get back on thethrottle since load changesare not uncritical here dueto the tilting track. Fromthe turn-point, front-wheel drive cars under-steer irritatingly and de-tours into the dirt at thebend exit will be met withmuch ooh-ing and aah-ingfrom the friendly specta-tors. Lap times are not par-ticularly helped by such st-unts either.2121214,015 kilometresEschbach14,179 kilometresBrnnchenNordschleife special 18Early acceleration winsThe Eschbach double left down to the famous spec-tator point at Brnnchen is very attractive from a dri-vers point of view: you shoot into the braking zone at agood speed on the right-hand side of the track, and therough, washerboard-like surface requires the drivers at-tention when braking. The incline tends to make decelera-tion rather awkward in front-wheel cars in particular. A la-te turn-in helps catch a perfect exit towards Brnnchen.The double left is taken in a broad curve, keeping wellaway from the inside of the inside curb of the first section.The line should then tighten in the second section so thatthe driver lands as precisely and straight as possible on thefar left-hand side near the inside curb and the cobblesto-nes. This is the only way to position yourself ideally forbraking and turning in at the first Brnnchen bend. Thenew asphalt surface has significantlyincreased the grip on this off-cam-ber turn, but many cars will still un-dersteer annoyingly. Beware: loadchange should be avoided here soalways guide the car on constantthrottle around the small hill. Cauti-on in the wet: the braking zone ishorribly slippery!1Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerSome people might be wondering why this light downhill left-hand bend before Pflanz-garten deserves special mention in our little Nordschleife guide. People shooting roundthe Ring in a 100-bhp car will not doubt that this bend can be taken at full tilt. Drivers of 200bhp may still agree, but they will secretly be a little mystified at the boast. With 300 or 500bhp, full speed is no longer a consideration. This cheeky curve becomes a real corner the mo-re power you have and the higher your approach speed and not a bad corner at that. Oncethe driver has put the car into 4th gear after the Eiskurve and thrown himself blind over thesubsequent crest, the track heads just as fast downhill, pushing up the speedo considerably.You could be travelling at least 180 km/h when you come into this nameless left-hand bend,depending on power. At the moment you want to turn in, the track off-cambers slightly. Thiscan cause sudden oversteer in rear-wheel drive cars, front-wheel drive vehicles tend to un-dersteer in reaction to the topographical layout here. The bend doesnt really tighten, butthe exit is bordered by a high curb which follows a slight right-hand arc. If you are notout to try some flight stunts before the Pflanzgarten crest, you are advised to keep wellaway from this curb. Things get very tight here in heavy traffic since only one car fitsthrough this narrow passage. The latent tendency to understeer or oversteer at theentry to the left-hand curve is intensified when the track is wet: 100-bhp drivers will no-tice that full throttle has no effect at all here.5The passage around the so-called Eiskurve is an oddity from the history of race-track construction. It has an awe-inspiring layout: off-camber track, ramp-likeincline and a crest at the exit which makes you feel you are speeding straight into thesky. Coming into the Eiskurve from Brnnchen, change from the left to the right ofthe track and brake hard and short into the third-gear bend. Be careful in the after-noon as the glare from a low sun is horrendous! It is a good idea to turn in late andhard, unwind the steering early and gradually accelerate since the uphill climb issteep. On the left-hand bend, get away from the inside curb early near the apex andhead directly for the apex of the following right-hand bend. This second part of theleft-right combination is not a real bend but more a right-hand border to the left-hand bend. However, dont underestimate the exit: if you throw yourself into Eis-kurve too quickly, you will be punished by understeer and land on the not exactly flatcurbs of the subsequent right. The name Eiskurve (= ice bend) refers more to thefact that the moisture there freezes over more quickly than elsewhere, but the prin-ciple can easily be applied to the characteristics of the bend in rain, too: the entryreally is as slippery as ice, heavy understeer can cause the car to take a hard rideacross the curbs at the exit. In rain, remember to reduce the turn-in speed and acce-lerate sensitively!4345345555Turn-in pointPosition of expert car2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear CobblestonesCrestGravel19 Nordschleife specialtime Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step! Tricky: the left-hand bendbefore Pflanzgarten is borde-red by a curbgNordschleife special 20PFLANZGARTEN-PASSAGEManydriversapproach thePflanzgartenwrongly: youhave to keepto the far left on thecrest. I brake in twostages: a light dabbefore the crest and aharder one after thejump over the ridgeYou have to brake in two The Nordschleife is famous for itsbig jumps, such as those in thePflanzgarten area. The double rightstarts with a rough hop right in the bra-king zone of course. But even the ap-proach should be treated with care. Youcome rushing down the hill in fourth ge-ar and a long dip in the initial right curvecauses a catapult-like vertical movementjust before the braking point which canreduce the load quite dramatically. Thebraking is in two stages: an initial shortand powerful stab just before the jump, then harder and a little lon-ger after the landing. Beware: be sure to take the crest straight andavoid any hectic steering movements! In particular in vehicles fittedwith ABS, take painstaking care not to hit the brakes on the crestwhen the weight has been transferred away from the wheels.Otherwise you will trundle right down into the dip without anybraking power to speak of! On a dry track with road tyres, themain problem at Pflanzgarten is understeer: if you enter toofast, it is impossible to keep a tight line along the right-handcurb but this line is very important if you are to get a perfectexit to the left-hand bend. There are two fixed points at Pflanz-garten: when turning into the bend, keep close to the curb ofthe first right bend, then move away from the inside edge so as tobe able to work your way along the curbs on the far right at theexit. If you are well practised on this line, there is very little steeringon this section. Important: always stabilise the car with the throttle!Be careful in rain: the entry in particular is very slippery, and very sud-den oversteer is common due to a lack of grip and excessive turn-inspeed!1Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerIf you think the worst is over, youve got another thing coming: after Pflanz-garten, there is an enormous ridge embedded in a fast left-hand curve who-se exit is completely hidden from the drivers view. If you hit this exit left too fastand dont notice your error until after the crest, craning your neck, you will indu-ce a fatal load change with a lift at a speed of some 150 km/h. This is why the left-hander after Pflanzgarten is a good example of the old rule of the ideal driving li-ne: when you have two successive bends, the ideal line of the second benddetermines the ideal line of the first bend. In other words: in order to make agood job of the left going over the crest, you have to make compromises comingout of Pflanzgarten. The ideal turn-in point for this left-hand curve would theo-retically be to the far right of the track but even the best intentions wont getyou out there. So try to get as far right as you can. Depending on car and grip,the driver will have to release the throttle briefly for the left-hand bend withroad tyres. This minimum speed reduction should be taken care of before tur-ning in so as to be back on the accelerator when you go over the crest to sta-bilise the car. Coming out ofthe left-hand curve, the pro-fessional will run well over tothe right. If you overdo it, you willtend to land on the rough cobble-stones which is exactly what youshould avoid, as some cars tend toreact sensitively in their steeringand suddenly displace. Be carefulin rain: always apply the throttleround this left-hand bend.21 23415,355 kilometresCobblestonesMain service pointCross ridgGravelCrestSlight ridge1 2345Cobblestonesge521 Nordschleife specialThe big jump after Pflanzgarten is legendary: it was here thatStefan Bellof destroyed his Group C Porsche, while Harald Grohsalways went over the inner curb intentionally to give the photogra-phers a big, spectacular jump. An urgent plea: avoid stunts like thesebecause speeds are high and the exit zones very tight! The big jumpalso involves a slight left curve which doesnt exactly make things ea-sier. Cars with tight suspension tend to bounce after landing, thosewith soft suspension will trundle far over to the right after the crest.The Pflanzgarten jump is a test for the chassis. Depending on gear ra-tio, you arrive here in fourth or fifth gear, turn in just after the mars-hal observation point on the right and pull the car with throttle overthe mighty ridge. It often depends on the driver whether the car un-settles or not. For example, if you fly over the crest of the hill at fullthrottle you can be sure of unsettling after landing. So it is better togive three-quarters throttle and avoid difficult steering manoeuvres.Everything must be light and gentle, then the car will remain calmand stable. Unwind the steering a little on the crest so as to keep asstraight as possible. On the steep downhill passage after the jump,pull the car over to the left of the track again so as to position yours-elf for the following super-fast right-left-right combination. A gent-le, rounded driving style is required in the dry, but sensitivity is requi-red in the wet here too.3It has already been indicated many times that in this small curve area of the Nordschleife, thecharacter of your engine capacity is dramatically changed with added weight. This also ap-plies to the section behind the large volatile hills in Pflanzgarten, but is especially important foryour exit here: the driver is lucky when he passes the main post, and then he reaches a long drawnright bend. With 100 or 200 PS, one can breeze through it. With 300 or 400 PS, it suddenly becomesvery risky, at least with street tyres. The reason for this: the long right curve veers you on the win-ding exit towards the right, thereby limiting the approach on the following cautious left curve.Yet, what is cautious of speeds clearly over 200 km/h? If there is any struggle in this area of theright exit, as there nearly always is -- something that definitely has do with this, is the lack of re-spect many drivers have of this passage. Meaning that the changes on the attempted speed hasnot only to do with the car, but also has something directly to do with the driver. If he passes thebeginning of the main post with 160 km/h and increases his speed later to 180 km/h, he also raisesthe speed in the following stretch. It has been nurmerously recommended, and reiterated just asmuch, that the driver bear in mind the section from the large volatile hills until the aformentionedright bend. The one turning point for the right bend yields itself after the car passes the main post.There is not much moving room here, and many come in mediocre conditions, cornering sharp onthe right bend and steering in. Be careful on the cobblestones at the exit: many cars stiffly hookthemselves in and in the blink of an eye end up on the far right. In rain, deep puddles lurk at theexit despite the setting up of new drains!5There is nothing more awe-inspiring on the Nordschleife thanthe nameless right-left combination after the big Pflanzgartenjump: doing almost 180 km/h you dive into a long, blind right-handcurve from out of the dip and suddenly a curb suddenly extends in-to the middle of the track from the left. You shudder to think whatmight happen if you were to arrive here at the wrong angle. The de-scription of the driving line does not reflect the drama of this passa-ge in any way: you turn in gently in the dip, guide the car preciselyround the inside curb up the hill, move away from the right-hand si-de of the track late, straighten up the car and literally fly over the as-phalt notch which marks the transition from the right-hand to theleft-hand curve almost exactly at the level of the main service point.The section is very narrow, only one car fits through. It is ultra-fast,but precision work is required as there is no room for error. Heavytraffic here is precarious. When wet, the new asphalt covering slight-ly reduces the risk.4 Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step! stagesDra 17,250 kilometrDttinger H887 kilometresalgenkopf1441After the ultra-fast passagefollowing Pflanzgarten, thedriver can expect a highly technicalsection before moving into thegrand finale on the DttingerHhe. The S-shaped combinationbefore Schwalbenschwanz is noteasy, particularly the right curve atentry: the first task is to locate thecorrect braking point as you shootinto the braking zone at well over200 km/h and what is more, ithappens to be hidden behind abumpy ridge. This ridge also curvesgently to the left, so many amateurdrivers end up here craning theirnecks and looking puzzled. Thewhite marshals point on the right-hand side of the track offers initial orientation: you shouldstart braking just across from here which will result in the car getting very jumpy due to theundulations in the track surface and therefore difficult to control. Still at a very high speedand in fourth gear, there is then a fast right curve, with a large bump near the inside curb on-ce again causing the vehicle to unsettle. In theory, the driver should approach the subse-quent left-hand bend from the far right-hand side but in practice, it is rarely possible be-cause the long drawn-out right-hander will tend to dump him in the middle of thetrack. In damp weather conditions, braking in cars equipped with ABS is particularlytricky.Although the banking at Schwalben-schwanz is much less marked compared tothat at Karussell, caution is nonetheless requi-red: the left-hand bend over concrete slabs hasgot many an expert into trouble. The two pro-blem zones are the entry and exit: as you brakeon the approach, you tend to be too late on thebrake, the car drifts slightly on the slightly slo-ping track and a multitude of tiny undulationsmake braking difficult. At the end of the curb youmove away from the right-hand side of the track andallow the car to follow the positive camber, only using theslanting lower concrete lane. At the exit, many try to showoff and move away from the dip too early only to leap in hu-ge hops over the concrete ridge towards the outside. This isnot a good idea: whether front-wheel or rear-wheel drive,the drive shafts will not handle this kind of treatment forlong. So it is better to follow the obvious lane and exit theconcrete slabs centrally this is kinder both on the hardwareand your nerves.3Nordschleife special 22SCHWALBENSCHWANZ TO DTT INGER HHEIts better to be a little slowerIn the ScombinationbeforeSchwalben-schwanz, itsbetter to takethe fast right curve ahint more slowly so as toget perfect positioningfor the subsequent left all in all this is by far thequickest way.1The ingredients of the left-hand bend beforeSchwalbenschwanz taste like well-spiced chili extra hot: hard change of speed, blind bend over a crestand danger of glare from the sunsetting. All this provi-des a pleasing challenge to the specialist and alarms thenewcomer. The turn-in point for this third-gear passageis the key to success: since you usually approach the pre-vious right-hander centrally and brake hard, the keyquestion is Where do I turn in? The confusion is exa-cerbated by your position on the track in a kind of no-mans-land. There is no standard formula for orientati-on here, but if you trundle through the bend a metre orso beyond the apex, at least you know that you haveturned in too late again. The penalty is felt at the exit,which has a slightly decreasing radius. If the driver is toofast, he has to release throttle at the exit and either lo-ses a lot of speed or slams up on the curb or else thecar ends up on the little gravel area as a result of loadchange.2Special tip fromBMW works driverJrg MllerD 18617,250 kilomDttinger16,887 kilometresGalgenkopf145541Concrete slabsCobblestone rumble strip 16,635 kilometresSchwalbenschwanz2323Crestin cover resheTurn-in pointPosition of expert car2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear 23 Nordschleife specialThe name says it all: at Galgenkopf (= Gallows Head) cars frequently get executed - though people thank-fully dont any more, as in the Middle Ages. The following tips will help you go easy on your vehicle: ap-proach this blind right-hand bend well over to the left of the track, brake short and hard, then turn in gent-ly at the end of the left-hand curb usually in fourth gear, occasionally even in third. Be careful as you turn in:there is a recess which lightens the car somewhat, an effect which is repeated just after the apex when the cargoes over a crest. It is an elementary rule that no space should be wasted on the inside of the bend: so approachthe apex close to the curb then ride immediately towards the exit. You will see if you have done it right at the lastminute when the white track border marking appears in your field of vision. At Galgenkopf you need practiceand a good sense of speed: if you are too fast coming in, you will be mowing the lawn at the exit and a monu-mental spin will take you onto the steep right-hand verge. If you enter the bend too carefully, you will lose a lotof speed since this right-hander goes up quite a slope. In the wet, the lack of grip is alarming: both the entry andthe exit of the Galgenkopf bend are treacherous! Be sure to reduce turn-in speed, avoid hard load changes andif necessary take the car down a gear for this passage.If a long straight follows on from a bend, you should pick up asmuch speed as possible or so the theory goes. But the gods of ra-cing put sweat before success: the last right-hand curve before the longDttinger Hhe is a real beast. After coming through Galgenkopf, thedriver speeds towards the next marshals point bearing the number186, turns in when almost precisely level with this sign and holds hisbreath until the exit. He will only find out at the last moment whetheror not he has done everything right. What is more, bumps will shake hisfaith in his own driving skill now and again, and the track has consider-able adverse camber on the turn-in. If you misjudge here, you will pro-duce stunt-like spins rather than top speed. On the subject of turn-in: ina powerful car, you have to release throttle quite a way beforehand,but be sure to be sensitive otherwise you will unsettle the car unneces-sarily in the turn-in phase. However much you practise, you will alwayshave the feeling at the exit that you could have taken the bend a littlefaster. In the rain, a steady hand is required: turn-in oversteer at exces-sive speed is particularly unpleasant!5 Please work to-wards your own perso-nal upper limit step bystep!4The second big dip on the Nordschleife is no less of a challenge than its famous brother Fuchsrhre: you shoot in-to the deep dip at well over 200 km/h after Antoniusbuche, at the same time the track width narrows drastically.Only one car can possibly fit through this fast left-right-left behind the dip. As you approach the dip, keep well over tothe right. Finding the braking point for the fast uphill left is tricky: with less power under the bonnet, the driver does-nt brake until after the dip, just going into the climb; in a powerful car he will have to brake more heavily in the dip.The left-hand bend, still taken in topgear, has an interesting element ofsurprise: just at the apex there lurksan extended dip which you literally flyover at the limit a real test for bothdriver and chassis. The subsequentbend up to the Hohenrain chicane of-fers a phenomenon which is actuallyrare for the Nordschleife: you can takeit faster than you think the surface iseven and provides excellent grip. TheTiergarten passage rewards an unruff-led driving style: if you avoid super-fluous steering movements and hecticchanges in throttle and load, you willkeep the car stable keeping your linethrough the left-right-combination asstraight as possible will also help here.Be careful in heavy rain: between thetwo Tiergarten bends, large rivuletsflow from right to left across the entirewidth of the track!2Nordschleife special 24DTT INGER HHE TO HOHENRAINIts better to stay below the ideal lineWhen Iapproach theAntonius-buche, I nevertake the right-hand sidebecause the car alwaysjumps too much overthe bumps. In mostcases you can easilytake the fast left-handerfrom the centre of thetrack or even from thefar left without losingspeedFor all those who really havesome power under the bon-net, the left-hand bend at Antoni-usbuche is a veritable nightmare:the approach speed is so horren-dously high, depending on your car,that you can hardly draw on experi-ence. If you have ever come flyinginto this blind left-hand corner un-der a prominent bridge in a 600 bhpPorsche with road tyres and travel-ling at about 300 km/h, you knowthat at jumbo start speeds brakingis obligatory! What is more, roughbumps to the right of the track cen-tre on the ideal line unsettle the chassis considerably, making itextremely difficult to find the exact release point located in thearea of the rescue access road on the right-hand side of thetrack. The turn-in phase is the critical point here, the rest almosttakes care of itself with a constant steering angle and a calmhand. In heavy traffic, the drastic narrowing of the track as youapproach the dip can be worrying: whats going on beyond thebridge? Four small cars in a slipstream duel? Two of which arejust about to swerve out? With less power, the whole thing ismuch more relaxed, you can even shift the turn-in point to theleft-hand side of the track and you still have enough space. Thispassage is truly dramatic in a powerful car and heavy rain: youstart hesitantly, increase speed, get confident then suddenlyyou feel the front axle losing load minimally over the crest andthe car begins to understeer. The Nordschleife raises a warningfinger once again!1DipBridgeLeitplanke12312319,788 kilometresTiergarten20,235 kilometresHohenrainSpecial tip fromBMW works driverJrg Mller25 Nordschleife specialCobblestone rumble stripTo GB circuit14514519,456 kilometresAntoniusbucheTurn-in pointPosition of expert car2nd gear 3rd gear 4th gear5th gear6th gearBraking zone1st gear Cobblestone rumble stripWhat is conventionally referred to as the last bend ofthe Nordschleife is narrow and slow fairly uninte-resting compared to many of the fast and furious corners theRing otherwise has to offer. But be careful: the list of the luck-less who have landed in the old pit walls to the derision ofothers is suspiciously long. You see the exit of the right-handbend fairly late through the high crash barrier on the insideof the bend this makes it difficult to set the turn-in pointand judge the correct speed. Since the bend tightens slightlyand turn-in understeer gives most drivers a false sense of se-curity, the surprise comes at the exit. The situation can usual-ly be saved by slightly opening the steering and then unavoi-dably running over the cobblestones on the outside edge ofthe track at least as long as conditions are dry. In the wetand with sporty use of the accelerator in a rear-wheel drivecar, you turn suddenly towards the pit wall. Even front-wheeldrive cars respond to load change from throttle release withabrupt understeering. Therefore to be on the safe side, theclassic rule for amateurs applies: enter slowly, exit fast.5 Please work towards your own personal upper limit step by step!The approach to the Hohenrain chicane starts with a little short-cut: since a service road leads upto the race track on the left, you aim exactly for the crash barrier which separates the service roadfrom the actual track. Aim for here means that there should be virtually no more than a hairsbreadth between your outside mirror and the crash barrier. Since the surface in the braking zone hasmany small undulations, particularly towards the end, drivers of ABS-equipped cars should exercise cau-tion. The ABS regulation will often set in just before turning in, unsettling the cars response and ex-tending the braking distance unexpectedly. Here you brake in a straight line between the crash barrieras your aim point and the entry to the third-gear right-hand bend towards the left of the track, turningin late so as to gain height for the subsequent left-hander. It is a matter of taste as to whether or notyou clip the curb with your right-hand wheels: the red-and-white curb markings are low enough to al-low this. It is much more important not to approach the subsequent left too sharply: at this point, youare at the beginning of a succession of three relatively tight bends and you should thus try to positionyourself ideally for each subsequent bend.3The left-hand bend at the exit of the Hohenrainchicane is important in two ways. If you aredoing the Nordschleife including the Grand Prix track,the third-gear left-hand bend takes you back out on-to the start/finish straight. Since there is a slight uphillclimb here, be sure to pick up plenty of impetus hereand keep the steering as open as possible so as to ma-ke use of the entire track width and accelerate quick-ly and early. If you are keeping to the old Nordschlei-fe, you must change quickly to the left of the trackcoming out of the left-hand bend so as to gain extraspace for the tight right-hander taking you back tothe start/finish straight of the old Ring. So the tacticalapproach for the last three bends is to approach theleft-hand bend not too sharply but in a wide arc fromthe right of the track, not running out to the right asusual at the exit but calculating your radius so thatthe turn-in point for the next bend is well over to theleft. Be careful as you take this bend: you come roundthe left-hand bend fast under load, tighten the radiusso as to get over to the left again and then release thethrottle abruptly so as brake into the next bend. Thisheavy load change can unsettle the car considerably.4Nordschleife special 26All prototypes are given the final touches at the BMW MTest Centre at the NordschleifeIt could be mistaken for extreme arro-gance: a 7 Series BMW with full trimshoots at racing speed over the little jumpat Pflanzgarten, all four wheels lift off theground and the car disappears at full tiltand with screeching tyres towards thedouble right. Is this a business managerletting off steam? If so, wouldnt he havebeen better to do so in an M3 CSL?The head of the BMW M Test Centre atthe Nrburgring, Gnther Warthofer, iseager to explain: Most people regard theNordschleife as a race track, but the ma-nufacturers use the unique layout of thetrack here as a test circuit. Lap times arerarely of interest. What we do here is putthe components through their paces.Since the circuit simulates the agingprocess of cars in fast motion, the en-gineers speak of the fast-motion factor ofthe Nordschleife: Wear and tear of ve-hicle components is very much higher onthe Nordschleife than in normal road traf-fic. This enables us to gather a large amo-unt of data and information within ashort time, says Warthofer. The variati-ons of the track could have been designedespecially with the industrys needs inmind: high suspension rebound rates,hard braking manoeuvres, top speed,uphill and downhill stretches, angled posi-tion at Karussell. It has everything.In order to plan and implement tests,BMW runs its own Test Centre in Nrburg:Our job is to test serial production carsand prototypes of the M GmbH on theNordschleife. Every car from Mini toRolls Royce has to complete a set di-stance on the Nrburgring, explains War-thofer.The Test Centre co-ordinates the sche-dule based on the availability of the cir-cuit for the so-called industry pool. Thispool is an association of all the major au-tomobile and tyre manufacturers who runtheir tests here together from early Apriluntil the end of October.In order to allow vehicle maintenanceto be carried out, the Test Centre has aspacious workshop and several offices.Test side story Gnther Warthofer co-ordina-tes testing work in Nrburg. Test driver Michael Martinistarts the data recording systemTough: test vehicles cover up to10,000 kilometres on the Ring.At peak times we have up to 40 en-gineers working on anything up to 10 ve-hicles at a time. The planned extension isnow urgently needed because the en-gineers have to communicate via laptopwith their colleagues in Munich so weneed additional office capacity, saysWarthofer.The everyday routine of the test dri-vers has little to do with the admirationof outsiders: from eight oclock in themorning until six in the evening, theyrattle off the test program in several ve-hicles sometimes covering more than500 kilometres a day. Drivers are chan-ged at every fuelling stop, and the condi-tion of the tyres and brakesystem has to be checked.The day is far from over at6 pm: this is when the carsare taken for an all-roundcheck on the ramp in the TestCentre. Mechanics and en-gineers trace sources of errorand document the conditionand wear-and-tear of compo-nents in so-called lifecycle files. Theseshow in detail when the component wasinstalled, how many kilometres it has co-vered on the road and on the race track,explains test manager Warthofer. Thiskind of testing can take up to four weeks,with cars covering distances of up to10,000 kilometres.Dry conditions are preferred for thiswork. Warthofer says: Our test programallows for about 15% driven in the wet.And it would be very wrong to assumethat only the suspension is tested on theNordschleife. Priority is given to all-ro-und vehicle tests, individual componenttests are rare. The strain on engine, trans-mission, body, chassis and brakes is parti-cularly tough, he says.The job of test driver is carried out byengineers and professional testers such asMichael Martini, who used to drive theBMW Ring taxi. Before engineers drivethey have to pass an internal BMW Nord-schleife driving licence.Computer systems are now used bothin the test cars and in the Test Centre: adata recording system in the vehicle withover 40 sensors records all the relevantparameters such as temperatures, pressu-res and driving dynamics figures. Every caris also fitted with a transponder systemwhich transmits the location and numberof laps and kilometres to the Test Centre.It also sounds a warning signal if a changeof driver is due.This kind of high-tech was unknown inthe early days of Nordschleife testing. AsWarthofer says: The old test drivers canstill remember doing laps in the Isetta. Inthose days they had to buy a regular ticket,just like the tourists. Marcus Schurig27 Nordschleife specialEditor-in-chief: Horst von Saurma Compilation: Marcus Schurig Graphics: Raoul RainerProduktion: Eva ManzoProdukt manager: Frank Herzog, Achim HartmannFOTOS: Frank Herzog, Achim Hartmann, ArchivAdvertisements: Catherine JunkerRepro: Otterbach Medien KG Gmbh & Co., WrzburgPrint: Vogel Druck und Medienservice, WrzburgThe Nordschleifen-Extra 2003 is a spezial supplement of sport auto7/03. All rights reserved by Vereinigte Motor-VerlageImprint?: What is therole of the TestCentre at theNrburgring intesting vehiclesof the BMW MGmbH?Prommesber-ger: The TestCentre has avery importantrole to play be-cause it provides us with a linkbetween our development ope-rations in Munich and the Nord-schleife. Our engineers and testdrivers can work professionallyon the prototypes and standardmodels here they have a homeclose to the test circuit.?: Are good lap times on theNordschleife one of the M Gmb-Hs official development objec-tives?Prommesberger: Good lap ti-mes on the famous Nordschleifeare important to us because toget a good lap time requires anappropriately designed and verysporty car. The Nrburgring pro-vides all the factors relevant toregular road traffic but in fast-motion stress levels might beanything from 8 to 30 times hig-her than on normal roads, depen-ding on the particular compo-nent. Every BMW has to pass thistest!?: With the M3 CSL, M GmbH pre-sents a purebred sports car. Howimportant was the Nordschleifetesting in this case?Prommesberger: For oursportiest M3 model, the Nord-schleife testing was absolutelycrucial: this car was virtuallyborn here like all M vehicles. Inorder to reliably test all road si-tuations, especially longitudinaland transverse dynamics, theNrburgring is a must for BMWM models especially the M3 CSL.Anyone who has ever driven thisfascinating sports car will knowwhat we mean.Three questions to Adolf P. Prommesberger, Managing Director of M GmbHThe Nrburgring is a must Quality assurance: in the Test Centre workshop, all components are subjected to a careful check. Adolf P.PrommesbergerBMW Driver TrainingCircuit trainingThe Nordschleife challengeThe Nordschleife is regarded as a particularly demanding race circuit.BMW Driver Training offers you the unique opportunity to take part in acircuit training course. Book now.Train on the legendary sections of the Grne Hlle in authentic style ina BMW 330i, an M3 or your own BMW motorcycle. Experience drivingsafety at high speeds as a fascinating challenge and discuss your im-pressions with like-minded enthusiasts in the evening in a relaxedatmosphere.Please note: there are only limited places available!Nrburgring Nordschleife Circuit Training(with option of BMW 330i SMG or M3 SMG)11th 13th June 2003 / 20th 22nd August 2003 2-day training courseincl. 2 nights full board in single room, arrival and theory session theevening before.Motorcycle Circuit Training(on your own BMW motorcycle)19th 20th August 2003One day training course incl. one night full board, arrival and theorysession the evening before.We will be glad to answer your queries at any time.Telephone: 0049 89 32903 969e-mail: confidence and skill in road traffic