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Newbies - Read Here First

If you are about to embark on your first trip to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, there is going to be lots of stuff you need to know. We at northloop.co.uk want to help as much as possible and have created what we think is a pretty good guide to what you'll need.

It’s worth spending a little time making sure you are ready for a trip to the Nurburgring, it may be a toll road, but it’s a toll road which is going to test you and your car to the limit. The following is a guide to help you prepare yourself and your car for the trip.

Preparing for your first visit:
Once you get there:
Where to eat

Preparing for your visit
First things first let’s make sure your car is in the correct condition to get you to the ring and back let alone do any laps.
Tyres – The pressure should be checked before you leave home and before you drive on the track. Don’t forget your spare too. You should also check the condition of your tyres, they will be used hard, so don’t leave home with just legal thread.
Oil – Check the level before you leave home, before you go on track and take a couple of spare litres too.
Brake pads – This is a must, check your pads before you leave home and take a spare set of ‘get me home pads’ with you too. Brake wear will be very high. Do not be caught with metal to metal brakes and no spares. It can spoil a trip and make the drive home difficult.
General – Check all other fluid levels on the car before leaving home. Make sure you check all known issue areas. If the car isn’t running right a 1,000 mile trip isn’t going to make it better. It’s a long journey home at 50mph on the back of a breakdown truck!

There is just one thing you should not leave home without, it’s a crash helmet. It may not be mandatory on the ring BUT it is extremely important and may save your life.
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Documentation (compulsory)
The following is mandatory, either for the journey or to drive on the ring itself.
Driving licence
Certificate of insurance – ring them before you leave and make sure you have Euro cover.
V5 registration document
If in a hired car, the rental agreement
All these documents MUST be kept in the car at all times including when you drive on track.
It also goes without saying that you will need your passport and travel documents, though you do not need to carry these in the car with you.

Recommended Documentation
You can leave home without these but it’s not recommended:
Breakdown recovery. Make sure it includes Euro cover and that the company does not exclude the Nurburgring and surrounding area. We believe the AA have started to exclude the Nordschleife and surrounding areas, so worth a checking the small print before travelling.
E111 Health insurance card available from: www.ehic.org.uk/
Travel insurance
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Other recommended stuff
In the unlikely event that you have an issue at the Ring such as closing the track due to an oil drop, or hit Armco, you will have a bill to pay. Ensure you have a means to pay this bill on the spot. A 30 minute closure will cost you around £1,000, a medium to hard Armco contact, between £2K and £5K.
When travelling through France ensure any speed camera detectors are removed and hidden. If the police find them, they will be confiscated and not returned.
A small selection of tools may also be handy, enough to change brake pads and do up the odd screw or two. A roll of gaffa tape is also very handy. Make sure you have your jack with you too.
Towing rings should not be in place, but having them in your car while on track is very wise.


There are 2 airports which the Nordschleife and Nurburgring are accessible from; Koln Bonn and Frankfurt Hahn.

Koln Bonn is the larger of the 2 airports and Easyjet offers flights from Liverpool, East Midlands and London Gatwick, German Wings from London Stansted, Edinburgh and Dublin. Best bet is to check availability with them as some routes do not offer very frequent flights.
Frankfurt Hahn is not too near Frankfurt itself and is a good 50 miles from Adenau. Ryanair offers flights to Hahn from London Stansted, Glasgow Prestwick and Dublin. Check out the Hahn website for flight info and timetables: http://www.hahn-airport.de/

Car Hire

OK, so you've got to the airport and you're going to need some transport to get you to the Ring. At both airports, there are several car hire companies to choose from. It is best to book before you travel, but be warned, if you order a high powered car ready to use on the track, you are likely to end up with a 1.2 Polo!

The hire companies are becoming more and more savvy to the fact that British people are hiring cars from them to take onto the Nordschleife. They are even trawling photo sites in order to see if they've been driven on track. If anything goes wrong, you are likely to be financially penalised as well as banned from hiring cars from them again.
Our recommendation? Hire a car from the airport as basic transport and then hire a proper track car from Rent-Racecar who have various BMWs for you to play with: http://www.rent-racecar.de/

Once you get there
Nordschleife Rules!

Please read the safety information before you go out onto the Nordschleife which can be found HERE.

Here are the basic rules as set out by the official website:
Yellow flag - Danger spot, no overtaking, pass danger spot slowly.
Yellow and red flag - Danger, oil trace, reduce speed significantly, no overtaking.
Cars and motorbikes have to turn lights on.
Do not overtake safety car if warning light is turned on.
Right-hand driving only, overtaking only on left side.
If possible, store the emergency number of Nordschleife on your mobile phone: 00 49 (0) 26 91 3 02 - 215.
Drivers of crashed or broken down vehicles must always use a hazard warning triangle.
Red traffic light: track is closed. Drive on slowly. Be ready to stop at any moment. Leave track at next exit.
Fasten seat belts. This also refers to back seats.
Bikers have to wear full protective clothes.
Vehicles with short-term number plates are not allowed, e.g. trade plates.
No admittance for vehicles with noise emission exceeding 95 dB(A).
Pay attention to fluid leaks. In case of leaks, pull off the road immediately. Warn following drivers.
Track is subject to local Road Traffic and Licensing Acts
It is very important that the Nordschleife is seen as a public road and as such, is subject to usual traffic laws. Overtaking MUST be on the left - if you are involved in a collision with another vehicle and were found to be overtaking on the right, you will automatically be at fault!
Some more advice:
On a more general level, it’s worth remembering that the Nurburgring is like no track you will have driven before. The probability is that you will be overtaken by a local taking a short cut home from work in his Focus estate, even if you are in your new GT3 RS. You will spend more of your time looking in your mirrors and worrying about what’s behind than watching the road ahead. That’s perfectly normal. With regard to traffic behind you etiquette is simple. There’s a reason its behind you, it’s quicker than you. Move to the right, let off the accelerator, indicate right and let him past. Do not let your 400bhp get the better of you on the next straight, if you re-pass him he will be hassling you again on the next bend and will not thank you for slowing him down. The best laps are the ones where you make good progress and manage to allow traffic past without slowing it down.
On the other side of the coin you can expect the same when you catch traffic. Most will move immediately, indicate right and allow you to pass. HOWEVER, be very careful when passing bikes. It may look like they have seen you and moved but in reality they have not, they are simply taking a different line than you, or haven’t seen you. A good rule of thumb is to wait for an indicator, a hand signal, or a boot signal before passing.

If you follow these simple rules, you will be safe and able to enjoy nice laps of the best circuit in the world bar none.

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Buying a ticket
There are now several ways you can buy a ticket:
Ticket Booth. At the Nordschleife entrance, in the right hand car park (as you come in), is a ticket booth. You can pay at the counter with debit/credit cards or there is a ticket machine outside. Here is a photo of what you are looking for:
Petrol Station. You can also buy tickets from the ED Tankstelle petrol station near to the Ring which is very easy to find. When exiting the Nordschleife, turn right at the small roundabout and follow the road to a T junction. Turn right here and you will go under the track and find another T junction. Turn right again here and you will see the petrol station on the left hand side of the road.
There is also a gift shop and small snack bar here.
Online. You can now buy tickets for the touristenfahrten online at the official site HERE. It is in German!

Car Park Etiquette
There is nothing in the official Nordschliefe rules about the car park, but it is not large and can become extremely congested. This can cause frustrations. Follow these simple suggested rules and things will be fine:

1. If you are lapping then park in the main car park, if you are wandering round taking in the sights park the other side of the roundabout in the huge overspill car park. This should include bike trailers and vans.

2. Be courteous in how you park. Don’t block access, park in spaces and park between the lines. If you ride a bike, try to park in a space with other bikes in it.
3. Do not rev your engine in the car park. You will impress no-one. All you will do is draw attention to yourself and possibly encourage the officials to give you a noise test.
4. When you leave the car park onto the main road do not drive like a bat out of hell, again the officials will take note, along with the local police who sometimes run speed traps.
5. Lastly if you see any fluids under your car do not ignore them. The issue MUST be sorted before you enter the track. Not only could you receive a large track cleaning charge but you may be responsible for a nasty incident and track closure. You will not be thanked for this.

Obviously, petrol is something which you are going to need and quite usually, quite alot of it. There are 2 main petrol stations within easy reach of the exits:
1. ED Tankstelle
Directions are as follows: When exiting the Nordschleife, turn right at the small roundabout and follow the road to a T junction. Turn right here and you will go under the track and find another T junction. Turn right again here and you will see the petrol station on the left hand side of the road.
2. ARAL Tankstelle
The ARAL petrol station is in Breidscheid, very close to the bridge. Best way to get to it is to exit the track at the Breidscheid exit (remember you will lose a lap if you've not got a Jahreskart), turn right at the road, go under the bridge and the station is directly on your right after the Mazda garage.
Both stations take plastic and can supply you with the equivalent to super unleaded - 98 RON. They also sell beer!

Cash Points
Another important commodity for while you're at the Nordschleife is cash. Most restaurants do now take plastic, but it's best to have some cash for drinks and emergencies. It will depend on where you are staying as to which cash point is most convenient, but listed below are the main three which have previously been used by Northloopers:
1. Museum
There is a cash point at the main circuit near the entrance to the museum and karting. Directions from the Nordschleife exit: turn right at the roundabout and follow the road through Nurburg. When you get to the T junction with the 258, take a right and you will see the main GP circuit stands on your right hand side. Follow signs for Erlebnis-Welt which is the museum. There is no parking right by the cash point, but you can park in one of the main car parks and walk a few metres to the cash point.
2. Adenau
The cash point in Adenau is right in the centre of the town - look out for signs for the Kreissparkasse. You can park for free near the Hotel Wildes Schwein (big pink building, you shouldn't be able to miss it!) which is on your right as you come into the main part of the town centre. There is also a pay and display car park behind the Fabry department store which is on the left past the big pink hotel. As this is a main bank, you can change currency here too and they speak some English!
3. Müllenbach
There is a cash point in the village of Müllenbach which is not far from the camp site. Directions from the camp site are as follows: exit the camp site and take a right. After a mile, you will get to a major left hand turn signposted for Müllenbach. Take this and then almost immediately, you will come to a T junction. Go left again and the cash point is next to a bar/restaurant on your right hand side. Sometimes the screen is behind a perspex guard. This doesn't mean it is out of order. Put your card in and the guard will lift.

: : : (C) David Malings & Gary Kinghorn 2005 : : : Design by Clare : : :