By on June 19, 2015

BMW M5 Ring Taxi

Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring.

During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, with the ‘Ring as the backdrop — director J.F. Musial said he received a phone call from Koenigsegg founder and CEO Christian Von Koenigsegg, informing him the track’s management had banned all manufacturers from attempting and publishing times achieved on the famed course. Koenigsegg had planned to put his One:1 through the pace prior to the ban.

The ban stems from an accident during a VLN race in March involving driver Jann Mardenborough, where a spectator was killed as a result. Management reacted by imposing a speed limit at the site where the accident occurred, followed by similar limits on other high-speed portions of the ‘Ring.

While management is set to review the limits at the end of this year, manufacturers are barred from making lap-record runs, even if the entire track was closed to the public for said runs. However, a run recorded by Lamborghini with its Aventador SV was allowed — under the claim the run happened before the limits were in place — while WTCC is permitted to ignore the limits altogether.

(Photo credit: elyob/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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23 Comments on “Nürburgring Management Bans Manufacturers From Attempting, Publishing ‘Ring Times...”

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    How exactly do they plan on enforcing this ban?

    – You run a lap at the ‘Ring
    – That lap has a time
    – Word gets out

    Good luck trying to contain that information

  • avatar

    #1 The vast majority of buyers have never been to the Nurburgring
    #2 The vast majority of buyers WILL NEVER GO TO the Nurburgring.
    #3 The vast majority of drivers have NO IDEA what the lap time for the Nurburgring should look like to be competitive.

    If I had really loud, colorful ads claiming that the ELANTRA took ONLY 15 minutes to get around the Nurburgring… People wouldn’t even know what we were talking about and would be like: “is that good”?

    Why don’t you tell me all about the lap time at Ehra-Lessien while you’re at it?

  • avatar

    I agree with others it seems a bit unenforceable in the big scheme of things. It just moves times into the realm of “unofficial.”

    Time around the “Ring” is pretty meaningless for the average slob anyway. So the car buyer in me says, good riddance.

    On the other hand the Ring is suffering from major financial problems, and there are definitely deep pocketed individuals who would like to see the fabled track converted into something more….profitable…that doesn’t involve a race track. Publicity and hype are good things that keep these people away.

    The enthusiast in me goes this is a big ball of suck.

    I suspect this decision has come down because an insurance/liability company has said, “if you want continued coverage to operate, then…”

    • 0 avatar

      This does seem to be the last thing the Ring needs, unless the goal is to repurpose the land.

      • 0 avatar

        There seems to be a failure of logic.

        The problem is ‘flugplatz’ is it not? big horsepower race cars get airborne over that rise

        i dont think street cars, not even sub 7 min hypercars truly get airborne to a dangerous degree

        so FIX THE PROBLEM… plane down the flugplatz so big power race cars do not get airborne

        why even bother punishing STREET CARS getting times when they clearly are a not part of the problem?

        is this some teutonic logic I’m not getting?

        further to that, the mystique of the Ring is Ring times. I agree its stupid but its what drawers punters in. So why do you want to kill this mystique?

  • avatar

    I heard someone wanted to build an exact replica of the ‘ring outside of Las Vegas. Automakers could use it instead.

    • 0 avatar

      Might be an interesting novelty, but you probably couldn’t/wouldn’t recreate the actual track surface, and the drastically different weather alone would make any comparisons useless. Oh, and I think the Nürburgring has something like 1000 feet of elevation changes, so it’s hard to believe the “replica” would replicate anything other than the shape. Still, I’d be tempted to try it out on my next trip to Vegas!

    • 0 avatar

      Duplicating it would be dumb. No one really gives 2 sh!ts about the ‘ring as a “track”. Being a circuit toll road sometimes open to the public is awesome and whatnot, but the track not so much.

      Instead duplicate the most famous and challenging turns from around the world including the Corkscrew, all in on lap.

      • 0 avatar

        You have obviously never been to the Ring – it’s awesome! So many turns, so many 911s unleashing boxer hell, so many carousels …

        • 0 avatar

          They’re just turns found anywhere. Porsches are found everywhere too. It’s a magical place no doubt, but the turns aren’t anything special.

      • 0 avatar

        “take all the good parts from [tracks] around the world”. This was done to death long ago in golf. Just duplicate your favorite holes. It didn’t go anywhere then and I doubt that copycat tracks would be better.

        A Nurburgring-like course with runoff areas would be great. It wouldn’t make economic sense anywhere, but it would be great.

  • avatar

    The first rule of Ring Club …

  • avatar

    I think the coverage on this topic went straight to sensationalism, and it might not ultimately be a big a deal.

    1) The only specific information I’ve seen reports the addition of speed limits on portions of the track, not the banning of reporting ring times. If everybody is governed by the same speed limits, aren’t the times from this point forward still comparable? This just means more emphasis on handling and less on top speed- maybe that’s not such a bad thing for street cars.

    2) Having driven on the track, I suspect a large majority of enthusiasts won’t have the equipment or skills to have a huge issue running into those limits (with the possible exception of 124mph in tiergarten). I got into the 150s on Dottinger Hohe with a 911 Turbo, but it was sketchy as f*&% with merging traffic and I never did it again.

    3) Furthermore, those limits probably have little impact on the majority of legitimate OEM testing at the track. If they really need to test the car over 155mph, there’s an autobahn nearby. The ride & handling challenges of this track will still be significant with all the corners and elevation changes.

    It’s hard for me to feel much about the ring though. I find the twisty backroads with 120km/h limits to be orders of magnitude more fun than the ring.

  • avatar

    A track similar to the ‘Ring somewhere in the US would be a great idea. Near Las Vegas would be brutally hot and unusable during summer months.
    It doesn’t have to be a copy of the Nurburgring, it should be original and better, and located somewhere where the weather wouldn’t be a problem most of the time.

    • 0 avatar

      It is a lost cause in the US. The first guy who sprains a thumb will have his lawyers take ownership of the track. Build it in Baja. Plenty of Narco cash in need of white washing, and a history and culture appreciative of motorsports.

  • avatar

    I have never been at the ring in real life, so the only experience I have from it are a couple of hundred laps in a ton of different cars in Gran Turismo, and tons of Youtube videos, but I don’t think ‘ring times’ are useless. Well, at least not compared to most other race tracks.
    The Nurburgring is a horrible old track, which looks a lot like normal old European roads.
    Any car that is able to go around the ring fast has to have some suspension and ground clearance, some torque for the hills, and ‘economical’ gearing to do well on the straights. So, most cars that do well on the ring will not be completely useless in the real world, unlike cars that do well on Daytona, or on the top Gear track.

  • avatar

    Why would this be a good thing? Having a reference track to compare cars performance was amazing. Now instead you will have to rely on manufacturers choice of picking tracks that suit their car best (cough… VIR for C7) and not have a direct way to compare performance.

  • avatar

    If the author, and any who followed, are going to imply a (probably unmerited) pet name familiarity with the place, then you might at least punctuate it properly. The punctuation mark before the name needs to be an apostrophe, denoting something left out, and not a a single opening quote. However simply terming it the Ring would be quite enough in English, which doesn’t go in for German’s compound nouns.

  • avatar

    It would suck for you unless, and until, you could obtain insurance for such risks, and could find a way to pass those costs on to the users of the track.

    But until such time, the owners’ lawyers will tell you that you must shut it down, or you will be sued for, and lose, every penny the track is worth.

    I predict that this move is both a short-term defensive move by the track, and a longer-term strategy to get manufacturers to come to the track hat in hand, asking how they could get their track times back.

    Then, bingo, the insurance costs will come up, and the track is hoping, will be resolved.

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