Not to Scale: Nurburgring, USA

Anthony Magagnoli
by Anthony Magagnoli

For those North Americans seeking to drive the famous 14-mile Nurburgring, a look-alike loop has been plotted just south of Indianapolis, IN. While most replicas are not as big as the original, the “Schweinefiletring™” is more than 12 times the size of the famed German circuit. Utilizing 175 miles of public roads through southern Indiana, its route replicates the Green Hell.

VIR’s Grand Course has frequently been claimed as the USA’s answer to the Nurburging. But, at a paltry 4.2 miles long, it pales in comparison. The only other way to experience the 14-mile challenge for yourself would be on a driving simulator. If you want to see the sights, smell the smells, and feel the g-forces, you can now do so without the need for a track car or fancy sim rig.

The original Nordshleife was 22.8km long

According to the Schweinefiletring website, the route is named after the Indiana Pork Tenderloin sandwich that Indiana is apparently known for. Schnitzelring would’ve had a better ring to it, but I gather that the term schnitzel is broader and not specific to the pork specialty.

The creators are hosting a charity rally event this coming weekend (June 22-23) called The Tire Squeal, which takes entrants from restaurant to restaurant along the route. Eating at those establishments will result in a 10 percent donation from each associated purchase being made to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana or their own local food banks. Any additional money and food donations raised by participants will also be donated.

One of Brown County State Park’s many covered bridges

As you strap on your Piloti shoes and string-backed leather gloves, remember that the Schweinefiletring is not a closed circuit and certainly not a racetrack. These are simply engaging public roads that run through a scenic — and under-appreciated — part of the country. Likewise, if you can’t make the charity rally this weekend, you can do drive the route in full or in part any time. It’s free. In that regard, it is even better than the Nurburgring, not to mention that the pit stops are a lot tastier!

A few laps of the Schweinefiletring might be just what I need to prepare me for my first visit to the “little” Nordschleife later this fall.

[Images: Google Maps; Nurburgring.de]

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli

Following 10 years in Toyota's Production Engineering division, Anthony spent 3 years as a Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for FCA. From modest beginnings in autocross, he won a NASA SpecE30 National Championship and was the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge TC Rookie of the Year. Aside from being a professional racecar driver, he is a private driving coach and future karaoke champion.

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  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jun 18, 2019

    Southern Indiana has some very pretty countryside and some very friendly folks.

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    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jun 18, 2019

      @bullnuke I'm down for a pork tenderloin sandwich when I can get prepared horseradish or horseradish sauce on it.

  • Mmreeses Mmreeses on Jun 18, 2019

    So is Indiana a civil asset forfeiture state? I kid. (and I think that practice has been reined in by the Supreme Court)

  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
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