Three Rock Mountain  

Nürburgring - Rules

  Scrapping it out at the Nurburgring


As I said earlier, it's a toll road. If your vehicle is sporting licence plates, you can rock up, pay your Euros and drive out onto the Nordschleife. No training, no safety briefing, nothing. Scandal! Well, not really. There is a list of safety rules and regulations (in English and French as well as German) which you have to walk past in order to purchase an entry ticket. Consider yourself briefed and forewarned. But you can effectively show up and drive. And people do.

Given that you might see a brand new Porsche 911 GT3RS jostling for trackspace with a 20 year old VW Golf, there is obviously a need for some simple rules. These can be summarised as:

  1. Overtake on the left only. Slower traffic should pull over to the right to let quicker traffic pass. If you don't and they collide with you from behind, legally this accident will be your fault because you're on the wrong side of the road! Remember this is a unidirectional toll road and normal German traffic law applies - drive on the right and stuff like that. There's even a speed limit sign by the industry pool entrance halfways round. There is unlikely to be a speed trap there.
  2. Use your mirrors. Just because you’ve a brand new Porsche doesn’t mean that the 20-year old Golf behind you isn’t significantly faster than you are.
  3. Don’t stop for accidents. Slow down when you see the flags and signals, but don’t stop – you’ll just become the cause of the next one. Phone it in to the course office instead on your mobile. Better yet, you continue to drive and have your passenger phone it in. The office will send the crews round.
  4. Don’t drive like a knob. You’ll have an accident. Know your limitations.
You’ll see a stunning number of accidents at the Nordschleife. That’s why they keep a Medevac helicopter close by!


While one might legitimately expect all corners of a racetrack to be dangerous, there is one simple rule of thumb. There are several spots favoured by spectators, such as Brünnchen or Adenauer Forst. These guys are not sitting on the hillocks to admire your driving prowess. Quite the opposite. They are sitting there because statistically there is a very good chance you'll make a mess of that particular corner and have a highly entertaining 'moment'. Entertaining for them, that is.
Remember - When you see onlookers, this is not an opportunity to showboat to an adoring crowd; this is an opportunity to brake hard!

Click here for a map highlighting the particularly dangerous corners. There's a lot of them aren't there? Part III - The Drivers

© Kevin O'Doherty 2007