Save the ‘Ring

SAVE_THE_RING_blackA slight departure from our normal digital-world musings but it’s a worthwhile cause. The world famous Nurburgring in Germany is under threat of sale, for lots of stupid reasons, a big public campaign is underway to spread the message far and wide. The north loop (Nordschleife) is nearly 13 miles (21 km) long and has more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) of elevation change from its lowest to highest points.

Nicknamed the “Green Hell,” the Nordschleife was constructed as a European racetrack in the 1920s. Its designer, Gustav Eichler, wanted to create the ultimate test for man and machine, and he certainly succeeded. The track became a regular venue on the European Formula One circuit and it soon earned a notorious reputation.

It is perhaps all the more surprising then, that today the Nordschleife is a public toll road with no speed limits. Anybody can turn up, pay the 20-euro fee, and drive as fast as they like around the circuit.

We love the ‘Ring. As confirmed (and in some cases very serious) petrolheads, the ‘Ring is the nirvana of all things petrol-engined and deserves to survive. You can wade in with support by liking them on Facebook and share on Twitter or post messages with #savethering hashtag.

It’s a very special place to visit, and even more of a privilege to hammer down the straights and fly through the blind apexes of the circuit that changed F1 forever.

This Nürburgring version is a popular attraction for many driving enthusiasts and riders from all over the world, partly because of its history and the challenge it provides. The lack of oncoming traffic and intersections sets it apart from regular roads, and the absence of a blanket speed limit is a further attraction. There is something quite surreal about blasting down the straights at 160mph+ and riding the apex kerbs on what is really a conventional public, albeit toll, road.

Edited to correct a couple of errors, thanks @SaveTheRing for pointing them out #SaveTheRing