I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Nurburgring, it seems car makers believe if a car can put a good time in at the ‘green hell’ then it’ll work well everywhere, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Carmakers in recent years appear to be under the impression that every performance car under the sun has to have taken a trip to Germany to prove its worth but this is simply untrue. What the Nurburgring has led to is a string of performance cars that are hard riding unforgiving death traps, because to perform well at the ‘Ring a car has to live on a knife edge, yes a racing driver at his best could set records in a specially designed car developed at the Nurburgring but your ordinary driver will suddenly end up upside down in a ditch possibly on fire all because his car oversteered unexpectedly when the driver ran out of talent.
The Nurburgring has also led to completely unnecessary cars to be developed there all for this imaginary badge of honour, why on earth does a high riding SUV need a good ring time. I have no idea but Lamborghini must because they took the Urus there for development. The Nurburgring also spoils perfectly well performing cars that were great before they went to the ‘Ring, the Renault Megane for example was a fantastic fun little hot hatch that was incredibly quick on a back road and could keep up with anything. Once the Frenchmen found the Nurburgring however we ended up with the completely idiotic Megane R26.R a modified version of the once great R26 giving it a useless roll cage, which removed the rear seats and five point harnesses which made the result a unusable mess that only worked on the one day it wasn’t raining and you were at a track.
The Nurburgring even managed to ruin the good old pub argument of which car was better, it used to be an argument of this car has more power, but this car is lighter, but this car has a faster 0-60 time, but this car has a better power to weight ratio. Now the argument goes: it has a faster time at the Nurburgring and that person will absolutely refuse to hear any other argument. The ‘Ring is seen as this anointing by god of a good car when in reality it’s a statement that this car performs well on one track in the world that the owner will never even go to, but in the everyday world it is a nightmare and could one day kill you for no obvious reason other than it was raining.
So in conclusion of this rant about the Nurburgring it is not the be all and end all. The Nurburgring is just another racetrack, a car that performs well on the road is far more interesting than a track bred uncomfortable unrestricted race car. This obsession with the ‘Ring needs to end before car enthusiasts around the world only care about a time that is essentially meaningless. There will always be a faster car as new cars released every day, a ring time is only relevant for about as long as it takes to get round the ‘Ring.
What do you think about the mythical Nurburgring, let us know in the comments.
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