In the words of The Fonz, I was w… I was Wr… I was Wrong… And I want to give you all the information you need to absolutely enjoy the Nürburgring Nordschleife if you ever get a chance to make it to this legendary race-track in Germany.

We had a spare day in Germany, and as soon as I knew that, I wanted to visit the Nordschleife – this is a race track with such legend associated with it, it would be mad not to catch a glimpse, or even get a look at the road itself. And that word Road, that’s where I got it most wrong.

A quick google and a decent read of the official website for the Nürburgring and I realised that there were a couple of options to be on the Nordschleife. One would be a hosted day with a car brand doing some sort of driver training or vehicle evaluation. That’s not on the cards – this time. Then there would be a “Track Day” – we’ve all seen the videos of those cars rolling into barriers and spinning out as the drivers ran out of talent.

But on that website I also found the section “HOW TO: TOURIST DRIVES” – this was a simple video that explained where you get in, how you had to get a ticket to be allowed on and all such things.

They are known as Touristenfahrten – which, directly translated means “Tourist Rides” – I thought “this is perfect” – I wanted to experience the track, something I’ve done in so many games, but in real life – kinda like how I take laps of Mount Panorama any time I’m within cooee of Bathurst.

Trying to understand just how it worked, I watched their other video with rules and instructions:

On their Safety page, it clearly states that “The provisions of the German Road Traffic Ordinance (StVO) shall apply. Overtaking on the right is prohibited.”, and that “The speed limit shown must be observed.”

So, I figured, there’d be a bit of an “autobahn rule” on the big straights, and then some speed signs on the twisty bits.

When we turned up there were cars with roll cages, high end sports cars, and some absolute clunkers. A real mix. In my mind I was thinking “Geez, If I had a Porsche GT3RS I’d take it to a track day, but I guess a Tourist Drive is a way to learn the track.

Well, let me tell you – NOPE – Touristenfahrten means TRACK DAY.

We exited the entrance boom gates, and cars hit the gas, big time. I realised very quickly we’d made a huge mistake – but there’s no way to exit for 20+km!

I was not going slow, by any means, on some stretches we pushed 170, and in some gentle turns 100+, but also on the tighter stuff I was very much in the way.

And yes, the car lovers of the area, and the Germans themselves really do wanna hate on me – the comments on my TikTok show that. But they need to realise, this shit is WILD and these timeslots should simply be called “Public Track Days”.

Lots of narks about taking a Rental car, and yeah, that was dumb, if we’d had any issue, we’d be uninsured. But again, I thought it was an open road during these times, not a race track.

Now, for those that narked on about the Rental Car, yep, in breach of their Terms and Conditions. But the penalty? They end your rental. Well, I’ve already handed the car back – so thanks for the ride:)

But, I wouldn’t have driven any differently in a rented race car for my first lap either. You build up to these things.

So, here’s my recommendations on how to Enjoy the Nürburgring Nordschleife as a tourist.

Firstly, rent a car that’s made for this and insured for this. If I’d seen this just a day earlier, I’d have done it, no question.

Ringfreaks have a range of cars, and the cost includes the track access – $270, $100 of which is what it costs to do two laps in your own car – very good value.

They even have a Model 3 Performance if you wanna lash out

With your bum in the seat, enjoy lap one. When you get onto the long back straight before the start/finish complex, ease up, don’t exit and head for the boomgate on-track and do another lap.

Give it some, enjoy it, and smile.

The best part, once you get back to your hotel, and while you’re still smiling, head to RaceTracker – this website is where all the pro photographers around the circuit upload their photos too.

And, it’s wild. Filter by car brand, time of day, and when you find yourself, you can just show “more of me” – using Number Plate recognition, you’ll get several great shots! Between $15 and $25 each a great momento of your day out.

Absolutely outstanding.

What’s better – Nordschleife or Mount Panorama?

A mate asked me this, right after I drove the Nordschleife, and I’ve gotta tell you, the top of the mountain, from Skyline through to Forrest’s Elbow is the greatest bit of race track you’ll experience – even at 60km/h sticking to the left.

As an experience, unless some how you sign up for a Bathurst Track Day, I think Nordschleife “Tourist Drives” are about as good as it gets for a nufty with a bit of space cash.

Note: The Stig’s Identity as my cameraman has been disguised in these photos to protect the intrigue 🙂