We begin with every racer’s dream lap. About 43 miles south of Cologne and 75 miles northwest of Frankfurt lies the legendary Nurburgring. The complex features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, but it’s the much longer old Nordschleife (“north loop”), built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg, that holds the greatest charms. The epic 12.8-mile circuit is one of the most demanding and difficult racing circuits in the world; so tricky, in fact, the F1 racer Jackie Stewart nicknamed it “The Green Hell.”
The north loop has more than 1,000 feet of elevation change as it traverses the hills of the Eifel Mountains. It is open (with restrictions) to the Touristenfahrten i.e., any road-legal car or motorcycle. Traffic moves only one direction, and there are no intersections, stop signs or lights. Passing on the right is prohibited, and there is no blanket maximum speed limit.
In June of 2012, 33-year-old Andy Carlile, a Brit who moved to Germany just to be near the ‘Ring, set the record for a motorcycle lap on the Nordschliefe – 7 minutes, 10 seconds aboard a crashed and salvaged 2005 Yamaha R1 with carbon fiber wheels. Watch a cool video of the run here.