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      09-22-2011, 09:51 AM   #24
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Drives: Audi R8 V10, BMW 530d xDrive
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Germany

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2009 335i  [4.45]
Originally Posted by MEGA View Post
By the way the Nurburgring is no longer a "public toll road". It is now a private track. This is why they are able to link the GP circuit and the Northloop on certain days now. This changed last year.
I do not know from where you have this information but - at least from a German perspective - this is not correct.

It may very well be that the British insurance companies treat it as if it were a race track or explicitly exclude it in their policies, but the 'Ring always was and still remains part of public traffic in Germany (as a one-way toll road). At least for the Touristenfahrten and track days - this is of course different for races.

This also applies to the Grand Prix circuit or any other race track such as the Hockenheimring. Which is why the reasoning is not any different if you link the Nordschleife with the GP circuit (the so-called VLN variant).

BTW, the 'Ring (as in the real estate) belongs to the Bundesland Rheinland-Pfalz (i.e. the federal state in Germany where it is situated), together with the local municipality (Landkreis Ahrweiler) and is rented out to the Nürburgring Automotive GmbH.

Under the following link you can find a very helpful compilation of FAQ (in English): Nürburgring - Love the Ring - FAQ (UK). I quote the following with respect to British insurance problems:

Most UK insurers (if not ALL) now specifically exclude TF on the Nurburgring from their coverage. Whilst they are legally obliged to provide third party cover it is common to recover those costs from the policyholder. How are you going to solve the massive problem of British drivers, who bring a large portion of custom to the Nurburgring, driving without third party insurance on the Nurburgring?

Up until 2010 there was one German insurer that provided third-party cover specifically for British drivers. Unfortunately, this offer was rarely used and so it was withdrawn. We are well aware of the problem, and since we continue to expect a substantial demand in the future, we are currently negotiating with a major German insurance provider in order to close this gap. Unfortunately, this will take some time to be finalised. Until then, the Nürburgring can only advise British drivers to enquire with a number of British insurance companies. It is particularly important here to mention that the driving will be on a race course under German road traffic regulations – not as part of a race.

Personally I would not recommend to drive on the 'Ring without insurance. At least not with a car that you need or that is comparatively expensive. Even with a minor accident - which does not even need to be your own fault - costs can pile up very, very quickly (on your own car, or for the damage to Nürburgring property).

The link posted by Tony only covers the damages that can incure to the 'Ring's property because of the accident - damage to the armco, cleaning of the track, closure of the track due to the accident, and towing costs. Even with a minor accident this can easily mount up to several thousand GBP (one meter of armco costs I think around 800 EUR only), and I would absolutely recommend subscribing for this.

Now, I don't want to scare anyone away - if you drive sensibly and carefully (which you should do in particular if you have done less than 100 laps on the 'Ring and therefor have no clear idea how you should drive it), the risks for an accident are not very high. But due to the fact that - opposed to other tracks as the GP circuit or Hockenheimring or such - the Nordschleife has no spinout zones at all and is a very fast track, most of the more severe driving errors end up in damage and contact with the armco.

Which is why it would be my recommendation to (i) make sure yourself and your car are insured, (ii) do a few laps together with someone who knows the track and (iii) never, ever go faster than you feel absolutely comfortable with. Only two weeks ago a driver in front of me did not respect (iii) and shredded his Corvette at around 140 km/h. Not pretty!

I would be delighted to participate in your 'Ring trip, of course. Great initiative, Matt and Ant - and I'm already looking forward to seeing you there. I'll also be at your disposal to guide people around the track, i.e. do passenger laps or drive in front of them with radios.

As for where to stay - the Mercure in Koblenz is a good place as it has reasonable prices, a garage and is quite comfortable. The disadvantage being that it is a bit further away, of course. Other alternatives are the Dorint right at the 'Ring, where I've stayed twice this year and which, if you book it a bit in advance, has quite reasonable rates; very modern and comfortable.

Audi R8 V10; sold: BMW 335i