Nurburgring Tourist Rides ??
Probably going to Germany in mid-July, plans to visit the Nurburgring, always wanted to go for a ride in the M5 Ring Taxi.
But now I am likely to rent a track car to drive on the track. The day I am looking at is the normal tourist ride day, has anyone every been on the track during Touristenfahrten? How crazy is it to drive on the track with all the wackos that might show up driving who knows what?
Was hoping to go for the M5 Taxi ride then rent a track car, but unlikely to do in that order.
Options I am looking at then are;
Ring Taxi - 911 track car for a few laps then M5 taxi ride. They dont have BMW rentals, so why not 911 LOL
Apex - M2 track car for a few laps and then McLaren taxi ride.
My last thought though is if I drive the track in whatever, is it even going to still be worth it to take the taxi ride after?
I would do a taxi ride first ó to acclimate yourself, when you rent a track car. Use the taxi as your sighting lap.
Thought the m5 taxi retired. Maybe not?
I’ve been to the ring a number of times both tourist days and private track days.
My advice. If you can, go to a private track day. It costs more money but you get way more track time AND you can drive the whole straight (on tourist days you cannot drive the straight).
It’s also way safer and easier as on a tourist day you will have:
Bikes (they are often fast in a straight line but slow in corners and they take very different lines to cars so they can be hard to pass)
Busses (enough said)
Tools in their gt3RS who somehow think they’ll set a BTG record on a tourist day and are going 3 or 4 wide, making late passes etc
A range of driving ability you can’t even imagine.
The thing with the ring is it takes quite a few laps to learn it.
My advice (whether you do track day or tourist day) is get a more simple car. Especially on the tourist days you just want to focus on the track and traffic. The crash excess on a 911 will be 30,000+ euro.
I’ve tried m3, 911, lotus exige260, scirocco R, Megane cup, Alfa gtv6.
Probably the most fun is something like a scirocco or golf R with good brakes and good tyres. It’s very easy to drive. Still enough power. you can focus on your lines and your driving. You’ll be less worried about crashing it too. Generally if you make a little mistake at the ring the chances are you’ll go into the wall. There is basically no run off anywhere.
Rather than a ring taxi ride consider hiring a car for the whole day and take an instructor with you for the first 1-2 laps. It costs about the same as ring taxi rides.
I have used rsr, rentracecar, haus Marvin, rent4ring and maybe 1 other. I’ve also taken a normal hire car on the ring but I wouldn’t recommend it.
I’d suggest try and plan for a private track day at the ring.
I’d also suggest you go drive spa. My reccomendation for spa is a bit different. If you are a competent track driver you’ll want something relatively fast as spa is a fast open circuit and bring a conventional circuit it has plenty runoff and only about a dozen corners to learn vs the 100+ at the ring. The chance of damaging the car at spa is a lot lower than the ring so the insane excess they all charge is less of an issue.
Spa is only 2hrs drive from the ring. I’m some ways I like spa more. It’s an amazing, fast circuit. Fast laps require some bravery at spa. 🙂
I forgot to add the ring taxi rides with Sabine I think are now in a Porsche 911. The e60 m5 is sadly long gone. 😞
RingTaxi now has the new AWD M5 as a taxi ride.
Great info, unfortunately there were only 2 days in the trip when we can go and one of those the track is closed. So unfortunately its a tourist day, but as there is more stupid drivers in the US than anywhere else except maybe India that I have seen, hopefully I can cope with it.
I know a faster car is not necessarily more fun but I rather get a BMW as it would be the most comfortable. I could never drive a VW around the ring, my friends would never let me forget it LOL. Hoping to get into the M2. Apex includes an instruction lap so that is good.
Perhaps another time my wife has to go to Germany will definitely hit up Spa as it is one of my favorite tracks.
I was lucky enough to go on the Ring Taxi with Sabine Schmitz in an e39 M5 back in 2002, what an amazing experience! Definitely go on the ring taxi first to get a feel for the place.
Emfiver put a lot of solid info and I agree with most of what he said.
I was going to rent an E9x M3 from Big Garage who canceled with me less than 12 hours before my rental because of "insurance issues." So I scrambled to find a short notice rental from Ringfreaks, ended up with a stripped out race prepped 320i. (Still a bmw right?) Granted its my only experience with a ring rental company but I'd recommend them. Super accommodating and fairly priced.
Between it being my first time on the greenhell, and it pouring rain, and the wife not taking kindly to the rear end stepping out it really was for the best. I'm sure I would have gotten a little "over zealous" with a 8250 redline. Also no one, even private party for obscene amounts of money has an E60 to rent :( Can't really blame them though. I can't imagine what ringtaxi spent on E60 consumables back in the day.
Ringfreaks really did their best to put the fear of god in you as far as insurance works. From what I understand, unless you get your own dedicated insurance for your particular car on your particular day, at the particular track, if you end up causing any damage to anything you will pay through the nose out of pocket. Got to pay to play and all that, but I can't say it didn't help temper my right foot either. If you want to play with exotic rentals there were more than a few which wanted deep 5 figure holds on credit cards just to get the keys.
The only thing I really want to disagree with Emfiver is concentrating on your lines regarding tourist drives only. For tourist drives, the nordschleife is treated like a regular road, meaning you pass on the left you don't drive on the left. If you are taking the "correct racing line" and end up wrecking the ring marshals will hold you at fault. It was super hard for me cope with at first. Not that everyone obeys it but the rules are different for right of way on track. I'm sure whoever you rent from will go over it all. Again only applies to tourist drives.
I certainly didn't set any lap records but also didn't wreck or run off track and was able to finish 5 laps in the pouring rain. There's not much more than 2 hours open for them on the vast majority of slots and most are in the evening so don't plan on a whole track day persey for the tourist drives.
If I had the time, as in multiple days there, I would have loved to do a ring taxi so I could experience it without have to worry about liability and all that while also seeing what a real professional can do compared to me.
I'd also pony up the cash for a good instructor for all of my laps to get the most out my time on tarmac. There's something to be said for jumping in feet first in the deep end all by yourself, but for the sake of getting the most out of your time driving, instruction is seriously worth it.
Lastly I had to check my ego hard, there are people who go there weekly if not daily. I got passed by such a wide variety cars that at first felt super embarrassing. Focus on you and the track and enjoy it. It's hard to remember when your out there that it's not a "race."
I can't recommend it enough and can't wait till I can get back.
Thanks for the info guys.
I am going with a M240x from RSR for 4 laps with first lap coach. Its about $1000 before track insurance which I will definitely get, dont need a $40k bill over a few hundred bucks, since anything can happen, confident in my skill in that car but why risk it.
I dont think I am going to do a taxi ride as it will be afterwards, have between now and then to think about. I will be there ready to go before 8am which is best so the taxi ride could only be after. I would only do the taxi if the wife will ride along too, but she has the fear of our little kids at home.
The whole trip is a gift from the wife, flying into Munich Thursday, going to Welt Friday, driving to Nurburg Saturday, Green Hell on Sunday, flying out of Frankfurt Monday.
Any other suggestions along that itinerary, maybe Porsche museum in Stuttgart and take that route driving? Saturday is open as just have to do the couple hundred mile drive from Munich to Nurburg. Definitely hitting up some tool stores in Munich and elsewhere. Gonna rent a 435 or a 3er wagon, some of the suitcases can go in the back of the 435 lol
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