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      06-18-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
Erhan
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Questions about Nurburgring

I am planning a euro trip and part of this is to rent a car to do couple laps at Nurburgring.

* Google says you can't really use the cars you rent from Budget or Hertz. Not that I was planning on. There are companies that rent race/track cars. Any suggestion on which company to choose?

* How early should I make reservations for the track car rental?

* I'm inclined to rent a MINI Cooper, since I have one and I'm very familiar with it. Also it is not a fast car (good on a track I've never been to before), and it is relatively inexpensive to rent.

* Is there any chance that there will be too much traffic on the day I'm planning to be at Nurburgring, such that they don't allow any more cars? What if there is an accident?

* My current plans to be there around 9/12-9/13, and the tourist rides are only 1 hour for those dates. Such a small window, considering 1 lap takes ~10minutes.

* Do I need to wear a helmet? Main purpose of my trip will be hiking, and I don't want to carry a helmet in the Alps.

* Would my WA license be enough?

* Aside from track car rental, to move around in Germany, where can I rent a BMW 1 series? Google says I can use Sixt, and it costs about $100/day. But they don't guarantee a 1er. How can I make sure? I'm planning on driving around Alps a bit (Stelvio pass etc).

thanks!
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      06-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
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Erhan,

I can't answer all of your questions but I do know for a fact that there are some track car rental outfits near the ring that you can call and compare prices and requirements. Links below:

http://rsrnurburg.com/

http://www.rent4ring.de/

http://www.rentracecar.de/index-gb.htm
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      06-18-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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When I went (3 days in June), I saw a lot of Suzuki Swifts, Renault Megans, and VW Sciroccos from the car rental outfits in the area.

The times that you picked are ok, but if you can stretch it out to 9/14, you'd have a much better chance for an "open" lap. If there's an accident and the track closes, you're out of luck!

As for traffic, the answer depends on what you are comfortable with. I did it in my ED M3 (before 1200-mile service!) and I had never driven a track before, so I wasn't comfortable with a lot of cars zooming past me. From that perspective, you want an earlier time (When I went at 8 am, there were only 7 cars on the track).

Your driver's license should suffice, Germany allows you do drive with a US license for 90 days.

Finally, no helmet is needed. I'm not even sure I would recommend one, given the possibility of the red mist!
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      06-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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If you go, definitely do a write-up on the experience if you don't mind. It would be a nice resource for those of us that want to go in the future. I always imagine if I go I'll rent some kind of low power racecar like a renault or clio on race tires and caged. Safe, fun, and less likely to die.
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      06-18-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erhan View Post
I am planning a euro trip and part of this is to rent a car to do couple laps at Nurburgring.

* Google says you can't really use the cars you rent from Budget or Hertz. Not that I was planning on. There are companies that rent race/track cars. Any suggestion on which company to choose?

Don't drive a street rental unless you are willing to pay thousands of euros of fines.

* How early should I make reservations for the track car rental?

Really depends on the season. Probably as early as possible

* I'm inclined to rent a MINI Cooper, since I have one and I'm very familiar with it. Also it is not a fast car (good on a track I've never been to before), and it is relatively inexpensive to rent.

Your best bang for the buck would be the Renault Clio Cup. Good chassis, ok power, easy to drive. I haven't seen too many Mini's on the track when I was there. (I don't think the Germans like the British too much.)

* Is there any chance that there will be too much traffic on the day I'm planning to be at Nurburgring, such that they don't allow any more cars? What if there is an accident?

There are accidents everyday, especially on tourist/public days. If there is a minor accident, the track continues to run. If there is a major accident, expect at least a 30 min stop.

* My current plans to be there around 9/12-9/13, and the tourist rides are only 1 hour for those dates. Such a small window, considering 1 lap takes ~10minutes.

* Do I need to wear a helmet? Main purpose of my trip will be hiking, and I don't want to carry a helmet in the Alps.

Helmets are not mandatory on cars on public days.

* Would my WA license be enough?

Yes.

* Aside from track car rental, to move around in Germany, where can I rent a BMW 1 series? Google says I can use Sixt, and it costs about $100/day. But they don't guarantee a 1er. How can I make sure? I'm planning on driving around Alps a bit (Stelvio pass etc).

thanks!
Public days are crazy. You will find anything and everything that is street legal on the track. I saw a coach bus, man with a dog, and a pick up truck running at the same time as Porsche GT3 RS's. It's quite an experience but be safe!
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      06-19-2012, 06:02 AM   #6
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Looks like most of your questions are already answered, but I would definitely suggest you look at going on a day where the track is open for longer than an hour. I am stationed in Germany and have taken my M3 to the ring multiple time. Each time I have been there for about 4 hours and got a couple laps in. If there are any big accidents it can shut the track down for an hour or more.

You should also keep in mind that going to the track and watching from one of the look out points is also extremely fun. You can see all kinds of exotics go around the ring. I never go to the ring without spending some time just watching from the side.
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      06-19-2012, 08:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies.

I agree, 1 hour is too short. I don't even understand why they bother for an hour...

9/12 - 1 hour
9/13 - 1 hour
9/14 - 2.5 hours. I think this is the day I should do. I was planning on coming back to US that day, but I can push it for another day. Better stay an extra day or two, and do some laps
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      06-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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You can get an international permit from AAA which works fine.

I don't think the weekdays are too crowded. The weekend I was there it was packed...except when it rained...with cars from all over from Russia to GB.
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      06-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #9
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I would second that the tourist days are crazy but an experience you cant miss. You will just have to live through it to understand completely. I rented from Rent4Ring. Great guys and the cars are set up nicely. I would suggest you pick a day when the track is open for 4 or more hours. You will never get enough driving in one hour and you will have to be lucky to get much driving in 2.5 hrs. Will there be accidents or is it possible they close the track? Yes. Keep in mind there is an accident every 30 minutes on average. I saw 3 accidents on my very first lap. Despite all this is was an amazing time! Everyone should do this at least once!
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      06-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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OK, what about track days or HPDE type of events? Any info on those? I'm googling in the mean time.
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      06-20-2012, 05:35 AM   #11
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I was at the Ring this Sunday morning and there was surprisingly not much traffic. Still, there were quite a few fast cars flying past me as I'm not very experienced on that track yet. On the Ring the driver is everything as you need to keep the car "flowing". Even track-prepped Minis passed me All this makes the adrenaline rise even more as the Ring is so narrow. Still, it's an experience one shouldn't miss!

If your car is not track prepped, I would strongly suggest renting one. I saw quite a few cars from rent4ring.de around. IIRC a helmet is required by most of these car rental firms.
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      06-25-2012, 01:43 AM   #12
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There are many track car rental options. From a Suzuki swift for 99euro usually goes for 300 with gas and lap tolls to 911gt3s depends on your budget. Book early for the lower budget cars.

As far as rental cars, well I've taken them. The cars i had weren't the fastest (diesel: bmw 1series, skoda wagon, a4 wagon). Usually 2 laps back to back then a break. Just remove the lil Avis sticker off the back glass so that it's not 100% apparent. They check for dings/dents but I never noticed them checking the tires. It is a 2 hr drive to Frankfurt, perhaps I wore through enough of the pitted treads. I bet it was mostly cause I didn't rent an M3 or an other exclusive cars. The M3 are a bit pricey and come with a 200km limit I think per rental period.

The short 1-2hr days are pointless unless you get there 1hr+ before. Lines develop out to Nurburg. The prob is as mentioned any accident can shut the track down.

Hope this helps.
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      07-09-2012, 12:33 AM   #13
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I was there this past June 19th. They were open for 2 hrs I believe, 5:30 to 7:30, although the track closes 15 minutes before closing time. The threat of rain was my biggest worry, and it was in the forecast, heavy at that. Luckily, the rain didn't start until just after the track closed.

I purchased a card with 4 laps on it. 95 Euros i believe. I figured if I wanted more, I could get more. I waited almost 15 minutes after they opened to take to the track. There wasn't much traffic at all. It may have been because rain was in the forecast, I don't know. I was there because I had picked up my new M3 a few weeks before. I had already had the breaking service done in southern France.

My first lap was absolutely fantastic. I pushed the car as hard as I could see. I got back to the paddock area, jumped out of my car, and jumped around like a rabbit. Needless to say, I had been dreaming about this for a very long time, and it went far beyond my wildest expectations.

I let the car cool down about 10 minutes and went back out. Each lap was exciting, but not nearly as exciting as that first lap was, but they were all fantastic. I had enough time to do a couple more, but I had had enough. I needed to catch my breath. Way too much excitement to pack into a 2 hour timeframe.

So, the weather it seems to me is your biggest worry. If it's not raining you will have a blast.
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