Since we flew in ahead of our planned tour with Autobahn, I was invited to share a VW Scirocco race car with Autobahn's tour director. The facility is much larger than you might anticipate with factory buildings there for Aston Martin, Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes AMG. There is even a hotel right on the course with balconys to allow views of the track. Gift stores allow you to purchase any number of souvenirs and even offer a toaster that imprints the Nurburgring course on every piece of toast!! The course is only open to general users from 5 pm to 7 pm. Other groups are able to use the course during the day. I rode with our Autobahn tour leader twice in the Scirocco and I drove once. Not having had any track training other than reading Road and Track for years, I have to admit the course is a bit intimidating..........no, a lot intimidating. Any type of vehicle is allowed to drive the course, from motorcycles to buses. There are all levels of abilities and you will be passed more than once by competent drivers in Porsche GT3's, GT2's, Ferraris and Lambos running near 100 mph faster than you are going. The one hour class given by the race car rental firm is mandatory and one must pay close attention to the details. It is a very dangerous course and there are numerous accidents. I don't know the cost to drive the course in your own car, but the rental car was about $700+ for the two hours. (Think about what you would rent your car for to someone with questionable talent.) You are responsible for any costs incurred with your screw ups and sign a form to that effect. Lose of fluids, for instance, that result in a motorcyclist(s) crashing and/or other car accidents will be paid for by you, in addition to costs to repair the track/guard rail, etc.!! Through Autobahn, I had the opportunity to ride with a factory Mercedes AMG professional driver for one lap in a new Mercedes GTR. All cars must return to the parking area after each single lap, but can then go right back out through the gate to circulate another lap. I started my watch timer as soon as we cleared the entrance pylons to the track and shut it off as we slowed to exit the track to return to the parking area. We had to slow for one accident and passed numerous cars on our lap. We maxed at about 170 mph and my watch indicated 7:58 min for the "lap". The cost was $300. I understand these rides are also offered by others. The ride of a lifetime!!! A must go and do.
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