The Nürburgring Nordschleife is a beautiful, tortuous, 20.8km of undulating race circuit. How much you pay to drive it, doesn’t change anything about that. Whether it’s just €25 for a Monday-night lapticket, €600 for a trackday, or even €2500 to €5000 for a special event. So why would you pay more?
Well, there are several high-cost events throughout the trackday calendar, offering less traffic, more exclusive company, and I talked about many of them here: Not all Nürburgring trackdays are created equal. Some examples? Gran Turismo Events, RingMeisters, Manthey, and more. They all offer more ‘high-quality’ time on track in return for paying more money. My 2021 Nürburgring Calendar lists all the Nordschleife opening times and trackdays here.
The “NOS 500”
But on July 30th there’s a €1099 trackday from Schnelleschwaben called the “NOS 500” and it has a rather unique entry requirement; one that isn’t just how many €€€ you’re willing to throw down on a single day of driving.
The organisers ask only for drivers with minimum 500 laps of Nordschleife experience. If they could, I’d bet they ask for drivers only doing a certain laptime, but they can’t… and what if you’ve not done 500 laps of the old northloop? Well, you can still attend, but you’ve got to book at LEAST half-a-day’s coaching to be sure that you’re up to speed, and not getting in the way of the other participants. Add another €500 for that, or €1000 for a full-day with one of their coaches.
What are the advantages?
It’s the only event that I know promising just 98 cars at the whole event. In practice that means you’ll probably see less than 50 cars on the circuit at any given time, as half the drivers will probably be inside enjoying the free snacks and refreshments. And thanks to the skills/experience/coaching requirements, they should be some relatively fast and trouble-free laps.
I have, luckily, over the years attended trackdays with these numbers. They were all great, for me, the driver. But not for the organisers, as most conventionally priced events here require at least 125 participants to break-even on the track rental costs.
Even Gran Turismo Nürburgring, which I can whole-heartedly recommend (not just as a trackday, but as an experience), has 128 cars.
What are the disadvantages?
Well, if you can afford it and have the experience, there are none. I’m not even being facetious.
I’m a lucky son-of-a-bitch, and I live here at the ‘Ring. If one day is too busy, I’ll come back tomorrow. If there’s a big red flag, I’ll be back before next week.
Not everybody is so fortunate, and it’s no coincidence that the more money you can spend, probably the less free time you have. Such is the human existence.
If you’re travelling a long way, or you can only spare a couple of days at the ‘Ring each season, you might as well make them count.