BLOG – Tom Coronel: Nordschleife, the ultimate kick!

Tom Coronel is competing in the World Touring Car Championship once again in the 2015 season. The Dutchman talks about his experiences in his exclusive DHL InMotion blog. Today: The fascination of the Nürburgring Nordschleife (North Loop).

Until I made my first visit to the Nordschleife, the ultimate thrill for me was Macau. Monaco? Well, it’s OK but just a bit too slow. Macau, on the other hand, is a high-speed track; it’s longer and bumpier. But then you come to the circuit which goes by the name of Nordschleife. It’s much, much longer and consequently in a league of its own. 

The speed, the ascents, the undulations, the combination of corners, the length of the track – you won’t find that anywhere else. There are more than 175 turns over an unbelievable 24 kilometres. I’m not totally sure of all the numbers involved, but in any case, it’s just crazy. For us drivers, competing there is absolutely amazing. It doesn’t matter who you ask – every drivers in the WTCC is a speed junkie, completely hooked on motorsport – the Nordschleife is the ultimate thrill in motor racing.

Once you’ve driven on the Nordschleife, there is nothing better – except maybe going up in a spaceship. 

At the point where you turn off onto the Nordschleife, you swallow hard and say to yourself: “Here we go again!” The standard track configuration isn’t all that exciting, but once you get onto the Nordschleife, it’s like “Oh oh, oh oh!” It gives me a real kick. I’ve driven in plenty of 24-hour races, but on the Nordschleife, you feel as tired after three laps as if you’d been six hours in the car. It’s a twisting track with such sharp corners that you have to be totally precise. And that’s what provides the ultimate kick. Once you’ve driven on the Nordschleife, there is nothing better – except maybe going up in a spaceship. 

So you might expect me to recommend that everyone drives at least one lap on the Nordschleife? But I would never do that, because you’re addicted for the rest of your life and need the adrenaline boost over and over again. The only problem I have is that the 24-hour race is staged only once a year. So you have to wait another whole year if you make a mistake and go out early.

You can only understand this if you’ve driven here.

Some people might imagine that I’m exaggerating a bit. But no, honestly. If you compete on an average circuit such as Estoril, then you’ll only get around ten percent of the thrill you’ll experience on the Nordschleife. That’s because everything here is better by a magnitude of ten. The ups and downs, the speed, the size of the crowd, the packed campsites – just about anything. I can smell the barbecues from my cockpit. You can set your watch by the aroma of grilled meat. You can only understand this if you’ve driven here.

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