October 5, 2011

Oh La La La La: inside the big Nurburgring crash.

"Oh lalalalala, putain, merde comme c'est violente..."

There seems to be an effort to bury the incident and pull videos off YT, the fact that the video below had it's title changed to "NOT for Save the Ring" and then pulled gives a bit of a clue about the Eiffel intramural scrum going on these days.

That clip showed, in our opinion, gross stupidity and unbelievable lack of judgement by the Nurburgring track crews who crated a 20 mph funnel on a very fast part of the track and put warning signals after a blind corner at nowhere near enough distance for a safe deceleration.
No wonder track management bans cameras and why it's more important than ever people disregard and document everything, thanks to the video's author for sharing.

This clip shows you a lot of what happened.

we start as the car rounds Bergwerk and starts the climb up the hill. One accident at the work zone funnel has already happened, you will see a white e90 M3 missing a complete front strut and at least one damaged 911
Cars are stopping everywhere as they can, on the grass, sideways. In the camera car they quickly realize stopping is not the right play and just as they start picking their way thought the wreck, you see a Corvette stop at the back and moments later getting smashed by one of the BMW Ring Taxis arriving on the scene what else, flat out!

(Thanks @Jinnn24)



  1. Pretty damning, this is beyond stupid.

  2. ...meanwhile, that little beemer continues 'drifting' throughout the rest of the track, coming up at speed on ANOTHER accident just a few miles later.

    Seems to me that the intentional drifting is another item of concern considering the amount of other cars on the track. I've got nothing against drifting per se, I just think it should be done in another format/place where if things go all sideways (see what I did there?) it won't result in another multi-car pileup.

  3. Bear in mind that American sensibilities on "Safety" aren't exactly shared across the rest of the world, the lawyers haven't progressed that far on that side of the pond.

    I've run 49 laps on the ring on two different Touristenfahrten days, back before rental car companies started catching on and sending people to find you and ban you for life, and before Clarkson brought every yobbo with a PS3 across the channel to conquer the Grün Hölle. Video was still verbotten back then, even back under the old management.

    Stuff like this happened, whether the safety cars were there or not. Many ring regulars actually carry flags in their cars and stop for incidents, run up the hill, and start flagging and motioning at traffic to prevent a bigger scrum. It always took time for the Merc wagon safety vehicles to show up, as it's a long track. I myself flagged 3 different incidents, and even drove one of the drivers back to the office while the crews cleaned up the messes. As soon as a mess like this is reported, the close the track entrances with big red signals.

    When you go to the ring on Touristenfahrten it's not an HPDE, it's not even an open track day, it's not an organized event. It's a 1-way unrestricted toll road with any and all TUV-approved vehicles travelling on it. These can include double-decker busses (as I found out much to my shock and threshold braking coming out of the fox hole). It also includes 21 year old kids packed 5 deep in a convertible who have zero idea about "lines". It is simply a public road as far as the constabulary and government are concerned.

    The lack of "marshals" and signal lights is not a new question. It's been around since the beginning of the Touristenfahrten (Tourist Driving, aka "Open days"). You know why it has never happened? Because when it does, when the 'ring ceases to be a "Public road", and becomes a proper track, including all the things that come with that.

    In the US we would almost never let inexperienced drivers lose on a track without and instructor, even WITH flaggers and emergency staff, and even then they would be doing it with an approved vehicle with a safety helmet that had been checked for all the right ratings, along with waivers signed in triplicate, an organizing body, insurance, and your blood type.

    Perhaps, due to popularity, the time has come where the Touristenfahrten model is no longer sustainable, and the Nordschleife needs to be turned into a controlled track with warning lights, lawyers, organized events, insurance, restrictions on who and what can enter and when, and everything that goes along with that. (Including maybe even a bigger parking lot!) Maybe that's what needs to happen.

    I myself, however like the fact that the 'ring is what it is today. A monumental track that is as daunting by today's standards as the days of yore when we wore leather helmets in open-topped roll-happy formula cars. Some day it will all be gone, the 'ring only travelled by electric cars with 300 airbags, inside and out, and those who participated in the early days of mayhem will be legend. Right or wrong, the 'ring is legend, and I hope it holds out as long as it can.

  4. Great post above. However, in talking to some acquaintances in Germany, this isn't even news. Neither were the fatalities earlier in the month. They aren't phased by it...the Germans don't share the American attitude of waivers & lawyers etc...if you crash & die it's your own fault - you knew the risks. Which is as it should be IMO.

  5. I'm not saying it's a question of lawyers, I'm just saying I'm disappointed at the stupidity that led to this accident and, apparently countless similar situations.

    People ball it on the track because they can't drive, I have no issue with that, but an accident because someone pits a construction sign where it can't be seen in time, that blows.

  6. I sympathies with these recent Fiasco's at the Ring. But just to change the mood a bit here, I wanted to know what is your reaction to the recent(Sep 14th) Viper ACR ring lap record of 7:12:13 Do you think it is an impressive achievement for an old beast like that?


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