There are few race tracks in the world as iconic as the Nürburgring. For over 90 years, the track has played host to countless racers – both professional an amateur – and leisurely drivers, too. The track has changed a lot since it first opened in 1927. It’s gotten safer as the cars have gotten faster – better engineered, and more capable than ever before. The famous Nordschleife circuit at the track has 154 turns, and the asphalt is far from wide. To honour the track, Gran Turismo, the racing video game franchise from Polyphony Digital for the Sony PlayStation, released a mini-documentary about “The Ring.”
While many of us will never have the opportunity to drive on the track in the real world, the luxury of digitally experiencing it is easier than ever. Video games allow us rabid motorsport fans to drive the best race tracks in the world, and some that are entirely fictional. Gran Turismo wowed when it introduced the laser-scanned copy of the Nürburgring.
The video opens with an interview with Opa Strack, a retired cashier who once worked one of the track’s entry gates. His father helped build the track, and then he started working there, completing various jobs to maintain the facilities. That was before he became a cashier and retired after spending the majority of his working life at the track. The documentary ends with Strack – not a race car driver, or automaker, or fan – reminiscing about how much he liked his job.
The documentary does touch on Gran Turismo, its GT Academy, the fans, and the numerous changes made to the track. While racing at is competitive by nature, there is a sense of solidarity, too, an enjoyment of the sport of racing, the cars, and the fun. It’s well worth spending the 18 minutes watching it.