"Contactless tourist drives" allow you to visit the track in a time of a global pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak won’t go away overnight but some countries are slowly starting to loosen the anti-epidemic measures, especially in Europe. Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, and Spain have all indicated when and how they intend to ease stay-at-home restrictions to restart their economies. This means many automakers will restart production and - more importantly for auto enthusiasts - some race tracks will open doors again.
That’s exactly the case with the worldwide famous Nurburgring, which resumed tourist runs on April 30. The so-called "contactless tourist drives" is an adapted form of activity for the track, in which visitors need to register their interest in visiting the circuit online. On site, the track can be accessed using a QR code or a ticket. It is strictly forbidden to get out of the car at the open entrance to the Nordschleife.
Gallery: Nurburgring contactless tourist drives
“The health of everyone involved has always been our top priority,” Nurburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort comments. “You can see that not only in the constantly expanding safety facilities on and around our race track. In times of Corona, we also see ourselves as obliged. When developing customised concepts for our activities, it became clear that the tourist drives could be carried out with adjusted arrangements."
The first visitors were filmed in a lengthy video from the EMS Nordschleife TV channel on YouTube. The 17:32-minute clip shows that all kinds of vehicles are back to the Green Hell, including a number of true performance beasts. The new rules on the track limit the number of visitors to a maximum of two people per vehicle. Also, all parking spaces around the Nordschleife remain closed.
Below, we've added several more videos, which show the traffic at the track over the weekend.
With a new concept, which focuses on the health of everyone involved, the Nürburgring will start on Thursday, April 30th, with "contactless tourist drives". Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, tourist drives will be the first activity that can take place in an adapted form. This means that everyone has the opportunity to drive their own car on the historic track. So that this is done according to uniform rules, the road traffic regulations are mandatory. The fascination of driving on the Nürburgring has been a result of the demanding track since the opening in 1927, which requires every professional and private driver a special skill and special care when driving the circuit. In times of Corona there are also a few things to consider.
“The health of everyone involved has always been our top priority. You can see that not only in the constantly expanding safety facilities on and around our race track. In times of Corona, we also see ourselves as obliged,”explains Nürburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort. "When developing customized concepts for our activities, it became clear that the tourist drives could be carried out with adjusted arrangements."
Package of provisions ensures maximum security for all who are involved
The provisions mentioned include that credits for the tourist drives are only available online and are therefore completely contactless from home on the PC or on the go with a cell phone. The track can be accessed on site using a QR code or a ticket. It is forbidden to get out of the car at the open entrance to the Nordschleife. Only the regularly disinfected toilet, where the entrance is controlled, is accessible.
The barrier in Breidscheid remains closed. Employees are specially trained and equipped with masks and disposable gloves. They ensure the planned process, check compliance with the rules and, if necessary, punish violations. For emergencies and problems, the office on the Nordschleife and a clearing office in the parking lot are staffed - here too, the necessary precautions have been taken to protect everyone involved. In addition, track safety is on the road as usual - in contrast to otherwise with one car for each employee. All employed workers and stewards are also specially trained in the generally applicable rules of conduct in "Corona" periods.
A maximum of two people per vehicle allowed - parking spaces closed
A maximum of two people per vehicle are allowed to drive the track as part of the tourist drives, who must already have arrived at the Nürburgring together. The driver must also write down the passenger who is accompanying him at the time of the trip so that a possible chain of infection can be traced. In order to prevent crowds around the track, all parking spaces around the Nordschleife are closed, as in the past few weeks. The Nürburgring also urges visitors via its channels to abide by the rules at all times - even outside the race track.
Hotels still closed
Even if contactless tourist drives take place, there are still no overnight accommodations in the region. The Nürburgring therefore requests that you refrain from traveling further and only come to the Nürburgring if a tourist drive is really carried out and you can then start your way home.