Car Life: Heavenly hell on earth

I don’t know what started it, I can’t remember when exactly and I don’t know why this adoration keeps growing. I don’t even know if I have the right pictures to express it and I don’t know if I can find the right words to explain it to you. You’re probably thinking: What the hell is he talking about? Well I’m aiming at my intimacy with the well know Green Hell. This place works in mystirious ways and raises so many emotions and memories within me that I don’t even know where to start precicely. I guess I will kick it off with some historical facts and information about the legendary Nürburgring.

The Nordschleife is 20,81km long in its current form. Imagine the longest circuit you’ve ever driven and it will not even come close to the Ring. In the twenties of the past century, the German Eifel was decor for the famous Eifelraces. When the years pass, the popularity of these events grew and it became more and more dangerous since the races were held on public roads.

The governement had to step in and decided that a proper track had to be built for these “Rennen”. That decission was made in 1925.

I was quite suprised when I read various blogs and sites during some research. The most astonising fact that I discovered is that the intire track was built in only 18 months. The reason that I selected some overall look pictures for the start of this article is that you’re now probably thinking that that’s almost impossible.

Of course a lot has changed over the past century but the creation of this 8th wonder of the world, really only took 18 lousy months. It used to exist as the Nordschleife and the Sudschleife. The northern part of the circuit was mostly used for the Grand Prix races and the southern track was used for more short distance races and motorcicle championships. The whole track was called the Gesamtstrecke and had a distance of 28km and 265m.

The Nordschleife remained in its current existence and the sudschleife was rebuilt to the current GP-strecke and is partially public road nowadays. I can tell you enough about the track history but there are websites, books and magazines enough which did that before me and you’re only 2 clicks away to the world wide web to find just every little detail there is to find about it. From the horrific accident in 1976 of Nicki Lauda in the Bergwerk corner to amazing landscape photography captured on analogue film.

But why is it that we have such an attraction to the environment and to the track. It’s not because of the many fatal accidents that allready happened and It’s not because of sandy beaches where they serve sweet cocktails, because there are none.

Some of you might have been there once or twice and some of you might have driven it houdreds of times. I know for sure that when you were there, it left a certain impact on you. An impact and an impression you’ve never felt before.

I don’t see this place as a habitat for the average car nut. But it’s a heavenly place for many reasons and people from diffirent ages and from all over the globe.

It might sound strange but I feel home there. Me and some of the Wangan Warriors family members are fortunate enough to live only 140km from it so we can drive there whenever we want.

I can recall some times that my fellow Warrior Noud called me to ask if I wanted to go and eat pizza in the Adenau town, linger aside from the track for an hour and drive back home. Believe it or not but that hour next to the track disposes your mind from all stress and problems you’ve had that week.

It’s also disneyland for photographers. The diffirent photolocations amaze you every 100m you walk near the track.

The most impressive place is the Carousel. You will always ask yourself these questions: Do you hear something coming? Can we cross or is it suicide? Is it worth it? Well, yes it is!

The small carousel at the end of the track is by far not as steep as the big one but nonetheless a pleasure to capture photographically.

I’m not looking to do a whole story about all the politics that are going on and wether the track will stay open or not. It would be a celebration if we could witness it going into a century of existance and let’s hope for eternal activity.

But if the sad day will come that it will close, ask yourself one question. “Why didn’t I drive it?” When you’re in Europe, it’s worth the trip. When you’re somewhere on the globe, It is as well. If you don’t have the money, try to save for it. If you don’t care, well then don’t. But if you do, try it and live it because it will be an experience beyond your expectations and dreams. No videogame, photo or film can impersonate it.

I would like to conclude this article with this photo. Not because it’s the best photo or because it’s actually captured on the track itself. But because it’s one of my first and only analogue photographs of the track. And in my opinion it came off pretty good. For the photography geeks out there it’s taken with a Canon eos 500 with a Kodak T-max B/W 35mm film.

If somebodies thinking how many laps I’ve driven on the Ring. Well only one. I’m not an ardent circuit driver and I’m not aspiring to be that one day. I rather capture those that are. I know that I lived it and I respect it. And If your lucky to ever have the chance, try to drive it with caution, live it for those few minutes that your on, and respect it for eternity.

– Rens Adams