Most people’s attention span for watching online videos they’ve been linked to will stretch to 30 seconds, perhaps 60 on a good day but seldom much longer. That is unless it’s a lap of the Nordschleife, where even the grainiest and poor quality onboard footage captivates those with unleaded coursing through their veins for the best part of 10 minutes.
There are tens of thousands clips of this fantastic circuit available on YouTube and other media websites, as enthusiasts and manufacturers show off their love and passion for one of the greatest circuits ever built.
A great ‘Ring video isn’t defined by one trait. A fast lap time, enthusiastic driving styles, high quality footage, deafening exhaust notes or simply unusual machinery being piloted have all been reasons for onboard laps of one of Germany’s top motoring attractions to go viral.
Using our SkiddPlayer, we’ve brought together our top 10 videos from the ‘Ring, consisting of classic footage, F1 world champions, contemporary F1 cars, GTs, sports cars and more. We hope you enjoy watching the clips as much as we did finding them, and encourage you to share with us some of your favourite videos by either tweeting us @DriversRepublic or submitting them to SkiddPlayer.
#10 – Nissan GTR (7:26:7)
It’s not the fastest ever lap you’ll see of the Nordschleife, but it’s definitely one of the most impressive given the way the GTR punches well above its price level to circulate faster than a Porsche Carrera GT and Koenigsegg CCX. The video is a brilliant demonstration of how hard a driver can push when the electronic safety net that is the GTR’s various systems allows the driver to focus fully on the task at hand – going very, very fast. He might need a new front splitter though after the way he dropped into the first Karrusell.
#9 – Fernando Alonso’s Renault Mégane R26
This footage is a few years old now and sadly isn’t a complete lap, but it’s another one of those videos that shows how talented drivers can juggle driving quickly, engage calmly in conversation and terrify their passengers all at once. What’s also nice about this clip is that apart from Alonso’s genuine enthusiasm for exploiting the full potential of the Renault, is that we also get a glimpse of Alonso’s aggressive driving style without the usual cover up in F1 of a full face helmet and semi-closed cockpit. If you’re reading Luca, it’d be nice to see a video of Alonso take a Ferrari FXX round with similar gusto.
#8 – “Loaded” BMW E46 M3 CSL (7:22)
If you have a nervous disposition towards very loud vehicles, look away now. This clip is from Swedish tuners “Loaded” who have modified an E46 M3 CSL, already one of the best sounding cars on the road, and fitted a supercharger and other goodies to produce a car that literally screams its way around the German countryside. The way the car howls its way up to Aremberg is nothing short of magnificent.
#7 – Manthey Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
It wouldn’t be a ‘Ring videos top 10 without a clip from onboard a Porsche 911, would it? So we feel if we’re going to include one, we may as well choose the fastest one currently out there, with the #1 Manthey Porsche on ‘Ring taxi duties as they blitz around backmarkers like they’re stood still in the 24 hours race. Expect to see the #1 blinding backmarkers with its flashing headlights en route to another race victory in next weekend’s 2010 Nürburgring 24 hours.
#6 Porsche 996 GT2 vs. Caterham R500
Every ‘Ring video playlist also needs an on track battle. It’s not strictly legal to race against each other on open trackdays, but it certainly makes for enthralling footage if the cars duelling are driven to their limits and more. In this amateur video, the more powerful but heavier Porsche goes head to head in peculiar match up against the lightweight Caterham R500. It’s fascinating seeing the more agile and nimble Caterham corner better than the Stuttgart brawler, then the sheer grunt of the Porsche allowing the camera car to catapult by on the straights. Our favourite bit of this video though is the crazy shouting by the driver at 1:38 and the friendly thumbs up at the end, great stuff from a typically enthusiastic Italian pilot.
#5 – BMW F1 driven by Nick Heidfeld
Sadly, there’s no full onboard footage of Stefan Bellof’s lap record (6:11) in his WSC Porsche, but we can bring you some high speed action thanks to Nick Heidfeld’s demonstration runs in 2007. Heidfeld isn’t pushing to the very limit given it’s a non-competitive demonstration and the run off areas are hardly accommodating for an F1-sized accident, but he’s still massively faster than any other video you’ll ever see by a non-single seater car. Suspend logical thought, major logistical headaches and safety concerns for a moment, can you imagine how incredible it would be if they still raced modern F1 cars at the Nordschleife?
#4 – Radical SR8 LM by Michael Vergers (6:48)
Forget your Ferraris and Porsches, if you want to show someone who has never seen the ‘Ring before what all the fuss is about, show them this Michael Vergers Radical SR8 LM lap. Vergers is known for being utterly fearless and this 6:48 lap is testament to this fact. Whilst the Radical is not the fastest car in terms of outright speed, its tremendous midrange and cornering ability make it a potent ‘Ring weapon. There are far too many moments to count where Vergers almost loses control and visits the scenery, but he somehow keeps it altogether to achieve the present ‘Ring record for a production vehicle. And yes you did see right, at 6:00 Vergers up-shifts through the notorious Pflanzgarten section. Crikey.
#3 – Graham Hill narrates Hermann Lang’s Mercedes W125
This clip from 1962 is a wonderfully sedate look at the Nordschleife as it appeared in the 1960s when trees were preferred as impact structures over tyre walls and barriers. The 646bhp monster is a joy to watch as it navigates a far greener looking circuit than we see today. Hill’s very British narration is full of interesting insight and catches the zeitgeist of the 1960s perfectly. Be sure to check out the crazy levels of positive camber and bus sized steering wheel on the W125.
#2 – Opening lap of the 1975 German Grand Prix
Back to sub seven minute lap times here in a real gem of a video featuring the opening lap of the penultimate Grand Prix at the ‘Ring. There’s no commentary on this clip which allows you to take in the magnificent sounds of 1970s F1 as Ferrari’s Niki Lauda is chased by a Tyrrell-Ford all lap as the pair streak away from the chasing pack. Be sure to turn the speakers up as Lauda’s Ferrari screams and squirms its way up Ex-Mühle (3:37) en-route to an eventual 3rd place.
#1 – Sideways RUF CTR1 Yellowbird
If you’re a car fan and have an internet connection, then in all likelihood our #1 ‘Ring video comes as no surprise to you as it’ll already be in your favourites, having been viewed again and again on a regular basis. As our final video, we present one of the finest car videos there ever will be online, so sit back and switch between grinning ear to ear and gasping at the ludicrous angles achieved in what is one of the best ever displays of car control.
Get involved – your video suggestions
We’ve had many of you tweet in your suggestions for videos that should’ve made our top 10. @PistonSpy suggested the brief highlights clip of Stefan Bellof’s incredible 6:11 lap record and Jackie Stewart narrating old footage of Stirling Moss and later some F2 drivers working the wheel at the ‘Ring. Porsche fan @Porschephile put forward Derek Bell’s complete onboard lap and there’s been enjoyment by all on some of the sounds of all the cars in our top 10, particularly Lauda’s Ferrari in clip #2. Keep your suggestions coming and we’ll be sure to add them to the article.
Feel like we missed something? Drop us a comment beneath or check out all of these videos and more on our dedicated SkiddPlayer Nürburgring Channel.