No less a person than Rudolf Caracciola won the first car race on the new racetrack on 19 June 1927 in the compressor Mercedes. This marked the beginning of a very special relationship between the pilots and the originally 172 bends with such harmless names as Aremberg, Fuchsröhre or Kesselchen. "Difficult to drive, easy to die” was how world champion Jochen Rindt assessed the incomparable challenge, and racing driving legend Jackie Stewart unintentionally gave the Ring its current name when he called it the “Green Hell”.
Almost every racing driver legend is inevitably linked with the old, 22.8-kilometre long Nürburgring. From Caracciola to Juan Manuel Fangio and Graf Berghe von Trips to Jim Clarke and Niki Lauda – all of them have made history as they chased best lap times on the Nordschleife and have contributed to the making of the legend. Above all Stefan Bellof, who in 1983 in a Porsche 956C hit the asphalt with the absolutely fastest lap time ever recorded, namely 6:11.13.
The legend was thus long since born and established when in the 1970s the gap between the increasingly faster racing cars and the insufficient safety precautions at the Nordschleife widened more and more. As early as 1970 extensive conversion work was needed to continue to attract Formula 1 to the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. But Niki Lauda’s fire accident in 1976 meant the final curtain call on the Grüne Hölle as a Grand Prix circuit. Difficult years followed, in which the future of the racing Mecca in the Eifel was anything but secure.
But the Rhineland-Palatinate state, together with the ADAC (German Automobile Association), stood by the Nürburgring and made it possible to plan and built a modern, completely new Grand Prix circuit which was opened in 1984. The future of the entire Nürburgring was thus secured. Even without Grand Prix sport, the Grüne Hölle was able to establish itself as the most important test track for the automobile industry worldwide and as a popular destination for tourist trips. Combining the Nordschleife with the Grand Prix circuit, as is done during the popular ADAC 24-hour race, make the Nürburgring probably the best-known and above all the most emotional racetrack in the world. Nürburgring key points with the support of the Nürburgring Motorsport Academy.