Germany’s Nürburgring circuit has become the test track of choice for auto manufacturers to benchmark performance claims, and with good reason. The track, nicknamed the “Green Hell” by F1 great Jackie Stewart, is among the most challenging in the world.
While most race tracks are designed to be challenging, few rival the Nürburgring’s length, number of corners and elevation changes. Worse, the ‘Ring is an extremely narrow track, with very little room for run-off. Make a mistake at speed, and the best you can hope for is an up-close-and-personal encounter with an armco barrier.
The ‘Ring’s popularity, exacerbated by local politics, have many complaining that the track has changed for the worse in recent years. While it’s not quite up to the Yogi Berra adage of “it’s so popular that no one goes there anymore,” the ‘Ring does seem to get more crowded (and hence, more dangerous) year after year.
Pistonheads reports that a new track, called the Bilster Berg Drive Resort, may soon offer drivers an alternative to the Nürburgring. In fact, the website has gone so far as to dub the new facility “Germany’s answer to the Ascari Race Resort.”
Designed with input from Walter Rohrl and Hermann Tilke, Bilster Berg is only 2.6 miles in length, so it won’t rival the full Nürburgring distance of 12.8 miles (or 11.9 miles, bridge to gantry). It may well equal the ‘Ring in difficulty, as Bilster Berg will feature nearly 230 feet of elevation change, in 44 different spots, over the length of the track.
One corner, named the Mausefalle (German for mousetrap), features a decreasing radius hairpin that follows a 26 percent grade. The other 21 corners promise to be nearly as challenging, and if the 3D rendering is to be believed, the track will be nearly as intolerant of mistakes as the ‘Ring.
Paving is set to begin in April, with the first track days already booked for July. If you find yourself in Bad Driburg, Germany, this summer, it may be worth a side trip to Bilster Berg just to check out the facility. It’s probably best to hit it soon, before it becomes too popular.