It was one of the great wonders of the world.
An historic racing circuit in western Germany where someone, anyone, could turn up with their own car or motorcycle and without even signing a waiver form or listening to a single safety lecture, drive "the Green Hell" as fast as they dared.
We’re talking of course about the Nurburgring - perhaps the most famous circuit in the world best known for its Nordschleife (north loop) section containing 160 turns in 22.8km of tarmac.
But all good things must come to an end, as they say, and it appears the days of virtually unlimited freedom at the Nurburgring have done just that.
Nurburgring management has confirmed the introduction of speed limits in response to a spectator fatality at the circuit earlier this year when a Nissan GTR hurtled over a fence.
The dream certainly isn’t over for ‘casual’ fans of the circuit, as they’ll still be allowed to hit 250km/h along the ‘gantry to bridge’ straight when the circuit is closed to other users, and 200km/h is the new maximum speed allowed in other sections.
The problem for the many fans of the 'Ring is that some hypercars can easily exceed these limits.
The speed limits however will be enforced even when the circuit is booked out and closed to other cars. So, bust out the tissue-box, but that would suggest that the pursuit of lap record glory at the ‘Ring is, for now, a thing of the past.
Honda said this week that it would defend its 7m50.63s lap record for front-wheel-drive hot hatches if it was ever challenged (a highly likely scenario) by building a faster version of its Civic Type R.
Seems that won’t be necessary now, and the 7m50s record for FWD cars could stand forevermore.
This is unwelcome news for Koenigsegg, as its insane One:1 rocket-ship has yet to challenge these times, and many believe it was more than a chance of setting another new lap record.
Holden’s VF Ute lap of 8m19.47s set in 2013 was originally designed to prove to the world that Australia’s home grown Commodore could match it with some of the best.
The local carmaker claimed a lap record for commercial vehicles at the time, and now looks likely to hold that record forever.
Nurburgring management said it will review the speed limits at the end of the year, and may remove them if they are deemed unnecessary.
But if the ‘Ring is like "any other road", convincing authorities to raise or remove a speed limit once it is place is nigh on impossible. Watch this space.
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MORE News & Reviews: Nurburgring | Records | Speed Limits