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Last updated 19th March 2015 for Touristfahrten dates to the end of October 2015
If the date you are looking at has no colour, the track is not open that day, or no information has yet been released about that day. When the track is open you just need to drive to the entrance, buy a ticket, and drive onto the Nürburgring. It's that simple. The entrance is on the west side of the main straight, just to the south of Nürburg. See the map.
Over the years many people have called for cars and bikes to be separated on Touristfahrten and many bikers have stopped riding on public days due to the dangers of either being hit by a car or slipping on oil or fluids dropped from a vehicle. There were four bike-only evenings in 2014, I will update 2015 dates when I get them.
If there is an event happening at the Nürburgring when you want to go, it could either be on the Nordschleife (where Touristfahrten happens), or the Grand Prix track, or both. Some events take place on the morning or afternoon only, but you should bear in mind that access to either track will be limited, and hotels in the area might get booked out far in advance.
You can find out more about these events by visiting the official site.
Private track days at the Nürburgring
Destination Nürburgring is a private track day where the Ring is closed. The benefits of driving the Nordschleife on a closed track day are that there will be fewer cars, the standard of driving (should) be higher than on Touristfahrten days, instruction is available and encouraged, and there is no third party liability for UK drivers (see Insurance). Sometimes the track is opened for Touristfahrten in the evening after the track day.
More details of Destination Nürburgring, Nürburgring 700, and Circuit Days track dates can also be found on the Organised Tours page
The Nürburgring can be hired at short notice by manufacturers or track day organisers, and the track
can open and close at very short notice - although the managers have said this year they will try to avoid this. However, you have to accept that there is a risk the Ring may be closed when you get there. You can minimize the risk by checking the Ring's official Touristfahrten calendar:
The Nürburgring trackside office has the most up to date information on track opening times. The number is +49 2691 302 630, but don't expect them to speak English.
There are ten four hour races a year in this endurance series held on a combined Nordschleife and (shortened) GP track. Entrants range from compacts and classics to fully developed race cars. Access to most of the Nordschleife is free and Grandstand tickets are only €15 in 2012 (up from €12 in 2011) including access to the paddock. Most races start Saturday 12pm and there is usually an evening Touristfahrten after the race finishes at 4pm. It's well worth going to see if it coincides with your visit and is rarely crowded around the track.
RCN is apparently the oldest touring car race series in Germany. It is described as grassroots motorsport so expect familiar cars but not the full race cars of the VLN. Entrance to the Nordschleife is free for spectators.