An imitation of “Friday Night Lights” by H.G. Bissinger based on a physical description of the Nurburgring, Germany.

Paul Travis

As you first pull into the Nurburgring for the first time you become immersed by the state of the road course, as if butterflies are flying around in your stomach. Pulling onto the starting grid, the rows of rich men’s supercars followed by high end performance vehicles with drivers prepared to test their new Ferrari or Porsche. Farther down comes the true beginning of the course, starting with the long straights.

You come off the starting grid to be met by the straights and slight curves. You drive as you hear high revving engines surrounding you of cars you can only dream of owning, passing you on a straight, owning you on a turn, making you feel like you are not compelled enough as a driver.

Farther through the course, past the straights and high speed corners, you meet a different Nurburgring. A track where every bit of concentration is needed, every downshift so precise, with slow speed corners where braking is the name of the game. The section where your car’s speed doesn’t matter, but the skill you possess. There is still another Nurburgring across the starting line, back to the long straights. The area that doesn’t require the skill some have.

Driving through again, heading fast on the long straight approaching the first hairpin, there’s a feeling of knowing the fathomless enjoyment of racing. And then it comes out of nowhere, the first set of hairpins leading you into the slow speed section with only fencing keeping you in the track. Gazing around as the crowd watches you, looking up to the cameras and keeping your eyes on the driver in front of you, you wonder what it must be like on a Saturday night, when all the lights are on and the heart and soul of you team and crew chief are cheering from the pits, cheering for a championship victory.