How Long is the Nurburgring Nordschleife – the definitive answer

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Nurburgring 306

The Nurburgring is the longest, most technical and most challenging race circuit in the world. That’s why car manufacturers and keen track drivers alike put their cars and themselves to the test there.

But exactly how long is the Nurburgring Nordschleife? Well that depends on which specific circuit configuration you are looking at. In this article we will list the lengths, in both miles and km, of each of the different circuit layouts at the Ring.

Contents

How long is the Nurburging Nordschleife?

The Nordschleife is the ‘North Loop’ of the Nurburgring circuit. This is the infamously long, narrow and dangerous section of track that winds its way through the Eifel mounts. 

It is so long that it goes through a number of different towns and villages over the course of a lap, and there can be multiple different weather conditions on various sections of the track at the same time. 

Building the Ring was a labour intensive and expensive feat of German engineering. Learning the track is equally challenging, but well worth putting some effort in to before you head there for the first time.

A complete lap of the Nordschleife, starting and finishing at the same point is as follows:

  • Nurburgring Nordschleife full lap length in miles: 12.94 miles
  • Nurburgring Nordschleife full lap length in km: 20.83 km
Circuit map of the Nurburgring Nordschleife showing its total length

Nordschleife length - tourist driving

Any tourists or petrolheads who make the pilgrimage to the Nurburgring to take part in Tourist Driving are doing so to drive on the Nordschleife. Tickets for a full lap can be purchased individually, but that doesn’t mean you actually get to drive a full lap. Not quite anyway.

When taking part in Tourist Driving you are forced to exit the circuit at the end of each lap on the Dottinger Hohe straight and enter the car park area. 

To do another lap you have to go through the ticket barriers in the car park and re-join the circuit at the car park exit, a little further down the straight. The yellow line on the image below shows the route you have to take.

Nurburgring Nordschleife tourist driving route through the car park

The distance between the car park entry and exit points is 671 feet, meaning on a tourist lap of the Nordschleife, the total length of track you get to drive is:

  • Nurburgring Nordschleife tourist driving length in miles: 12.87 miles
  • Nurburgring Nordschleife tourist driving length in km: 20.63 km
Map of the Nurburgring Nordschleife showing how long the lap is for tourist driving

Nordschleife length - Bridge to Gantry

Not being able to use the full length of the circuit during Tourist Driving means Nurburgring drivers wanted to find a new unofficial start and end point for a lap during these sessions. So for many years the Nurburgring Bridge to Gantry lap has been recognised as the unofficial Tourist Driving layout against which people have compared themselves, and each other.

A Bridge to Gantry lap time starts when the car passes under the bridge at the end of the Dottinger Hohe straight, just as the track dips down and to the left between the Antoniusbuche and Tiergarten sections of track. 

This bridge is normally known as the Bilstein Bridge, as the performance suspension manufacturer Bilstein have had sponsorship signs on the bridge for many years. Here begins a BTG lap of the graffiti covered Nordschleife.

The Bilstein Bridge on the Nurburgring, the start of the Bridge to Gantry lap

The Bridge to Gantry lap time ends when the cars pass under the gantry at the start of the Dottinger Hohe straight, shortly after the exit from the final corner Galgenkopf. The gantry is normally sponsored by Audi Sport and is covered in their branding.

The Audi Sport gantry on the Nurburgring, the start of the Bridge to Gantry lap

The distance between the gantry at the start of the Dottinger Hohe and the bridge at the end of it is 1 mile. This means that the total length is:

  • Nurburgring Nordschleife Bridge to Gantry length in miles: 11.87 miles
  • Nurburgring Nordschleife Bridge to Gantry length in km: 19.1 km
A Map of the Nurburgring Nordschleife showing how long the Bridge to Gantry lap is

Nordschleife length - manufacturer lap time layout

Car manufacturers often use the Nurburgring as a development and proving ground for their latest performance cars. Often they will set an official lap time around the Nurburgring when the circuit is closed to the public. Usually this is to try and go a few seconds faster than their closest competitor.

When they do this, they use the ‘secret’ pitlane between T13 and what is now known as Sabine Schmitz Kurve as their base. The short straight bit of track between these two corners was never normally used during manufacturer test sessions and it used to be coned off. 

As such, lap records were timed starting at the green line and ending at the yellow line on the below image. 

Nurburgring Nordschleife t13 start and finish line used for lap record timing

The distance between these two points is 560 feet, 0.11 miles or 0.17km, so the manufacturer lap records used to be that much shorter than a full lap.

However, for the last couple of years manufacturers have been using the full track, so all recent lap times from official manufacturer runs should be on the full 12.94 miles / 20.83 km circuit, starting and finishing at the yellow line in the image above.

Nurburgring length - 24 hour layout

For the annual Nurburgring 24 hour race, the Nordschleife and GP track are combined together to make one long circuit. They are joined at T13 as can be seen in the below image.

For the 24 hour races the full GP track isn’t used. An infield section known as Mercedes Arena is bypassed. This means the total length is as follows:

  • Nurburgring 24 hour circuit length: 15.77 miles
  • Nurburgring 24 hour circuit length: 25.38 km

How long is the Nurburgring straight?

The Dottinger Hohe is the longest straight on the Nurburgring, and can be seen from the main Nurburgring Webcam. It is usually the point where racers, track day drivers or manufacturer test drivers will reach their fastest speed over the course of a lap. Tourist drivers will not, however, as they are not able to use the whole straight.

  • Nurburgring straight length: 1.30 miles
  • Nurburgring straight length: 2.09 km

This is measured from the end of the red and white kerb on the inside of the exit of Galgenkopf, the final corner, to the Bilstein Bridge at the other end of the Dottingher Hohe, as the track starts to curve left towards Tiergarten.

Whilst this is a long straight, the final 0.6 miles / 1 km are slightly uphill so it is never likely that a car will reach its VMax on this, or any, part of the Nurburgring.

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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