There is one Nurburgring jump that most people know as the single spot where cars get airborne at the ‘Ring. But the truth is there are a few other places around the Nordschleife where you can also achieve lift-off. This article looks at them all.
Oh and that image above may or may not have been slightly edited…
Quiddelbacher Hohe / Flugplatz jump
The first opportunity you have to do a Nurburgring jump is at Quiddelbacher Hohe. This is around 3.5km in to a lap of the Nordschleife.
Quiddelbacher Hohe means the ‘highest point of Quiddelbacher’. Quiddelbach is a village next to this section of the Ring, and the highest point refers to the highest point on the track here, which is conveniently the top of the jump.
Getting air here these days is reserved only for the quickest cars. Some of the fastest productions cars being tested by manufacturers in the Industry Pool sessions will get some air under their tyres.
As will the fastest GT3 class race cars.
Race cars have been taking flight here for decades. In days gone by the crest was slightly steeper leading to some serious hang time.
Slower cars won’t leave the ground here though. My Clio 172 track car comes over the top of this jump at just over 100mph and stays firmly planted to the circuit, not even a hint of rev-rise or wheelspin.
This jump is often incorrectly referred to as the Flugplatz jump. Flugplatz corner is actually the left hander after the double-right of Quiddelbacher Hohe, after the jump. Flugplatz means ‘airfield’ so you can see why it would be the perfect name for this Nurburgring jump.
the Nurburgring GTR crash
In 2015 during a VLN race a Nissan GTR GT3 driven by the Gran Turismo academy driver Jann Mardenborough got a little too much air at this jump. As he came over the top of Quiddelbacher Hohe, air got under the front of his car and flipped it up and over backwards.
The car hit the top of the tyre wall and then cartwheeled over the catch fencing into the spectator area. Sadly one spectator was killed, and racing was halted at the Nurburgring for a number of months until additional safety measures were put in place. The catch fencing was upgraded and the spectator area moved back from the track.
The video can be found on YouTube if you really want to see it, but here’s a picture of another GTR ‘doing a wheelie’ over the jump at Quiddelbacher Hohe. This one got away with it and returned to all four wheels, but the one that crashed wasn’t so lucky.
Pflanzgarten 1 jump
The next Nurburgring jump is the one everyone knows about, and is the biggest. Situated at Pflanzgarten 1, 17km around the lap of the Nordschleife, it arrives shortly after YouTube corner. Many people who’ve driven the track have left with a picture of their car with all four wheels in the air here.
From behind the wheel this jump is actually quite hard to spot until you’re right on top of it. Not long after you passed through Brunnchen you’ll come to fast downhill section where the track snakes right and left. At the bottom of the downhill is a fast right hander, but right at the start of the braking zone for that corner is the Pflanzgarten 1 jump.
Almost all cars, if driven well enough, are able to get airborne here. My old Clio 197 managed it without much issue, as did Camber and Combustion’s 306 GTi6.
Pflanzgarten 2 jump
The next spot it literally just around the corner. The fast right hander after the Pflanzgarten 1 jump leads in to a left hander that steeply and violently drops downhill. This is Pflanzgarten 2.
You apex the left hander of Pflanzgarten 2 at the very moment that the drop is at its steepest. Rather than a proper jump like we saw at Pflanzgarten 1, here it is more likely that you’ll momentarily lose your steering and the car will want to go in a straight line if you’re going fast enough. It’s never a big jump, but in a fast car it’s enough to feel very unsettling. If you’re inexperienced it’s a good place to have a bad accident, as this Lotus Exige driver very nearly did.
It’s harder to get pictures of cars airbone here, but in the video below of GT3 cars racing in the VLN you can see how they all go in a straight line for a split second as they come down the top of the hill. This is as they get some air under their tyres and lose their steering.
bonus Nurburgring jump - Mini Karussell
Ok so this isn’t really a jump, but it’s often a spot where cars get 2 or more wheels in the air. The Mini Karussell (not the main Karussell) is one of the last corners on the Nordschleife, around 19km of the way around a lap.
It has two rows of concrete slabs that line the banked section of the corner. The inside row is positively cambered whereas the outside row is pretty flat, making quite a ridge between the two. If you pop out of the Mini Karussell a little two early you can hook your left wheels on the ridge and get some air beneath them. Dramatic, but maybe not the quickest.