A lot of people don’t realise that Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring are only separated by around 65 miles of public road. So within the proverbial stone’s throw, you have arguably two of the greatest racing circuits on this planet.
On one hand you have Spa, probably the greatest grand prix circuit there is today, a circuit bestowed with a glorious racing history. On the other hand, you have the behemoth of the Nordschleife. Although just a couple of years younger than Spa, it’s a venue whose reputation precedes itself.
The question is simple: if you could only drive one, which would it be?
When I drove past Spa the other day I did wonder something similar to this. Personally though I enjoyed the greater feeling of freedom about going to the 'Ring compared to a normal track day. Different beasts though I guess. I took a leisurely lap around the 'Ring (http://speed-blur.com/2013/05/09/speed-blurring/) but if I'd been going to a circuit specifically for a track day it would have been much more intense. You get repetition driving around a circuit which is good for learning lines and pushing limits; the 'Ring is more like a great country road...without the worry of oncoming traffic.
I don't know actually, the ring is much better to drive on, but spa francorchamps is even nearer to my house, so this is quite a difficult choice as I like spa for it's placement and because I know where to get nice food around there after you race a bit in your crappy e21 with the m10 engine stuck in it like a brick that tries to spin your tires. Spa is definitely less fun to drive on, but more convenient to me.
However every trip to the Nürbürgring is worth it as you get german food, beer and the awesomeness of the track for slower cars, much more fun in a slow car. Nürbürgring wins until I can do an engine swap!
this is tough. I have driven the 'ring, and I would again (hopefully in something less pedestrian than a 198os Mazda 626 that gets overtaken by the tour bus), but it is starting to grate, hearing every manufacturer brag about 'ring times and 'ring facilities. While it is a nice proving ground, with most the corner types a manufacturer could plan for, I don't feel that it's necessary for a luxury saloon (or indeed EVERY GODDAMN CAR as has been the case recently) to be able to post good times; I also don't put any stock in pub numbers such as laptimes in a timed event where the timing was organized by the person whose car is being timed
On the other hand, Spa is not a circuit I have driven, and I doubt I would enjoy it much in a car what can't hit 75. But, it is in the good half of Belgium, and therefore it gets the win from me (Also if idiot marques started testing all their cars at Spa I might not have arthritis in my back just from reading about them)
I think the draw of the Nurburging is the fact you can actually turn up and drive round it, whicj is just unheard off in these days of Health and Safety!!!!! Although I would love to go to Spa for the atsmosphere-
My trip from last month in my Scirocco.
Nordschleife. I live within drivable distance of both. But the Green Hell has more pull. It's lengthe and elevation changes combined with countless curves, makes this The Circuit of the world.
Having driven both tracks withing 2 days just last week, I guess I can share my $0.2 worth...
If you've never driven any of these tracks, you'll have much more fun around Spa. The fact that it is easier to remember and a lot safer will make you a lot more relaxed. You can enjoy yourself after just a few laps and start to become somewhat fast after a day around Spa... At the Nürburgring, you'll be either super slower or in way over your head, and in both cases it won't be fun.
Spa has one iconic corner, the ring has hundreds of iconic corners. Ring hand over fist 10 times out of 10.
I would prefer SPA anytime. Even though The Ring is all mighty a I respect that. Spa is easy, fun to drive, one of a kind magic, the greatest curve in the entire racing history - Eau Rouge. I would race there every time. I kind of affraid of the mighty Ring that it will bite me hard and die. In Spa, it's all heaven. Not green Hell. +1 for SPA
the outcome of this was so obvious from the start making a poll was totally useless. everyone nut swings on the 'ring and spa will never receive the recognition it truly deserves from the mass of internet bench racers ...
Honestly... Hard to say as someone who's never been lucky enough to travel to either. I ended up picking Spa because it's shorter to pronounce.than Nurbuguugergering. I'm all about syllable conservation.
Very hard one. I live in Belgium so the dilemma works at the full 100% for me. It would be the Nordschleife in the end, simply because it is longer and has more curves. After all, the question contains "You can only drive one." Rather have the most then!
Never been to Europe but if I do it'll be both! Only 65 miles between them, it's only a hour drive! ;) but if I need to choose it'll need to be the 'ring.
Driven both numerous times, but its the 'Ring that still has the greater draw for me. The challenge and aura of the circuit cannot be matched.
@RaySpijk The dumb award goes too.......
@TristanDelchambre Steak on a stone at the Pistenklause? I'd say that's another good reason to choose the 'Ring! ; )
@eefy wow, great blog there. Jealous.
Yeah agree, the Nurburging is full of blind crests and corners with little or no run off room, you leave the track you for 6' to stop before a barrier. My first lap was seriously slow!!!!!!!
@dsc_off I completely agree that someone who's never driven either track will probably have more fun at Spa. I didn't enjoy the 'Ring the first time I went there; the weather was terrible, I was completely unfamiliar with the track and it was all just a bit too much. I'd assumed that the question would be if you could only drive one for the rest of your life, but it could very well be if you could only drive one for a day, in which case you've got a very good point!
@greenroadster Spa can be mastered quickly though, the Ring takes years and thousands of miles to understand. Would you rather have a cheap date that puts out, or a girl that continues to rock your world in bed and conversation the more you explore her each time you meet. Something to consider.
Ever see a modern F1 driver take on the ring? How timid do they look compared to Spa. The ring is hell on earth in the form of a a racing circuit and has to be the most challenging formal circuit on the planet. Theres a reason they don't race the Nordschlieffe and it's not money. Thats why it gets my vote.
@ssbeane I picked Spa for the simple reason that is be able to enjoy more of the track in the same amount of time =P
@w The question is : if you could only drive one, which would it be? Doesn't say anything about never being there, and children can dream one day to drive these places.
Looking at your comments I'd be willing to nominate you for the bench racer / magazine regurgitation award. You might actually be entitled to both.
Also, I love Eau Rouge better tha all the curves in The Ring. And Les Combes, Raidillon ... What, you preffer Adenauer Curve? The Ring is a great track but lacks charm. Mind vs Spirit.
Spa is a cheap date? Wow, talk about racing stuff...what about a nervous Lamborghini Diablo or a guillotine? Heds up boys, is no fun really in driven full the Ring... Oh, to drive 75% is ok. You can enjoy a date all the way better than to look at Shakira dreaming if one day you could...kiss her. You can never really master The Ring.
Both are in GT5. But nothing prepares you for driving the Nordschleife for real. Especially when it's cold and damp. Intimidating to say the least, even in a relatively underpowered trackday-spec Suzuki Swift. Spa is an epic circuit, but all the nut-swinging over the 'ring is perfectly justified. Long may the Holy-shit-that's-dangerous Nurburgring public open days continue, so that all speedhunters have the chance to experience it before sensible, logical Germans and health & safety nazis ban it for good (or the track owners run out of funding, again).
@Grand Sport What the f....when did I back pedal? Are you serious, or you can' t actually read? You are given a simpe premise to vote which circuit you prefer. That's it. If you think it's a silly poll, dont't participate. From what I see, most people can actually accept it for what it is and that in turn generate some healthy discussion as to why they choose what they choose. IMO,that's entirely the point why the set up the poll in the first place. As for calling names, let's not behhypocritical here shall we.. Go and learn comprehension, it might help you out
@Grand Sport @pwhyze God...it's a freaking poll made for fun. No one takes this seriously. It's a popularity contest to see which circuit people like the most IF they had to choose one. It's an entirely simple premise, and yet there's always guys who can't see it for it is. Untie your bunched panties will ya..sheesh. I don't intent to read every comment here so forgive me for not seeing his post.
@pwhyze Are you 15 or something? Have you ever actually been on a race track in your entire life? This guy says he would take both circuits (which is exactly what Dino said) and you want to attack him, yet you say nothing to Dino.
Spa and the Ring are actually so different you can't compare them and it is a little weird to ask someone which they prefer given how different they are. No reason why someone can't choose both. Of course you would actually have to have experience to understand that.
If a person has two of the greatest circuits within 65 miles why can't they pick both. These polls are kind of stupid IMO and I side with Ray on this.
@greenroadster For me it just amounts to loving tons of corners in succession. Eau Rouge is an insane corner and by far one of the most interesting in the world, but to use another analogy in terms of corners coming at you:
Spa seems more like corner....straight....corner....straight (and there are some long straights on Spa) which I would liken to fighting someone who is sort of large, but swings slow.
The ring on the other hand to me (to use a fighting analogy) is Mike Tyson in his prime. Those punches (corners) are being thrown at you so fast it's a much more intense experience. For me I need to feel that on a race track and in life to feel like I'm living so for me it's the Ring.
Keep in mind F1 doesn't even run the Nordsclieffe anymore which is a testament IMO to how crazy this track is.
@greenroadster Who has more curves though...Shakira or the Nurburgring? I don't think you can ever really master the ring unless you dedicate decades of your life to driving it like Sabine Schmitz etc.
If you made me chose between the Ring and Shakira...now THAT is tough.