The descent into the Fuchsröhre
I have driven several times at the Nürburgring Nordschleife but the part you fear the most at this incredible racetrack is without a doubt the Fuchsröhre! The first corners of the Fuchsröhre are easy. But the last corner is more exciting, intimidating and dangerous than the famous Raidillon at Spa-Francorchamps.
During the construction of the Nürburgring there was a fox living in a drainage pipe on this site. So they called this part Fuchsröhre, German for fox hole. The Fuchsröhre contains five corners which can be taken flat out! Easy you think?
Coming from the Aremberg corner you accelerate under the bridge to the Fuchsröhre. First you have a left right combination behind a hillock, so you have to turn in before you can see the corner while you keep your right foot on the throttle.
After this the track goes steep downhill, which makes you accelerate even faster. After a very short straight, just enough to swift, you go into a left sweeper with a bump at the clipping point! While you keep your pedal to the metal, with a speed of 180 km/h (115 mph) or faster, you’re bouncing outside when you hit the bump! Exciting isn’t it?
A lot of G-forces!
Your speed increased over 200 km/h (125 Mph) when you’re reaching the last two corners of the Fuchsröhre. You see the right left combination in front of you while you still go full throttle downhill. Something tells you to lift your foot from the throttle but you know you can take it flat out!
It’s always a fight with yourself to keep your right foot down. The right corner is a short sweep but the left one is longer. In the middle of this corner you go from steep downhill to steep uphill and you feel more G-forces than you ever did in a normal corner! It must be a Formula One experience in a normal road car. Even if I think about this corner I feel the G-forces!
It’s exciting and scary at the same time, because I know that the car is extremely overloaded here. In a Formula 1 documentary about the seventies, Sir Jackie Stewart told about the Fuchsröhre that there are so many G-forces that he couldn’t take his foot from the throttle!
But some tourist drivers do lift the throttle in the middle of the last corner of the Fuchsröhre… They come out of the corner backwards and crash, due to the load change they caused by lifting. So never lift in a fast corner! If you don’t want to take it full throttle, slow down before the corner.
Text & pictures: Herman Liesemeijer
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