Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit

The latest Forza Motorsport 3 downloadable add-on has been released on Xbox LIVE Marketplace (400 MS points), and this time around, we’ve re-created one of the world’s most renowned and technical tracks for your racing pleasure. Introducing the Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit, a demanding road course built to test the mettle of the world’s best drivers. The DLC pack comes with 2 tracks on the Grand Prix Circuit and will cost only 400 MS points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. But before your rubber meets the road, check out our quick summary on the track below to get caught up all the facts.

The modern “Grand Prix Strecke” layout at the Nürburgring suffered an identity crisis of sorts when it opened its doors in 1984. Carved into the tree-laden foothills of the Eifel Mountains in the western region of Germany, the Nordschleife was brutally long at 14 miles and, with its elevation changes, was more rollercoaster than road circuit in some of its more harrowing sections.

First, a quick piece of history about The Nordschleife: Its most epic motorsport moment on the track has to be Juan Manuel Fangio’s remarkable come-from-behind win in 1957. After a pit snafu put him 50 seconds behind the Ferraris of Hawthorne and Collins, Fangio illustrated how he earned his El Maestro nickname as he harnessed all his talent and pushed his sleek Maserati 250F to its absolute limit. Laying down devastating fastest laps in succession, some up to 11 seconds faster than the Red Racers, Fangio passed the Ferraris on the next-to-last lap. The charge secured the F1 championship for Fangio and turned out to be the last victory of his illustrious career. To this day the spectacle is touted as the best drive ever seen in F1.

002gWith the Nordschleife notoriously narrow and the cars becoming significantly swifter the ‘Ring was deemed too dangerous in 1976 and thus F1 moved to Hockenheim. The Grand Prix Strecke project was tasked with getting F1 back on the Nürburgring. The new circuit was certainly safe but its turns were designed with protractors and mathematical equations where the old track allowed the terrain to define it, giving it an organic soul and challenging both driver and car alike. Nevertheless, the Strecke fulfilled its mission in 1984 when the European Grand Prix was won by Alain Prost in a McLaren. The German Grand Prix returned to the ‘Ring in ’85 with Michele Alboreto winning in his Ferrari. But the trail went dry. Perhaps the track was too sanitized, its run-off areas, which pundits of the day would likely measure in acres not meters, put the fans too far from the action. Perhaps it did not appeal to the machismo that is F1. Maybe it was ahead of its time.

Fast forward a decade later to 1995 when the F1 madness returned for the European GP. None other than hometown hero Michael Schumacher ushered in the current era of the Strecke, taking the checkered flag behind the wheel of a Benetton. The circuit’s geometrically correct corners made it tough to pass so it was tweaked in 2002, adding a first-gear hair-pin that put an emphasis on braking and car control, inviting racers to out-brake each other and either reap the benefits or pay the price. The Mercedes Arena section was also installed to allow drivers to better dice it up.

The Grand Prix Strecke would host the European GP until 2007 when F1 decided to run only one race in Germany. From 2007 to 2010 the Nürburgring and Hockenheim shared the German GP. The Grand Prix Strecke also plays host to the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, 1000km Nürburgring, DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) series, and numerous endurance series events. Turn 10’s DLC offering opens the door to this modern classic. No matter what you roll out of your garage the Strecke entices drivers to tame the Coca-Cola Curve, Ford Curve and Dunlop Curve, master the Mercedes Arena section and dominate the straight-aways. Auf wiedersehen!

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