The 150,000 capacity Nürburgring is a motorsports complex around the village of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is located about 70 km (43 mi) south of Cologne, and 120 km (75 mi) northwest of Frankfurt. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer old “North loop” track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in theEifel mountains. The north loop is 20.8 km (12.9 mi) long and has more than 300 metres (1,000 feet) of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track “The Green Hell,” and it is widely considered to be the most demanding and difficult purpose-built racing circuit in the world.
Originally, the track featured four configurations: the 28.265 km (17.563 mi)-long Gesamtstrecke (“Whole Course”), which in turn consisted of the 22.810 km (14.173 mi) Nordschleife (“North Loop”), and the 7.747 km (4.814 mi) Südschleife (“South Loop”). There also was a 2.281 km (1.417 mi) warm-up loop called Zielschleife (“Finish Loop”) or Betonschleife (“Concrete Loop”), around the pitarea.
Between 1982 and 1983 the start/finish area was demolished to create a new GP-Strecke, and this is used for all major and international racing events. However, the shortened Nordschleife is still in use for racing, testing and public access.