The best Ring-side seat

Every Nurburgring video should come with commentary, BMW & Nissan show the way.


Manufacturers love the Norschleife, all 21km and 154 bends of it. They run their prototypes on it, and when time comes to market the latest and greatest, they release videos accompanied by in-car footage with a “new” lap record in tow. There are many ‘Ring videos on YouTube (maybe too many), most are a chore sit through, somehow watching green scenery fly past through a letterbox slit remains second best to a scantily-clad Instagram star. Besides, a complete lap of takes upwards of seven minutes, and videos that lengthy can seriously deplete smartphone batteries.

But two ‘Ring videos stand out in recent memory, they had me coming back for seconds, and thirds. The secret ingredient is the accompaniment of drivers’ narration (recorded after the fact, not during their scary, balls-out laps), the result is that the footage comes across instructional in nature, yet no less engaging as the drivers talk you through the entire lap. If you’re headed over to that part of Germany and want to get through a lap of the Green Hell, the next 15 minutes would be time well spent.

BMW M4 GTS (Jörg Weidinger)

Weidinger works on vehicle dynamics at BMW M division, and was previously a Driving Experience instructor and race car driver. His eerily calm delivery mirrors the smooth and precise manner which he piloted the 500hp/600Nm 1,510kg M4 GTS around Nurburgring in 7 minutes 28 seconds. The vocabulary that centers around “stable”, “jump”, “flat”, “compression”, “downforce” “grip” and “kerb” is also repeated in the GT-R video below. Can’t tell if he even made one mistake over the 154 bends, what a clean lap.

Nissan GT-R Nismo (Michael Krumm)
Krumm is a Nissan brand ambassador and racer (and spouse to ex-WTA star Kimiko Date). He gives a candid account of his lap as he muscles the 1700+kg, 600hp/650Nm all-wheel-drive, optioned-out GT-R Nismo around the Norschleife – you can literally see (and hear) the Nissan understeer on certain tight corners and then its AWD system working hard to haul the R35 out of them. Krumm even alludes us to the spot where Niki Lauda had his fiery crash. The stop watch ends at 7 minutes 8 seconds but he would have worked much harder than Weidinger.