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Most Ringers are happy to offer passenger laps, but if you want to see how it really should be done, BMW runs a "Ring Taxi" service from April to October where you can take a ride around the Nurburgring with one of its drivers. Tickets cost €225 per car and can be booked with the Nurburgring directly (link below). Split three ways this is good value considering the cost to BMW of running the service is reputed to be over €400 per lap. Minimum age is 12 years and 150cm tall.
The taxis get booked up a year in advance, but it is worthwhile checking for cancellations nearer the time, especially when the weather is wet because some people just cancel their trip to the Nurburgring and you can take their place. It's also worth trying to buy a space in a car that's not full.
The video below demonstrates the showboating that takes place.
Note that Sabine Schmitz is no longer one of the drivers
Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24
The Nurburging also runs an Vantage "Co-Pilot" costing €295 per lap per person. You can see in the video that it is substantially quicker than the M3 taxi, but it is very expensive. Similar to the BMW Taxi though it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't make a lot of money out of the rides even at that price after wear and tear is accounted for. The minimum age is 18.
The old M5 Ring Taxi
This information relates to the old M5 Ring Taxi but I've left it in for interest. If anybody can update the statistics relating to suspension, tyres etc, please do so using the Comments box at the bottom of the page
The Ring Taxis (there are two) are V10 BMW M5s with modified suspension and brakes, one of them driven by Sabine Schmitz (formerly Sabine Reck). Both come highly recommended, but Sabine is said to be faster. A lap costs €195, but can take three passengers so it's pretty good value split three ways.
In fact, it's excellent value as it is reputed that it costs BMW €480 per lap. (Following an accident years ago in which either a wheel or suspension component failed, BMW changes the tyres every 10 laps, the brake-pads every 20 laps and the suspension every 50 laps. The cars are replaced annually.)
The current Ring Taxis surprisingly don't have rollcages. When we asked Sabine about this, she said the structure was very strong and there are airbags everywhere. She used gestures to make sure we understood about airbags ...
To call Germany for 1p/minute, use www.telediscount.co.uk by dialling 0844 861 78 78, then dial the German number when prompted. When booking, please mention Nurburgring.org.uk.