This article is key in allowing you a chance at winning a trip to the Nurburgring to drive a high performance BMW M3 on its legendary tarmac in the Castrol EDGE Experience Nurburgring contest! Find out more by clicking here.

Considering that it was conceived and built in the late-1920s for the task of showcasing German talent in motorsport as well as the country’s engineering in the automotive field, much of the legend surrounding the Nurburgring has been unsurprisingly carved by racing.

The Ring came about as a means to take racing away from the public roads around the surrounding Eifel mountains, and when completed in 1927 in its original 28.265 km-long form, was first home to the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) Eifelrennen races, as well as the first German Grand Prix.

Up to 1939, the full distance of track, known as the Gesamtstrecke (Whole Course), was utilised, and in the years following the Second World War the run of the course for cars was shortened to the Northern Loop (or Nordschleife), and it was on this loop that the track continued to ply the F1 path until 1976.

Formula 1 may be long gone from the Ring, but the track is still home to many racing activities, some arguably more intimate than F1 ever was. There’s the annual 24 Hours Nurburgring, which sees a couple of hundred cars, from small output private entries to full factory race cars, competing in the event.

Also, the track has been a venue to a number of touring car series races like the Rundstrecken Challenge Nürburgring (RCN), which Castrol had a rather huge association with for many years when the series was called the Castrol-HAUGG-Cup.

Currently, there’s the DTM, or the German Touring Car Masters, as well as the VLN, which is an organisation of 10 German motorsport clubs, each of which hosts an event as part of a ten-race series run at the Nordschleife. And the track continues to be an integral part of ADAC’s activities – there’s even an ADAC Truck Race run there!

Away from motorsport, the Ring is ‘home’ to many car manufacturers and media publications (notably German mag, Sport Auto), which use the track as a proving ground for production performance vehicles – it is on weekdays that you’ll find the track taken up for what is essentially industry days. Given that one of the prerequisites of the track coming to be in the early days was that it would be – besides racing – used as a test bed, this activity is very much keeping to the original intent and scope .

Strategically, a good lap time for any car at the Ring isn’t just about helping to add flavour and allure to a particular model, which it of course does, but also very much so for bragging rights. After all, it helps no end if your car can lap that bit faster than your competitors.

Besides the two fastest times for production vehicles, both held by Radical SR8 versions and both under seven minutes, a number of names feature strongly in the fastest lap time list, notably that of Porsche and Nissan, who come with slightly different approaches – Porsche has a few 911 GT2 times that are undoubtedly rapid, but its race-spec’d take differs to Nissan’s, which says it comes to play with what are essentially stock GT-Rs. One thing’s for sure – there’s no end to the debate for armchair enthusiasts.

So, the Nurburgring has come a long way, really – it started life out as a racetrack, and now has become much more than that, attaining a status of almost mythical proportions. Its legend may have been shaped by the famous men and machines that raced through its length – Nuvolari, Carraciola, the Mercedes-Benz W154, Ferrari 312T and the Porsche 956 et al – but the Green Hell is now as full-fledged an entity as any of them, and arguably more famous than many of the drivers and cars that have been on it.

And while the winner of the Castrol EDGE Experience Nurburgring, who’ll get to go about Nordschleife in a BMW M3, won’t probably be breaking any lap records, the important thing to realise is that you’ll have the bragging rights of saying that you’ve done the Ring, and lapped what is truly one of the wonders of the automotive world.

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