Monday, December 16, 2013

The Ring

I know what you're talking about already.
No you don't.
Yes I do.  The Ring of Power.  To wit:  One Ring to rule them, One Ring to bind them.  One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness find them.
That's not it.
How about the Nibelungenlied?
Not that ring either.

When I say "The Ring," I refer to the Nordschleife Course at the Nürbergring.

You've driven it?  Likely not, although if you find yourself in Nürberg and are willing to sign an insurance waiver and pay a fairly hefty fee you can lap it in your road car.  Best to go on a Sunday in the summer.  Jackie Stewart called it Green Hell -- the most difficult road course in the world.

Me?  I've driven The Ring any number of times on my Playstation 3, my weapon of choice being a highly-modified Lamborghini Gallardo 560-4.  Full-time 4WD.  Perhaps 800 BHP (way up from the stock 650).  Matte black, like an assassin.  You should see the thing.  It doesn't go around corners very well, but when you put your foot in it ... well, it's like the Millennium Falcon engaging the hyperdrive.  If you come over and bring some beer I'll let you drive it.  Lately I've been drinking Blue Moon Heart of Darkness Stout (which, if you like Guinness, is worth a test drive).

Anyway, there's much talk about Formula E -- the electric car racing formula that will start next year, so I thought this might give you some helpful background ...

This, I guess, is the baddest Prius in the world.  It laps The Ring at 7:47.  The fastest I've ever been able to muster is the high 9s, although my Lamborghini sounds way cooler than the Toyota.  In fact, the voracious whoosh (twin turbochargers) it makes under full acceleration has to be heard to be believed.

The knock against Formula E is that nobody wants to watch race cars that don't sound like race cars.  I'm not sure I have an answer for that.


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