After leaving Pirelli’s Sandbach facility, we spent a few hours “flying” on the autobahn as we made our way towards Nürburg, Germany. Next door lies the famous Nürburgring, a landmark well known to driving enthusiasts around the world. The Nordschleife circuit has become a performance benchmark for nearly every performance car manufacturer, too.
Coming as a bit of a surprise to us, Pirelli uses the Nürburgring as a primary test location for dry weather handling. This grueling 12.9 mile track snakes its way through 154 turns as it flows over the rolling German countryside. When we asked why they prefer to use the Nürburgring instead of a typical (and shorter) test facility or race track, the answer was simple – tires that work on the Nürburgring will also work on a shorter track, but not always the other way around.
Pirelli maintains a workshop tucked away in the bustling industrial park that lies just outside the track entrance. Pirelli works closely with Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Aston Martin and a slew of European and North American vehicle manufacturers, using the Nürburgring to prove their tire’s performance is worthy of Original Equipment (O.E.) fitment on some of the world’s most capable performance cars.
We had the chance to drive a lap of the Nordschleife circuit, and can attest to the punishing challenge this track provides.
Tomorrow we will get to see Pirelli race tires in action on the Nordschleife.