One person has died and seven others have been injured in a crash during a tourist track day at the Nürburgring in Germany on Monday.
It only costs 25 euros, or $29, for anyone to take their own car out on the iconic 12.9-mile Nordschleife during what the track bills as its touristenfahrten days. Accidents at the track aren’t uncommon, but this Monday’s accident was uniquely disastrous.
On Monday, a Porsche 911 GT3 was running at speed on the track, one witness told Road & Track, when the car began to smoke and dump coolant onto the track surface. The driver pulled off onto the grass at the Bergwerk corner, but there was a significant amount of coolant left on the track surface itself.
A tow truck entered the track to recover the vehicle, and that was when disaster struck. A Mazda MX-5 collided with the recovery vehicle and burst into flames.
One local news source claimed that 10 vehicles ultimately ended up piling up on the track. Among those involved were a Corvette C7 and two motorcycles, a local source told Road & Track.
Here’s a firsthand account from one of R&T’s sources:
“I came round the left kink to be confronted with cars parked on both grass verges and the track was obviously blocked so I parked the car up out of the way. At this point I think it was a mixture of smoke and fire extinguisher residue floating into the sky. I couldn’t really see but as it cleared I was shocked to see one of the orange Lenz low loader tow trucks with a car wedged underneath it. The car was unrecognizable. No idea what it was. It had pushed the truck into the air and was completely underneath. I also noticed a motorcycle on its side more towards the front of the truck.
“We were then instructed to turn our cars around and follow the ring taxi BMW M5 backward down the track to exit at the Adenau entrance. As we exited the track, more emergency services were arriving. Police, ambulance, fire brigade, etc. Then the air ambulance came.”
“Unfortunately, the vehicles involved followed too quickly, so that this accident occurred,” a Nürburgring spokesman told SWR, a local news publication.
The driver killed was a regular at the Nürburgring.