Illustration for article titled This Is Why You Pass On The Left At The Nürburgring

People tend to forget that the Nürburgring is a public road, and while it is the place where all your magic track fantasies can come true (or kill you) public traffic laws are still in effect. This video from our friends at Bridge To Gantry shows why.


The incident in question happens about 45 seconds into the video:

The yellow Lotus wants to pass the black Ford Puma, sees a gap, and goes for it on the right, only for the Puma to move unexpectedly to the right also. The result is a spinout by the yellow Lotus, and a presumable "Oh Shit" moment from the driver of our camera car, a blue Lotus.


What went wrong here? Bridge To Gantry explains:

  • On a multilane highway (eg. Autobahn/autostrada/motorway) it is illegal in all European countries to overtake on the wrong/inside lane. In Germany that means overtaking in ONLY on the left, NOT on the right. The only exception would be if the car in the outside (left) lane was indicating to turn left at a junction up ahead. Even then, you should be cautious.
  • Because it's a simple rule to understand (you'd think) it's often adopted by major trackday organizers to help control overtaking and (hopefully) make things a little safer. Of course a lot of private events have their own rules (point by with the indicators, no overtaking at all etc...) and in race events there are no rules at all.

BTG says the yellow Lotus driver likely knew that rule, but went for it anyway, which they call "Crazy Nürburgring Syndrome," or people driving above their abilities for extended periods. And if the cops got involved, the incident would be on the Lotus' driver.

Shit happens on the 'Ring, but some of it can be avoided if you do the right thing.

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