12th September 2017

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With the huge array of cultural capitals, world heritage sites and stunning landscapes that Europe has to offer, when asked for their top choice of places to visit, The Mechanics answer was simple – The Nurembergring.

Apparently, one of the most dangerous racetracks in the world, its 20 kilometres long, has a height elevation of 300 metres and has 154 corners. 80% of the corners are completely blind.  It was closed in the 70’s as it was deemed by drivers to be too dangerous to race on. Now it’s a ‘public toll road’ where any muppet can take their car around, including us.

The best way to experience the Nurburgring is obviously with a professional racing driver in a brand new 460 BHP race-tuned BMW M3. Perhaps not a in a 20 year old black London taxi. But it seemed to make sense to try both and see which was more exciting.

After an exhilarating lap of the track with the professional, reaching speeds of 230 km/h, the idea of doing the same in a taxi, suddenly seemed like a really stupid one. In fact only one of the six Mechanics was still game to take ‘Doris’ for a spin. Trying to reassure myself and Michelle that it really was a good idea to accompany the Mechanic, I asked a couple of the professionals if they would consider doing it – a resounding no from all of them.

I asked their PR guy the average number of fatalities a year and the answer was a well-rehearsed ‘No Comment’ – not sure how they can claim to be one of the most dangerous race tracks without telling you really how dangerous it is.

The main concern was that we might be hit from behind on a blind corner by a car travelling 130 km/h faster than us. Normally people fix ‘go pros’ on the front windscreen to record their lap. We mounted ours on the back windscreen as that’s where all the action was going to take place.

After Michelle jumped in the back of the taxi I rather chivalrously volunteered her the front seat as a much safer option, but danger seems to be her middle name, so I left her to take her place in the rear crush zone of the cab.

It took us 19 minutes and 37 seconds to get around the track in Doris, and we didn’t overtake a single car. The professional driver took us around the track in 8 minutes and 30 seconds and not a single car overtook us. I’m still not quite sure, which was the most fun, being the fastest or the slowest, but it did take the whole evening to wipe the smiles off our faces. I think perhaps there is a lot of truth in an old banger philosophy – winners come last…