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The Fast Track Hockenheimring

Hockenheimring High Tech Race Track photoIn past years, Germany had two formula one Grand Prix races, but now and beyond the world’s premier racing series will only have a single event in Germany, alternating between the country’s two most famous race tracks, Nurburgring and Hockenheim. For 2008, the German GP Formula 1 race will be held at Hockenheim, known for its fast speeds. Where the legendary Nurburgring is located in the remote hills of Rhineland-Palatine south of Cologne, the Hockenheimring, is just 30 minutes south of Mannheim and 10 minutes from Speyer, just off the A6 outside the town with the same name in Baden-Württemberg. Hockenheim can be easily reached on a quick side trip through central west Germany, whether planning to catch the German Grand Prix Formula F1 race cars on the big weekend in July, or just a visit to one of the racing world's premier tracks.

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Jim Clark Revival classic races Hockenheim photoHockenheimring hosts a variety of other race events and motorsports activities through out the year. The Jim Clark Revival. Named after the racing great world champion who was killed at Hockenheim in a F2 crash in 1968, is held at the end of April. One of the largest classic legacy racing events in Europe for vintage speed machines, which in 2007 featured 650 classic race cars on the high speed modern track, (see Monaco Historics). Where F1 GP event tickets can go for 71€ to over 300 euro for a grandstand seat, tickets for the classic cars are about 15€. A Drift Challenge Tuner Grand Prix is held in late May, Europe's and Motorcycle Championships in mid-September, followed at the end of September by Ferrari Racing Days when the famed red machines own the track. Other race events like Porsche Club Racing are also held on selected weekends and Europe's biggest drag races at the Hockenheim Drag Strip.

Race Taxi Mercedes Hockenheim photoThough for some high speed fun, one needn’t sit in a stand and watch others speed around the circuit. The Hockenheim race track offers a number of activities for the speed addicted car enthusiast. A ride as a passenger in a Race Taxi will take you around the high speed circuit’s corners at the razors edge with a professional driver at the wheel. Though the fare in this very special taxi is not cheap. Prices range from 178 € for a race tuned Porsche RSR to 228 € for a ride in a full-on Group C Sports Race Car. Check with the track for availability as the race taxi “Renntaxi” may not operate during some race event weekends. A specially modified two seater open wheel Formula Race car is also available for a ride from Erich Hitschfel Racing School based at the track. If 3-5 laps around the track just isn’t enough to satisfy a need for speed, the racing school offers a range of competition race driving courses and race days.

If a smaller version of the race track is your speed, or you have racing mad kids in tow on a family vacation looking for an entertainment thrill, the Hockenheimring has an outdoor go kart track available for kart rental and racing located next to the paddock. The karting track is laid out in similar configuration to the big track and is open from 12 noon to 9 pm, except when its raining.

Hockenheim Motor Sports Museum

Hockenheim Race Car Museum Formula 1 Elf photoThe museum at the race track offers a racing enthusiast experience rain or shine. Located next to the kart track behind the south grandstand just off the A6 motorway, the museum features a collection of formula one, sports racing cars and racing motorcycles. The Museum Theater shows a movie depicting the development and history of the track and a race simulator game offers the chance to experience the thrill of a Formula One race without the multi-million dollar budget. The museum is open every day from March to December, including Sundays and bank holidays. In January and February it’s only open on weekends. Admission to the museum is €6 for adults and €3 for children. The Hockenheim Race Track even has its own hotel virtually incorporated into the grand stand on the front straight with a view of the track from its restaurant, the Hotel Motodrom. © Bargain Travel Europe

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