RSR Corner Guide - The Karussell
When people only know one racetrack, ten to one they know the Nürburgring Nordschleife. When they can name only one corner, it’s probably the Karussell. Here's a short guide by RSR CEO Ron Simons on getting the most out of the corner.
A little history
In the early 30’s, German F1 driver Rudolf Caracciola was the first to drive an inside line through the drainage ditch instead of on the track itself. Back when there was no grip from skinny race tires, it didn’t matter where you drove and the shortest way was often the fastest. Ever since, the concrete plates and banking have been an iconic part of the Karussell. At an elevation of near 500m, these plates are forced apart by the cold during winter, making this one the most expensive stretches of track to maintain at the ‘Ring.
The Karussell lays on top of a ridge, creating a switch-back on track before heading towards the top of the hill at Höhe Acht. To make it even more difficult, the crest at the entry means the corner is almost invisible until you are near your braking zone, surprising the driver as the bowl itself dramatically drops away.
Line through the corner
There are three distinct sections in the corner: the entry, the mid-section and exit. Taken in second or third gear, the ideal line is a combination of a maximum radius and using the banked section to its full potential.
On approach from Steilstrecke the track snakes left and right, but ignore this as you want to drive the straight line here. The final curb on the right marks your braking point for the corner. The key here is to ease the car in the bowl a little later rather than earlier, joining as smoothly as possible so the car settles softly into the banking.
Find the maximum camber sweet spot and keep the car there. You want to be in the absolute middle of the concrete plates where the banking is at its steepest. This way the biggest chunk of centrifugal force is converted into downforce, free of any weight penalty.
Use a controlled release of the built up energy to slingshot you on to the following straight. The key here is not to steer out, but only to accelerate a little at the right moment, letting the banking ‘spit you out’ over the corner of the final concrete plate. When perfectly timed, it will feel absolutely right, and add a few hundred RPM to your exit speed revs.
- Ron Simons, CEO & Chief Instructor RSRNurburg