BMW plans a festival of racers at the 'Ring, including its new F1 car
15 March 2007

Formula One will return to the Nurburgring's Nordschleife circuit next month when, on April 28, the BMW Sauber F1 team's lead driver Nick Heidfeld pilots the F1.07 car around the epic 12.4-mile circuit. The run will be the highlight of a full day of motorsport at the 'Ring, designed to celebrate BMW's Motorsport heritage.Besides the F1 car, the schedule will feature BMW's World Touring Car Championship cars and a multitude of other BMW racing machinery, both current and historic.BMW works drivers will be taking passengers on fast laps of the Nordschleife in BMW's standard M5 'Ring taxi', its 320si WTCC car and its Z4 M Coupe. "It's our way of saying thank you to the fans for their support," explained BMW team boss Mario Theissen.It'll be the first time in 31 years that a Formula One car has run in an official capacity on the circuit. The Nordschleife became a feature of the F1 World Championship in the 1950s, but was dropped from the calendar after claiming the lives of four F1 drivers between 1954 and 1966. The last time it was run was in 1976, when Nicki Lauda narrowly escaped with his life.Spectators will be expecting a fast time from brave boy Heidfeld next month; the all time lap record for the circuit is still held by fellow German Stefan Bellof who, in 1983, drove a Group C Porsche sports car around in 6min 11sec.Heidfeld won't be shooting for the record books though. "Nick's demonstration will not be about setting records," said Theissen, "but a tribute to a unique race track – one which is inextricably linked to the heritage of BMW Motorsport." "BMW is a longstanding partner of the Nurburgring," he went on. "With BMW Driver Training, BMW Adventure World, our 'Ring Taxi' rides and the Performance Centre all based at the circuit, this is a kind of second home for us."

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