Drag Racing (NitrolympX - Rico Anthes Quartermile)
From 1986 to 1988, the start-finish-straight was used for 1/8 mile dragracing. In 1989, a proper dragstrip was built by connecting the Opel-Kurve and the first turn entering the motodrom section. The finish line was at the beginning of the forest, with a very long run-off on the straight in the forest. Competitors had to travel around the full race track in opposite direction to return to the paddock. The dragstrip is only used for two events in August, the Public Race Days and the NitrolympX main event a week later. Introduced as Nitrolympics and featuring Top Fuel dragsters, it had to be renamed for legal reasons.
When the Hockenheimring was shortened in 2002, the dragstrip was moved back, closer to the new tall Tower stands that allow an unusual view along the dragstrip. Even though the run off was cut in half it remains one of the longest in drag racing. The NitrolympX usually host most European Championships, sanctioned by FIA or FIM, plus jet dragsters and other entertaining events on the Saturday Night Show that draws 40,000 spectators.
The dragstrip in 2008 was christened Rico Anthes Quartermile after the German former Top Fuel driver and long-time organizer of the NitrolympX had retired in 2007. As the dragstrip can only be prepared for professional dragracing after the last major circuit event, mainly the Formula One race, the grip is often sub par compared to permanent dragstrips that host two Euro Championship events each year, like Santa Pod Raceway in England or Tierp Arena in Sweden. The best performances on the full quartermile were significantly below those in Santa Pod, and the best ET was set in 2005: 4,873 sec. and 458 km/h by Brady Kalivoda (USA).
In 2012, some Pro classes could not find traction as Formula One had demanded a new surface. In subsequent years, the organizers provided a better track, with support from Santa Pod personnel and machinery. In 2016, Hockenheim, and mainland Europe, finally saw the first 3-second Top Fuel 1000 ft passes, with 3,939 sec. and 486,91 km/h by Anita Mäkelä (FIN). An overall European record for Super Street Bike was set by Garry Bowe (GB) with 7.04s 340,69 km/h.