An Australian view on the Nürburgring Nordschleife

Huzzah, Nordschleife speed limits to be lifted!

August 30th, 2015 Posted in 24 hour race, Manufacturer testing, Motorsports, Nurburgring news, Touristenfahrten

Looking over Quiddelbacher Hohe to Flugplatz accident site, April 2015

Good news for Nürburgring fans, the speed limits imposed on the Nordschleife back in June are set to be lifted.

Of course, there’s a catch. The first being the limits, currently affecting all on-track activities, won’t be removed until 2016. The second being the track will undergo a series of modifications in order to increase safety standards for tourist laps, competitors and spectators.

“Safety on the Nordschleife during races, but also during test drives of the industry and during tourist ride sessions, is our highest priority,” explained Carsten Schumacher, managing director of Nürburgring operator CNG. “Together with all those involved, we responded to the accident by carrying out a detailed analysis of the situation and compiling targeted measures to further increase active and passive safety, and especially the safety of spectators along the Nordschleife.”

The Flugplatz section (pictured) will be resurfaced and new safety barriers and fencing will be added to the high-speed Schwedenkreuz and Döttinger Höhe sections of the Nordschleife.

“Based on detailed measurement, we will renew the track surface in the Flugplatz section over a length of about 500 metres, smoothing out five bumps which are the result of years of high utilisation and heavy use of the Nordschleife,” Schumacher added. “The unique character of the Nordschleife will be preserved. That’s not only important for motor racing but also for the industry, which has been testing its vehicles on this unique race track for decades.”

The modification work will commence in November and while it’s a shame to see the famed track modified it’s not the first time it’s happened and it may not be the last. Moreover, it’s said that a total of 16 measures have been listed for attention, but at this stage we’ve only been made aware of seven of those changes. What will the other nine bring?

Crucially, though, the most important thing to take away from this news is that the medium-long term future of the Nordschleife looks to be assured.

[Source: Pistonheads]

Press information

Greater safety on the Nordschleife

  • capricorn Nürburgring GmbH presents catalogue of measures
  • Objectives: greater safety, no speed limits, renewal of circuit approval
  • Unique character of the “Green Hell” will be preserved
  • Industry, associations, organisers and drivers: consent at round table
  • Next step: DMSB submits application to International Automobile Federation FIA

Nürburg, 18. August 2015. The Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife is to be made even safer, and speed limits are to become a thing of the past as of 2016. At a round table on “safety on the Nordschleife”, capricorn Nürburgring GmbH (CNG) presented a comprehensive set of measures to representatives of the German motor sport association DMSB, the ADAC, the automotive industry, the organisers, teams, drivers and the region, finding wide approval. In the next step, an official application for renewal of the circuit approval, which is set to expire according to schedule at the end of the year, will be submitted to the International Automobile Federation FIA via the DMSB.

A serious accident during this season’s first VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring race at the end of March, in which a spectator sustained fatal injuries, triggered discussions about safety, as well as the unusual move of introducing speed limits on a race track.

After analysis: targeted measures

“Safety on the Nordschleife during races, but also during test drives of the industry and during tourist ride sessions, is our highest priority,” Carsten Schumacher, managing director of Nürburgring operator CNG said at the round table on Monday, 17 August at the Lindner Congress & Motorsport Hotel Nürburgring. “Together with all those involved, we responded to the accident by carrying out a detailed analysis of the situation and compiling targeted measures to further increase active and passive safety, and especially the safety of spectators along the Nordschleife.”

The safety of spectators in particular is the focus of the planned installation of additional safety fences in several track sections and a restricted zone in the Schwedenkreuz area. In order to increase passive safety, lines of protection are to be optimised by installing additional guardrails and FIA safety fences, for instance along the Döttinger Höhe section to better protect the adjacent federal road.

The renewal of the track surface, as a first step in the track section Flugplatz, will serve to increase active safety on the Nordschleife, which was opened in 1927. “Based on detailed measurement, we will renew the track surface in the Flugplatz section over a length of about 500 metres, smoothing out five bumps which are the result of years of high utilisation and heavy use of the Nordschleife,” Carsten Schumacher explains.

Starting from November until the beginning of the 2016 season, seven of the 16 measures planned are to be implemented. “The unique character of the Nordschleife will be preserved. That’s not only important for motor racing but also for the industry, which has been testing its vehicles on this unique race track for decades,” says Carsten Schumacher, who also banks on additional technical measures on the part of the carmakers.

Hans-Joachim Stuck: “Effective measures”

On behalf of the 22 experts at the round table hosted by the Nürburgring, DMSB president Hans-Joachim Stuck, who was unable to attend in person, explained: “All parties want to preserve the Nordschleife and its uniqueness. However, we all know that we will have to improve safety. To this end, the Nürburgring as track operator has worked hard to devise a set of effective measures in great detail which met with broad approval at this round table.” The participants also spoke in favour of successively implementing the measures in the next few years.

The Nürburgring will now submit the catalogue of measures presented to the German motor sport association DMSB in the form of an application, to be forwarded to the Circuit Commission of the International Automobile Federation FIA.

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