Speed restrictions at the Nurburgring will be lifted, but a new series of safety measures will be imposed instead.
In a statement, the owner of the Nürburgring, Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH, said that 16 new safety measures will be incorporated into the track, with seven of those being implemented between November this year and the start of the 2016 racing season next March.
Full details of the new safety measures haven’t been released, but Capricon boss Carsten Schumacher has said that a 500-metre section in the Flugplatz area of the track will be resurfaced. “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 said.
Other safety measures announced include extra fencing along the long Dottinger Hohe straight, where vehicles will reach their maximum speeds on the track. This section also runs parallel to a main road. A new restriction zone, which is likely to result in reduced viewing access, will also be set up in the Schwedenkreuz section, a series of tight corners and crests.
The new safety resolutions bring to a close a particularly rocky period in the Nürburgring’s history. Speed limits were imposed on the circuit following the death of a spectator at this year’s VLN Endurance Championship race, when the Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 of Jann Mardenborough became airborne, landing in a viewing area.
A ban on all GT3 racing was also imposed following the crash, but was lifted in April.
The lifting of speed restrictions is unlikely to have a significant effect on manufacturers using the Nurburgring for prototype testing, even though the industry hasn't been allowed to use the track to set record-breaking lap times for the past few months. Schumacher said the safety improvements were "not only important for motor racing but also for the industry, which has been testing its vehicles on this unique race track for decades." Organisers have said the “unique character” of the Nürburgring will be preserved, despite the new safety measures.
The proposed changes will also need to be accepted by both the FIA and the German motor sport association (DMSB) before coming into force.
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