Nurburgring speed limits lifted: bring on the lap records
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The legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit is back to full speed after restrictions in three sections of the famous 'Green Hell' were lifted, allowing manufacturers to once again attempt lap records around the famed race track.
Following a racing incident in 2015, where a factory-backed Nissan GT-R flipped during an endurance event and flew into a spectator area, taking the life of an onlooker, the German motorsport association (DMSB) introduced speed limits for sections of the Nurburgring.
The speed restrictions were revealed when manufacturers found out they could no longer attempt lap records around the track. Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg had to cancel plans to claim a lap record with its One:1 hypercar, also binning its accompanying documentary 'Apex' in the process.
The approval to lift the speed limits was given following an inspection of the track by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and DMSB. In order to have the limits lifted, seven new safety measures had to be implemented, including additional lines of protection and special fences, along with a complete renewal for 500 metres of track, and a restricted zone of the high-speed Schwedenkreuz section of the track that is now closed to the public.
DMSB president Hans-Joachim Stuck said that the management of the Nurburgring have done a great job of making the track safer.
“We could see for ourselves that the Nordschleife now fully complies with FIA and DMSB regulations.
The Nurburgring implemented the jointly agreed catalogue of measures in an exemplary fashion,” Stuck said.
Nurburgring event management head Manfred Stack said he and his team are glad to see the speed limits lifted, with the changes hopefully resulting in fewer incidents.
“We have created prerequisites for an exciting racing season that will hopefully see no accidents. We are glad that the speed limits are finally a thing of the past," Stack said.
The current lap record holder for a production road vehicle is the Porsche 918 Spyder, which lapped the 20.8km Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in 6 minutes and 57 seconds, smashing the previous record of 7 minutes and 11 seconds set by the Gumpert Apollo Sport in 2009.