All sections of the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit are now back to full speed, after speed restrictions in three sections of the track were lifted this week, allowing vehicle manufacturers to once again benchmark their vehicles around the track.
Speed restrictions were put in place by the German motorsport association (DMSB) last year, following an incident where a factory-backed Nissan GT-R racing car flipped during an endurance event and flew into a spectator area and killed one person. The restrictions prompted Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg to cancel their plans to set a lap record with its One:1 hypercar, also binning its accompanying documentary Apex in the process.
The approval to reinstate the track to full speed was given following an inspection of the track by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and DMSB. In order for the track to comply, several new safety measures have been implemented, including additional spectator protection and special fences, along with new tarmac on a 500 metre segment of the track. The high-speed Schwedenkreuz section of the track has also been 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,” he said.
Manfred Stack, head of Nurburgring event management, said that the team is glad to see the speed limits lifted and hopefully the changes will result 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 circuit in just 6 minutes and 57 seconds, breaking the previous record of 7 minutes and 11 seconds set by the Gumpert Apollo Sport back in 2009.