It was 90 years ago this September the Nordschleife first broke ground, but 2015 will go down in history as the first year that the circuit operated with
during racing. Even testing and track days were affected. They were a pain in the rear end of fans and drivers alike, even if they only impacted the very fastest of cars, being roughly equivalent to 125mph and 155mph respectively.
These should be going, but the track will change
But with a list of seven modifications (only one of which might change the driving experience) the old "north loop" should be granted a new three-year licence by the FIA, as well as the ability to throw those signs in the recycling skip. "Following approval by the FIA, our next step will be to implement seven measures," explains the Managing Director, Carsten Schumacher. "Preparations are fully on schedule. Weather permitting, work on the Nordschleife will start in mid-November, to be completed by the beginning of March."
The majority of the changes relate to spectator safety. Not surprising if you consider the events at the first VLN of the year, where a GT3 car jumped the barrier and killed a spectator at the Flugplatz section. Indeed it's the approach to Flugplatz, over the Quiddelbacher Hohe that is the only section of track to be modified. The official release describes a 'smoothing' of around 500 metres, in addition to the already-installed additional FIA fences. Other headline news will be the spectator-exclusion area around Flugplatz, and an extra crowd fence at Hocheichen. The Dottinger Hohe straight will also benefit from an extra layer of FIA fencing too.
Created for the BridgeToGantry story on the same we've got a handy little map for you, showing the changes. Click below for the full size version. Dare we lift the lid on the can of worms marked 'lap times' yet? No, let's save that for another time...