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Nürburgring Endurance

NLS Outlines Paddock Redesign for Future Race Events

New paddock structure, hygiene rules in place for NLS which is set to return to action next month…

Photo: NLS

The Nürburgring Langstreken Serie will move its competitors to a new infield paddock as part of its measures to ensure a safe environment when racing resumes behind closed doors next month.

NLS teams will no longer be allowed to house their cars in the conventional pit boxes, each one of which usually caters to around half a dozen entries per race weekend.

Instead, their garage activities will be moved to a makeshift 58,000 square metre central paddock behind the pit buildings where a one-way system will be put in place.

Cars will continue to be refueled and receive tire changes in the main pit lane.

The concept is similar to the temporary pit box layout introduced in 2002 when the current Nürburgring pit buildings were being constructed.

Access to the central paddock will be heavily controlled and face masks will be compulsory for those working there.

Meetings, including driver briefings, are to be conducted digitally while podium celebrations and award ceremonies have been scrapped.

The number of people working in race control will be reduced “without endangering the safety of the race”, according to an NLS statement, and social distancing will be enforced. 

The new measures were applied following consultation between the VLN organization, which runs the NLS, and the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at University Hospital Bonn.

They were then given clearance last week by the Ahrweiler district council which encompasses the Nürburgring facility.

“Our series of events is a reflection of society,” said Christian Stephani, managing director of the VLN organization.

“We have had to accept severe restrictions in recent weeks and have so far been unable to implement any of the planned races.

“We all – fans, participants and organization – have to compromise and build on the solidarity of our fans and participants.

“We are hopeful that we will get a promise from the state government. In the end, it’s not just about us as a racing series, but also about the financial health of our teams and a large number of companies in the region around the Nürburgring.”

Germany has recently started the gradual easing of its lockdown restrictions that were put in place in March to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Private tests and ‘Touristenfahrten’ sessions have been taking place at the Nürburgring since April 30, while some sporting events are going forward without spectators.

This includes the NLS, which is planning to start its season on June 27, and the German Bundesliga soccer league which held its first matches in two months last weekend.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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