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NLS Updates Pit Lane Protocol for Upcoming Races

NLS series issues updated model for pit lane procedures in upcoming Nürburgring endurance races…

Photo: NLS

The Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie has updated its strategy for organizing the paddock and pit lane at races in 2020, to observe the necessary COVID-19 precautions.

Cars will now be required to enter the new temporary pit box area in the paddock from the start of the pit lane, rather than the end as was originally announced last month.

The concept takes away the use of the conventional pit boxes in the pit building, which can hold as many six cars at a time during a typical NLS race weekend.

This hygienic solution has been drawn up to ensure the series can hold races this year, with teams adequately spaced out in a new open pit area in the paddock to limit the chances of COVID-19 transmission.

Each pit box will be no more than six meters wide and 20 meters deep.

For a pit stop, a car will access the paddock pit lane through the first pit box and be driven along the one-way system to its relevant working area.

It will then be driven round to the second pit box which provides access to the conventional pit lane, where refueling will take place.

There will be a speed limit of 40 km/h through the entire pit network, covering both the new loop in the paddock service area and the conventional pit lane.

The system has been developed by the VLN organization, which runs the NLS series, along with the ILN Nürburgring long-distance interest group and the DMSB German motorsport federation.

It was trialed during a session at the Nürburgring on June 5 by development driver Lars Kern, who tested the course in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.

NLS teams will be given the chance to familiarize themselves with the layout during a ‘trial and hiring’ day on Jun. 15, ahead of the first race of the season on Jun. 27.

“The races under these special corona conditions will be a great challenge for all teams, participants, drivers, mechanics and helpers, as well as for the organizers and the race management,” said VLN sporting and race director Michael Bork.

“We have to make compromises in many places and leave our usual structures and processes.

“This applies in particular to this pit lane paddock, which will function differently than the teams, drivers and we are used to.

“However, I am confident that our teams and drivers will be able to cope with it and adjust their racing cars and pit strategies accordingly.

“As long as the use of the actual boxes is not permitted due to the COVID-19 requirements, this variant of the pit lane is the only sensible alternative for our racing format.”

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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