Anyone who’s been to the Nurburgring recently will have seen building work on a massive scale. So what’s going on? It’s all part of a €215 million investment that’ll see Europe’s most famous race track build on its uber track day reputation to become what marketing boss Stephan Cimbal describes as a motorsport theme park that’s open 365 days a year. Work started just one year ago, but it’s on track, so to speak, to meet the self-imposed 11 June 2009 deadline.
Nurburgring redevelopment: the plan
The plans are as surreal as they are ambitious, and include the world’s fastest rollercoaster. There’ll also be a new arena with up to 6000 seats for ‘everything from boxing matches and beach volleyball to new car presentations’; 100 budget condominiums; and another hotel – currently only the Hotel Dorint is track-side – with 148 rooms, a casino and a heli pad for motorsport moguls; plus a proper welcome centre to lend a sense of occasion to the slightly anti-climatic greeting today’s visitor’s receive.
Manufacturers have embraced the German circuit in recent years, so the ’Ring Boulevard makes perfect sense – a 300m-long ‘motorsport mall’ with Ferrari, Aston, Nissan, Yokohama and Bilstein showrooms. Other attractions will include the Eiffel Village Green Hell that’ll house a steak house, bar and disco (something that anyone who’s been faced with a choice of schnitzel, schnitzel or schnitzel and zero late-night entertainment will no doubt welcome) and an Ecclestone-endorsed F1 area.
But it’s the ’Ring Werk theme park that’ll really get tongues wagging. It’s 15,000 square metre theme park with a science and history exhibition, plus that bonkers rollercoaster.
0-135mph in 2.5sec
‘The rollercoaster will start inside and then run alongside the track, hitting 217kmh in 2.5sec,’ says Cimbal.
That’s twice as fast as an F1 car and subjects thrill-seekers to 3.4g – the highest permissible by the German authorities. Sadly there are no architect’s sketches yet available of the new rollercoaster.
Cimbal hopes the outlay will add an extra 500,000 visitors to today’s two million and extend the season from the current April to October. We certainly wouldn’t bet against it.
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