Category: 2019

New asphalt ready in time for season: Construction work successfully completed

With the laying of the so-called asphalt surface course, construction work on the legendary Nordschleife was successfully completed on Monday. Between November and February, five sections (Flugplatz/Schwedenkreuz, Kallenhard, Wehrseifen, Ex-Mühle, Hohe Acht) of the over 90-year-old race track were completely renewed over a total length of almost three kilometres. Furthermore, 900 metres of additional FIA fences were installed in the Hatzenbach and Kesselchen sections to further improve the level of safety for drivers. The newly completed construction measure was the most comprehensive one on the Nordschleife in more than 40 years. The Nürburgring invested roughly EUR 4 million in the project.
“We managed to complete construction on schedule despite the winter weather,” explains Nürburgring project manager Alexander Schnobel. Having worked at the race track since 2002, the engineer has comprehensive experience regarding the Nordschleife. Accordingly, he and the consulting engineers of Porz & Partner planned time buffers from the outset. Still, “the weather always remains a factor beyond control,” adds engineer Stephan Porz. In the end, however, external circumstances were favourable after all and the construction companies involved in the project, Schnorpfeil and Wurzel, worked together smoothly from the start, so that the final layer of asphalt could now be put down in spring-like temperatures. All told, it took four months of work in the Green Hell to complete construction in time for the start of the new season.

Apart from the unique character of the Nordschleife, which was not affected by the works, particular attention was paid to the special properties of the asphalt itself. It is not only required to meet the particularly high quality standards of a race track but must also have further characteristics as defined by the formulation specially developed for the Nordschleife. “We have asphalt that can not only be laid at low temperatures but is also specially tailored for use on our more than 20 kilometres of race track,” explains Alexander Schnobel. In practice, this means that the new asphalt offers medium grip, in line with the grip level of the Nordschleife as a whole. This ensures that drivers do not have to cope with ever new conditions within one lap. “The current asphalt is the result of years of development and has been created also based on discussions with drivers and those responsible,” Schnobel says.

Now that construction work is completed, it is clear early on that the new season at the Nürburgring can start on time and the first racing cars can set wheels on the track in the VLN test and set-up runs on Saturday, 16 March. The first race of the 2019 season will start exactly one week later, when the teams of the VLN Endurance Championship take to the track for the first race of the season on Saturday, 23 March.

More info on the VLN