Why Is The Nurburgring Being Torn Up?

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The old must make way for the new.

There are few things as annoying as coming across roadworks on your daily commute. They cause traffic to come to a standstill, and they can often make your car dirty. But not all tolled roads are treated the same way. At the Nurburgring, cars are flying at insane speeds as part of track days, lap attempts, tourist drives, and even full races. You can't expect drivers to avoid high-visibility jackets and traffic cones on one of the most notoriously tricky tracks in the world, but all asphalt needs to be re-tarred or revitalized at some point. Thus, the Nurburgring is currently undergoing its annual maintenance.

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Due to the level of work required to get any piece of blacktop refreshed, the track typically only gets one kilometer (0.6 miles) refreshed during its winter shutdown. This year, however, the winter break will see 2.5 km (1.5 miles) of tarmac being dug up and replaced with fresh asphalt. The stretch will cover the area from Dottinger Hohe up to the recently renamed Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve.

The grand prix track is also getting some work, namely the Hyundai N curve before the start-finish and the connecting sections between the two circuits. This makes a lot more sense than closing the track for an extended period and redoing all the blacktop at once, which would otherwise be required every 15 to 20 years.

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At this point, some of you may be wondering how fresh tar may affect lap times and records. After all, Pikes Peak became faster and thus more dangerous after all the gravel on the hillclimb course was replaced with tarmac. With more or less grip, surely the lap times set each year are inconsistently ranked. However, it is said that the track returns to normal grip levels after qualifying for the 24-hour race. Also, as a stretch gets the freshest surface, the oldest parts are degrading too, so it balances out. If you're looking to test yourself against the clock, the world-renowned track will reopen on March 12.

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