News - GT3 race cars banned and then approved for Nurburgring
Before the first race of the 2015 VLN Championship, the season looked very promising with a lot of new drivers and cars raring to go on the famous Nurburgring track. However, on the 28th of March, about an hour-and-a-half into the race, Nissan driver Jann Mardenborough went airborne and hit the spectators area, killing one and injuring several other people. The race was stopped shortly after and motorsport world was shocked by the tragedy.
Unfortunately, the accidents always were and always will be a part of motorsport and Jann Mardenborough’s crash got a lot of negative media attention. Shortly after the race, the DMSB (German motorsports authority) led by famous Hans-Joachim Stuck banned GT3 spec. cars (among few other classes) from German tracks and VLN championship.
Understandably, racing fans have been stunned by this decision and demanded an explanation for banning what is at the moment, the most interesting class of race cars. There were some nasty rumors surrounding the Jann Mardenborough and his driving experience, blaming the crash on the fact that he became a full time racing driver as a part of the controversial Nissan GT Racing Academy.
The motorsport programme is known for recruiting racers who were best at the Gran Tourismo game on Play Station and puting them in real race cars. His experience was in question but looking at his driving record – five years of successful racing and the words of his colleagues, Mardenborough seems as capable as anyone else.
There was also criticism of the track; acusing the track owners and officials that the surfice of the circuit was of inferior quality and that it is caused the Nissan to flip. However, that is not true. It is true that there were a lot of patches of different asphalt on the Nurburgring but on the “Flugplatz“ (where accident happened) the tarmac was smooth. Some even blamed the spectators, saying that the spectators were not where they supposed to be, but in fact, they were standing exactly where they were permitted to. So, the question remains? Who is to blame for this tagic accident. No one. The rules were followed, the driver was good, the track was smooth and the spectators were behind the fence. Unfortunately, incidents like this happen in the world of motorsport for no particular reason.
The DMSB and Hans-Joachim Stuck also soon realised this and lifted the ban on the GT3 cars giving the 2015 VLN Championship season second chance. However, the DMSB has a few conditions, which are:
– A 5% reduction in horsepower for the top-class cars
– A GPS-enforced 200 km/h speed limit (250 km/h on the Döttinger Höhe straight) ahead of the hills at Flugplatz, Schwedenkreuz and Antoniusbuche.
– Spectator restrictions at Flugplatz, Schwedenkreuz, Metzgesfeld and Pflanzgarten
– Past the speed-restricted zones, full acceleration will be allowed again.
– Teams that violate the speed restrictions will be fined heavily.
It seem slike the DMSB enforced conditions will not effect the racing and will hopefully make it safer for drivers and spectators as well. The next race is in few weeks time so stay tuned to see if you agree!