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Top Level GT Cars Suspended From Racing At The Nordschleife

An Audi R8 Ultra on track at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. GT3 cars such as this Audi R8 Ultra have been temporarily banned from the Nürburgring Nordschleife.Picture: Audi Sport
 Neil Tipton
 Sunday, March 29, 2015

Germany's motorsport governing body the DMSB has temporarily suspended the racing licence for the top classes of GT cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife‬ following Saturday's fatal accident involving a spectator.

The move affects competing in the ‪‎VLN‬ 's top SP7, SP8, SP9, SP10 and SP-X classes until further notice, which includes GT3 and GT4 machinery and the SP-X category Scuderia Cameron Glickenhous GT.

During the first VLN race of the season the number 23 Nissan GTR GT3, driven at the time by Briton's Jann Mardenborough, appeared to lose control as crested the rise at Flugplatz, becoming airborne and somersaulting back-end-first into the tyre wall. The car then vaulted over the fencing into the spectator area and landing on its roof. One spectator was killed and a number of others injured, with several being taken to local hospitals for treatment along with Mardenbrough. They were later released following assessment by doctors.

The DMSB will now analyse the causes of the crash and any possible solutions to mitigate further incidents in future. German police have seized the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 as part of the investigation. Nissan has already stated it will offer full cooperation in the investigation.

In a statement, DMSB General Secretary Christian Schacht said that it could not be a case of "business as usual" following the incident. He added: " We are all still deeply shocked and our thoughts are with the family of the victim. The safety of the participants and especially the spectators must be a top priority. Therefore, we need to analyse the details of what happened, discuss and then implement the necessary consequences. Only after that vehicles can get back on the Nordschleife for use with similar specs as the car accident.

"Our aim is to allow continued safe motorsport on the Nordschleife - for participants and for spectators. We will check as soon as possible what steps are necessary in order not to lose this goal given current events, together with the track owners and other stakeholders."

It is unclear how long the suspension may be in place for and how it will affect forthcoming VLN events and the 24 Hours race in May, which is also set to see the Nordschleife debut of the WTCC.

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