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Las Vegas May Get Its Own Nurburgring Track

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On: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 1:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Las Vegas May Get Its Own Nurburgring Track

The twisty behemoth known as the Nurburgring is perhaps the most famous race track in all the world. Not only does this track complex offer up a destination for full on racing events, its Nordschleife (northern loop) serves as the test bed for performance sports car bragging rights. Nordschleife times are nearly as ubiquitous as 0-to-60/62 mph times and top speeds on spec sheets.

The United States has a lot of race tracks, but it doesn't really have anything like Nurburgring. One motorsports company aims to change all that - by making a carbon copy of Germany's track.

According to reports, Speedway Motorsports, a company that owns and operates such US tracks as Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, is currently working toward building a replica of Nurburgring on 8,000 acres of desert outside of Las Vegas. Vegas already has replicas of such icons as the Eiffel Tower and The Colosseum, so why not the 'Ring?

Speedway CEO Bruton Smith told Sirius XM Sports that he's already held discussions with Nevada's governor, the Bureau of Land Management and some German folks about it. Unlike the actual German track, the Vegas Ring wouldn't be used for racing events (Speedway already has plenty of tracks for that), but would take on the Nordschleife's role as a test bed for manufacturers and private drivers.

A Vegas Nurburgring replica does make a lot of sense. Auto manufacturers from around the world currently send vehicles and teams to Germany's track for testing, so having a track in the US would allow American manufacturers to save some time and money and test right here in the US of A. Also, Smith believes that import brands would send their cars to the track since its warm desert location would allow for testing all year round, unlike Germany's track. And what better place for such a track than in a popular tourist destination with history in both motorsport and European replicas in a state with more public land than nearly any other? It seems like a natural fit.

Of course a Nurburgring replica won't have all the panache of the original. It's basically a cheap knock-off that will lack the history and setting of the original. There will be no lush, green German hillside or namesake medieval castle.

On the other hand, the dry, scorching desert of southern Nevada should create some new challenges and scenery for drivers and automakers. It's an intriguing project.


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