The Deutscher Motor Sport Bund, Germany's governing body for racing was in a pickle: following the horrific crash of Jann Mardenborough's Nissan GT-R and the death of a spectator at the first VLN race of the season, it had issued a ban on all the faster classes, essentially everything from a Porsche 997 Cup on up.
That meant no Mercedes SLS, no Porsche RSR, no BMW Z4 GT3, no LFA, no Ferraris, no Audi R8, no Scuderia Gliekenhaus and, of course, no GT-Rs.
The 2015 24 hour race would have been a bust in the same year Germany failed to secure a Formula 1 race for the first time in many decades. Not good.
So here's the solution, temporary apparently, to save the race: GPS monitored speed zones in areas ahead of the fastest points on the track:
Flugplatz : 200 kmh / 125 mph
Schwedenkreuz: 200 kmh
Antoniusbuche: 200 kmh
Döttinger Höhe: 250 kmh /155 mph
Why did they chose this solution is a practical one, it is a version of the "Code 60" system already in use in WEC and indeed at the Nürburgring for the 24 hour race.
The idea is that these zones will take the place of a chicane which there is no time to properly build.
Cars will be slowed down "several hundred" meters ahead of the fastest corners. They will be released ahead of the turns but without the momentum they usually would have, corner speeds will be lower.
Along with the speed restriction, there will be a 5% power reduction and better spectator control.
For the long term, there are no easy fixes. You could put limits on aero but a VLN specific spec would make it extremely difficult to get guest entries for the big race.
Or you could build chicanes. Not sure there is room for temporary chicanes on the Nordschleife. Maybe on the Döttinger Höhe but probably not before Flugplatz and Schwedenkreuz. Can you imagine the uproar if they changed the track?
One solution could be, if they find the space, to build a Le Mans type chicane where the original track can be preserved and used for slower events. But with the Green Hell's trouble with greens, both people and bills, it's probably not so simple to chop and pave.
Press release HERE