DECEMBER 20, 1999
Hockenheim to be rebuilt
THE local authorities in Hockenheim are discussing a complete rebuild of the racing circuit to ensure that the German╩Grand╩Prix stays at the circuit well into the next century. The track is worried that safety considerations could make the track obsolete and, at the same time, wants to increase the number of spectators to increase income from events. The plan would see the track shortened from the current 4.2 miles to around 2.5 miles. The work would include new pit facilities and garages and would increase crowd capacity from the current 70,000 limit to around 100,000 people
The work would cost something in the region of $25m which will have to be raised by the town of Hockenheim and by the state government of Baden-Wurttemberg. The financing of the project is yet to be finalized and the work could begin as early as August next year, although it is virtually certain that there would be problems with environmentalists as the shortening of the circuit would inevitably involve the chopping down of large numbers of trees in the dense forests in the middle of the circuit.
If all the problems can be overcome the work could start after the German GP this year and would be finished in time for the race in 2002. The German GP could switch to the Nurburgring in 2001. This would reduce complaints that Germany has had a monopoly on the European GP in recent years.
|Print News Story|