In an interview with XM Sports, Speedway Motorsports CEO Bruton Smith revealed he has been talking with “some Germans” about the potential to create a duplicate of the 22.8km Nordschleife circuit in the Nevada desert.
Smith – whose company owns and operates eight first-class racing facilities across the US including those in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bristol and Texas – has floated the idea with the governor of Nevada. He wants the Bureau of Land Management to donate 8000 acres of land to the project.
Smith says the copycat circuit would not be used for racing, but would be targeted at manufacturers for vehicle development testing, as well as regular punters who want the ‘green hell’ experience without travelling to Germany.
One element of the original Nurburgring that the ‘Nevada-ring’ won’t be able to replicate is the weather. Conditions at the German circuit become so treacherous at times that it is too dangerous to drive on, while it’s also not unusual for there to be sunshine on some corners of the circuit and at the same time rain over others. In contrast, Las Vegas largely enjoys sunshine all year round, with the desert heat likely to present new challenges to car makers.
The Nurburgring has become the benchmark test facility for manufacturers around the world determined to prove the all-round performance and ability of their cars, as well as a mecca for motoring enthusiasts.
Smith says he is waiting for the green light from the government, and is ready to pull the trigger on the project. “If they really want it, we’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna build it,” he said.
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