Lausitzring to stop racing activities after 2017 season

Germany's EuroSpeedway Lausitz will be closed to the public after the 2017 season as the track has been sold to DEKRA, which plans to convert the facility into a testing ground for automotive innovations.

It was announced during a press conference on Monday that vehicle inspection firm DEKRA will take over the track on November 1, 2017.

DEKRA already has a test centre at the Lausitzring and will now enlarge its operations. The plan is to transform the track into a simulation area for self-driving vehicles.

Next month's round of the World Superbike championship will therefore be the last major motor racing event to take place at Lausitz.

It was in 2000 that the Lausitzring was opened and it has played host to several major racing events, including DTM, ADAC GT Masters, World Superbikes and a one-off ChampCar event in 2001.

The latter race was infamous for the near-fatal crash of two-time series champion Alessandro Zanardi, as the former F1 star lost his legs in a terrible crash.

Earlier that year, another Italian racing legend, Michele Alboreto, was killed while testing an Audi R8 prototype on the long test layout that extends beyond the confines of the race track.

Alex Zanardi, before the drama
Alex Zanardi, before the drama

Photo by: Markus Arias-Roehner

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