The EuroSpeedway Lausitzring, located in Klettwitz, Germany, is set to close to the public at the end of the 2017 season, after the current ownership of the circuit has changed hands from EuroSpeedway Verwaltungs GmbH to DEKRA. The new owner plans to utilise the circuit as Europe’s largest automotive testing facility for connected and automated driving from 2018 onwards.
Since its opening in 2000, the Lausitzring has hosted rounds of the ADAC GT Masters, A1GP, DTM, Champ Car, World Superbikes and even the Red Bull Air Race. But as of next year motorsport activities at the circuit will cease.
“We are initially investing more than 30 million euros in establishing this testing network,” says DEKRA CEO Stefan Kölbl. “Automation and connectivity, the topics of the future, are becoming increasingly important for the safety of mobility. We take our ‘safety mandate‘, which the founders of DEKRA defined more than 90 years ago, very seriously.
“That is why we are offering testing and development expertise to our customers from the automotive industry. The takeover of Lausitzring and its combination with the DEKRA Technology Center is a very decisive step for us.”
Clemens Klinke, member of the board of DEKRA SE added: “We are investing in roads and facilities for the comprehensive testing of automated driving functions. This will enable us, as a development and testing partner for the automotive industry, to set up very complex scenarios, for urban, non-urban or highway journeys, in a highly flexible way.”
During the years in which EuroSpeedway Verwaltung GmbH owned the circuit, it’s hosted three million visitors, the local area benefitting from the 200 million+ euros turning over via the circuit, and the media coverage from its activities.
“We are delighted that the next chapter of the Lausitzring will open on such a positive note”, explains Josef Meier, Managing Director of EuroSpeedway Verwaltungs GmbH, from whom DEKRA is taking over the racetrack.
“After eight years, in which we have successfully operated and developed the Lausitzring, we were faced with the question of how to transform it into a long-term, sustainable concept, given the current investment needs.
“Together with DEKRA as a long-standing, reliable partner we have found what is, from our perspective, a good solution.”
The World Superbike race at the circuit in August will be the final race held at the Lausitzring, though there will be a round of the Red Bull Air Race held there in September, before DEKRA takes over the circuit in November.