Burton Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports, may have his eye on an ambitious new project. According to reports swirling around the web, Smith (whose company owns and operates tracks like Infineon Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, among others) aims to create an accurate reproduction of the famous Nürburgring just outside of Las Vegas. While speaking during an interview on Sirius XM Sports, the executive mentioned he had already been in talks with the Governor of Nevada, the Nevada Bureau of Land Management and "some Germans" about the project. It's estimated Smith will require some 8,000 acres to bring the track to reality. It's a good thing Las Vegas is surrounded by an expanse of largely vacant desert.
The rumored plans call for the track to be constructed around 10 miles from the strip. Unfortunately, the facility probably wouldn't play host to sanctioned races like the real McCoy. Instead, the reproduction would simply be for private individuals to have some fun and manufacturers to test their wares. Throwing an element of brutal desert heat onto an already challenging road course could certainly make for a useful development tool. Keep your ears pinned for more information.


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  • 74 Comments
      GreaseMonkeySRT
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love idealists. They always have something to complain about. Who cares if it's a copy or not? Do you guys not have dates with Miss Michigan because it isn't the real thing? This gives plenty of people the opportunity in the US to drive their cars to run on the Nurburgring at a fraction of the cost of shipping it to Germany and driving the track there. Plenty of money to be made. I am willing to bet everyone knocking the idea would still gladly line up to run their car on this track if it gets built.
        Giorgio
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        Agreed. If the track is built mainly for rich people and manufacturers, there'll be lots of customers lining up to pay & play. OEMs don't care about lush green forests and "history" -- they've found a long, complex reference surface that helps them to tune a high-performance chassis really well. That reference surface happens to be in Germany, and it also happens to covered in awful weather for much of the year, and it happens to have little or no runoff area. I think the OEMs (from all parts of the world) would LOVE to replicate that reference surface in an area with consistently mild dry weather (and sometimes hot weather), especially if there were modern runoff areas to protect their super-expensive prototypes. The idealists who need the lush green forests, rich history, and multiple weather changes per lap can still go to the original track... as long as it's open.
        GVIrish
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        Don't get me wrong, if they built an inch for inch copy I'd still be over there cramming my money down someone's throat (or in their thong). I just hope they don't copy the bowl or the armco 2 ft from the track from the Nurburgring. Summit Point built a new track a few years ago that included a replica of the bowl. Everyone hates it and it means bikes can't run that configuration. I don't see how anyone gains anything from copying the bad parts of the Ring.
          BMW Nordschleife
          • 2 Years Ago
          @GVIrish
          Are you talking about the Caracciola Karussell ("The Carousel")? Have you drive the real Nordschleife? The Carousel is one of, if not the most, iconic parts of the track. And let me tell you, having drive it, and going 55mph around that turn, on its bumpy surface, trying to stay glued to it, and the way the car comes out of the curve and back onto the regular pavement is such an amazing experience, hardly a "bad part" of the Ring. There are no bad parts to the Nordschleife. Its Legendary for that reason.
          travisjb
          • 2 Years Ago
          @GVIrish
          Agree! As someone that ate Armco in the carousel, I would look forward to a 'Ring copy with a lot more run-off room... that's one of the beauties of the new Chuckwalla track 5 hours southwest of Vegas - you can run at 99.999% all day long and not worry about contact with immovable objects
      ChrisDPrice
      • 2 Years Ago
      As long as the track is good, and open to the public at a reasonable price, it's a great idea. I don't care if it is not a perfect recreation of the Ring, and I have driven the Ring several times. I just want more public places to drive on a track, without it being a stupid country club.
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      With that kind of money and maintenance cost it doesn't make sense to me to built a duplicate. Don't get me wrong, Nur is a legend and that's part of the reason why imo it's better to build something original. They can take the concept of Nur, incorporate some of its most challenging sections, add in bits of other famous tracks all over the world and give it some serious elevation change to make it an all purpose track. I would love to go try it out either way. Always exciting to learn a new race track in my daily driver.
      k_m94
      • 2 Years Ago
      Any new racetrack being built is good news, a big one paying tribute to Green Hell is even better. But I doubt the McNurburgering would be able to recreate that which makes the real Nürburgring so special. Massive elevation changes, lush forestry, and a notoriety for being absolutely difficult and unforgiving. That is what defines the Ring, not its size or number of corners.
      sstowes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting news, particularly considering all of the talk of the original Nurburgring's financial/operating troubles. I wonder if the Germans will be able to also make some money from this. It's a little different than were it a private track, since this Vegas venture would charge for track maintenance and profitability.
      Lada F1 team
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Nurburgring is easily my favorite track in the world (No surprise there) but this seems like a waste of an opportunity to create a new classic track. If you're going to go through the trouble of allocating all that money, land, and material, why build something that already exists. I'd argue that more time would go into trying to precisely copy the Nurburgring than was actually spent designing the original track. It isn't great because of it's design, it's great because of it's size. So why not build something that's new and just as big?
        waetherman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lada F1 team
        You make a good point, but there's something to be said for the "brand" of the Nurburgring drawing the hoards far more than any original track would. And it's very "Vegas" to build a knockoff like that so it makes perfect sense to me. To your point though there's no reason they couldn't do both - make two tracks at the same time, one circumscribing or overlapping the other. That way they could bring attention to both tracks and double their potential revenue from visitors wanting to try the "old" Nurburgring and the "new" Pahrumparing (or whatever). Plus they could actually have races on the new 'Ring while hoons took a lap on the old 'Ring. And building two tracks at once would probably only add marginally to the overall costs.
      zackwatt
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was thinking of this same idea a few months ago. With the real Nurburgring's fate up in the air....this might be the only way future drives can enjoy it.
      Jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      the Nevburgring?
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      It won't be the same, but if they have enough money to build it, I say go for it!
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kind of thats that special thing away from the NUR If theres two.... but its still nice !!
      cc
      • 2 Years Ago
      ....."some Germans"..... LOL.
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree with the people who'd rather see a new design, but I can see Bruton's point too. The Ring is what it is not only because of its reputation as a track, but also because of all the history that has taken place there, and the legend that has come to surround it. These days, any sports car has to be developed on the Ring not because its the most demanding road in the world (it might be close), but because it is the best known track in the world. Legend is good for advertising. Testing cars on the ring is very expensive, especially for non European companies that must fly their cars and engineers to Germany. This would give American companies a chance to "tune their suspension on the Nurburgring" for much less $$$, albeit with a big asterisk...
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