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DTM Norisring

Is the future of DTM's street event at Norisring in danger?

Despite expecting a bumper crowd in 2024, Norisring promoter has doubts about the long-term viability of the DTM event

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Photo by: ADAC Motorsport

The Norisring is all set to stage the fourth round of the 2024 DTM season this weekend, but it’s becoming harder every year to ensure the continued existence of Germany’s only street circuit.

While the history of the Nuremberg-based race dates back to 1947, and it has been a staple of the DTM calendar since the series’ rebirth in 2000, hosting the race every year is no easy task.

There are a number of challenges according to Wolfgang Schlosser, the chairman of Norisring’s organiser Motorsport Club Nuremberg (MCN). 

"First and foremost, all the environmental guidelines,” said Schlosser, who was also present for the start of the original DTM series 40 years ago. "Of course, we have a lot of opponents who don't like it, who aren't motorsport fans.

"The fight against environmental lobbyists and environmental associations is getting bigger and bigger. 

“That's why we've already got to the point where we're starting an electric theme and have it in our program. 

“Almost 50% of the races that take place at the Norisring this weekend will be electric,” he added, referring to the Swedish NXT Gen Cup support series, which will run with fully-electric Mini Cooper cars.

Climate activists on track

Climate activists on track

Photo by: Andreas Beil

Although MCN claims to be implementing several sustainability measures, such as using electricity through green sources and providing complimentary S-bahn train tickets to race-goers, the event has still been targeted by environment protestors.

One of the two races last year had to be delayed after some activists climbed over the safety fences and stormed to the race track, even pouring liquid on the tarmac. A marshal was also injured in a “physical altercation” while trying to stop the protestors.

In contrast to previous years, no demonstration has been registered in Nuremberg in the run-up to the event, but a large police force is still expected to patrol the area.

But the battle against environment associations is only one problem for MCN, as Schlosser explains.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult to find people who want to do volunteer work. Everyone always expects a reward,” he said. “We now have to hand over some businesses to professional companies. 

"We are fighting to keep it alive, as the costs are of course rising extremely, but at the moment we are still in a good position as a club.” 

Norisring preparation

Norisring preparation

Photo by: Andreas Beil

As things stand, the Norisring race has the backing from the city of Nuremberg, led by mayor Marcus Konig.

"Thank God we currently have a city leadership that is behind it," said Schlosser.

"They say it is a great asset for the city, it is an economic asset for the city. Of course it also has an advertising effect for the city when the Norisring and its races are broadcast all over the world. We are talking about over 60 television stations that are covering it."

The continued support of the city government will be the most important factor in safeguarding the future of the race. The next local elections, in which a new mayor will be decided, will take place in 2026.

But despite long-term challenges, the Norisring is looking forward to hosting a bumper crowd this weekend.

"We expect 120,000 people to spend money to see this spectacular motorsport. That's what makes me proud, what I enjoy, what I think is great,” Schlosser.

An estimated attendance figure of 120,000 is a sizeable jump from 2023, when 102,000 fans passed through the gates over the weekend, according to official figures.

The MCN is currently putting the final touches between Dutzendteich and Grundig-Kehre with around 40 helpers and volunteers so that the track can be approved by the FIA ​​and the German Motor Sport Association (DMSB).

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