Lausitzring to be a test track for driverless vehicles and racing

The new owners of the Lausitzring have clarified that the door is still firmly open for motorsport events once their takeover is completed in November. Automotive testing firm DEKRA earlier this week announced it was take ownership of the site at Klettwitz in Eastern Germany and convert it for use as a testing center for autonomous vehicle technology.

While the announcement was reported as meaning the end of motorsport at the venue after 17 years, has now confirmed with DEKRA that it intends to make the facility available for hire by race promoters on a case-by-case basis, though they will not themselves be organizing racing events.

DEKRA spokesperson Wolfgang Sigloch confirmed to "The claim that our acquisition of the Lausitzring racetrack would necessarily mean the end of all motorsport activities there is not accurate. DEKRA is a company that has motorsports at its heart – you can see that from our long-term commitment to DTM (as the official technical partner) or the sponsoring partnership with Nico Hülkenberg. Of course, organizing racing events is not our core business, so it is clear that we ourselves will not be doing that.

"However – and I am grateful to anyone pointing that out in the media – we have said in the press conference on Monday that we are indeed willing to talk to potential organizers who would want to hire the racetrack for certain events. There is no guarantee for racing events to take place from 2018 onwards, but it is by no means impossible under our plans of using the racetrack as a testing facility for automated and connected driving."

Currently, the circuit hosts rounds of the DTM, ADAC GT Masters and World Superbikes, as well as events such as the Red Bull Air Race. It remains to be seen which, if any, of these events may return in 2018.

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