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Is Red Bull Ring Being Restored To Full Glory?

An Audi A5 car passes the giant bull statue at the Red Bull ring in 2015's DTM race. Picture: Audi Sport
By:
 Neil Tipton
Added:
 Sunday, April 3, 2016

Austria's Red Bull Ring appears to be undergoing renovation in order to restore the remaining sections of the old Österrichring to full use, if photos from the local area are to be believed.

Images published by Michael Jurtin's Motorsport Spielberg Facebook page show a new chicane being constructed near to the location of the original Hella-Licht S-bend and work also being undertaken at the Turn 2 hairpin, where the old circuit rejoins the current.

The photos, apparently taken yesterday and on March 22, would seem to indicate that Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has given the go-ahead for the restoration of the full circuit, including the famed Dr Tiroch Kurve, which has lain dormant since the A1-Ring redevelopment was opened in 1996.

It wouldn't be the first time that Mateschitz has unveiled plans to create a longer lap at the circuit. The original Projeckt Spielberg envisaged the creation of a Westschleife extension in 2005, which resulted in the demolition of the pit buildings and main grandstand and an access trench carved through the main straight, cutting the track in two. Then came unexpected news; after a campaign by local residents, in December 2004 Austria's Environmental Senate blocked the proposals and work saying the project fell foul of noise and pollution regulations. Work was immediately halted and, with no pits, grandstands and a gaping hole in the track, there was no possibility of continuing racing.

The circuit was finally restored to use in the same configuration as the A1-Ring in 2011, going on to host DTM, then a return of Formula One in 2014. This year sees it also host the MotoGP championship for the first time. Currently the Red Bull Ring is one of the shortest tracks on either calendar,

It is not clear whether a newly extended track may be used by F1, MotoGP or for national racing only. Any decision to use it for the highest levels of racing would require homologation to FIA Grade 1 status and FIM Grade A - likely to be quite costly.

RacingCircuits.info has contacted the Red Bull Ring to find out more - we'll update you as soon as we hear it.

View the pictures of the current construction work at https://www.facebook.com/MotorsportSpielberg.

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