Two dead, three injured in Kesselchen crash

Official 'Ring Taxi for the Nordschleife by Jaguar RaceTaxi Nürburgring

I’m saddened to confirm that two tourists are dead and three more people were injured in a crash on the so-called “fourth left” of Kesselchen on the Nürburgring Nordschleife today.

SWR have a small report online (here, in German) but here are the brief details:

  • A red Civic EG was severely crushed following an accident during today’s touristenfahrten session.
  • It’s reported that both the driver and passenger perished, after the vehicle suffered a hard impact in the side.
  • The accident happened on the fourth left of the Kesselchen section, just before the 12km marker, between marshall points 129 and 130.
  • Two marshalls attending already attending an accident were injured, one seriously. Another driver is being treated for shock, it would be fair to assume that’s the driver of the first car.

These are the facts in the public domain right now. I will update the story as more details are confirmed.

“My thoughts are with the families and friends of those directly affected by this awful incident.”

Background:

Not only is that corner lacking a proper name, but it’s well known to be incredibly difficult in wet conditions. See here for more examples. It’s also nearly 2km away from the nearest remote-controlled warning light (which is on the left side at the 10km marker by Lauda Links). This means that impatient drivers can often get ‘bored’ of slowing down for the light and will accelerate again leaving Bergwerk. This is a frighteningly common mistake, and it’s why many people have been calling for another warning sign around marshall point 128.

More thoughts.

It’s nearly midnight, I’m going to go to bed soon, probably you are too. Whether or not any of us sleep is a different matter. Everybody is a victim today, nobody is a winner.

The Nordschleife isn’t the same track as in 1927, and progress doesn’t need to be a dirty word. The introduction of the solar-powered, radio-controlled warning lights was a great idea. But we need more of them, and in better positions, and more people dedicated to controlling them.

If I want to run a trackday for 10 drivers on the Nordschleife, I need to run a team of flag marshalls. But 300 drivers per lap in TF? Apparently not.

And there’s one assumption that maybe we’re all not noticing.

What does an extra yellow light mean, if nobody takes the time to tell each driver what it means?

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