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After a soft launch this summer during the German Grand Prix, Ring°Werk is now up and running in Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Germany. This motorsport-themed facility is located inside a purpose built 15,000 square-metre building next to the Nürburgring racetrack.
The state-funded attraction aims to appeal to a wide range of guests including Formula 1 fans, family groups and schools, as well as older visitors interested in the history of the Nürburgring.
“The park features a mix of historical material and original theming,” explains Philipp van Stratum from P&P Projects in the Netherlands, which completed much of the theming. “We made replicas of F1 cars, pit lanes and trucks, which was good fun. All these are great themes for racing enthusiasts.”
Featured at Ring°Werk are a variety of multimedia attractions, exhibitions and dining/retail experiences, highlighted by the potentially record-breaking Ring°Racer rollercoaster from S&S Worldwide.
“The Nürburgring wanted to offer its guests the opportunity to enjoy the same kind of high speed and adrenalin rush that the F1 drivers themselves experience,” explains Kevin Rohwer, S&S vice-president of sales.
Located parallel to the real racetrack, Ring°Racer accelerates to 217km/h (135mph) in 2.5 seconds – or should do. The ride has been plagued by technical problems since it was unveiled during the grand prix, where it was operated at reduced speed. After identifying the cause of the fault (see statement below), S&S was due to hand the ride over towards the end of the year and a new world-coaster speed record will now take place in early 2010.
Nevertheless, a well-publicised series of delays (amongst other things the multimedia theatre Legend Grüne Hölle also experienced teething troubles) is thought to have had a significant impact on attendance. In its first two months the park attracted just 30,000 visitors and local reports suggest it may only draw 100,000 by year-end – less than half the number projected.
But what else can guests find? Another major attraction is Motor Mania, a dark ride where passengers assemble their dream racing car by aiming a “petrol nozzle” at targets scattered throughout the ride. At the end of the ride, they see the vehicle they have created on a screen in front of them together with their scores. The ride was themed by P&P and uses eight trackless Multi Mover vehicles by ETF Ride Systems, themed lick race helmets, and an interactive shooting technology by Lagotronics. At certain points during the ride, the vehicles cross paths, spin and go into reverse.
Multimedia attractions include the aforementioned Grüne Hölle (Green Hell); 24hr Race in 4D, with conent by KUK Film in Munich; Truck Grand Prix, a simulator attraction courtesy of Simtec; and Nürbus Eiffel Tour, another simulator-based attraction. Test°Center is an interactive exhibition revealing the secrets of the car industry, with contributions by Lexus, Getrag, Borg Warner, RWE, BMW and KW Automotive. Ring°Akademie is an interactive game testing guests’ motor-racing knowledge, while Ring°Meister features life-size replicas of legendary racing drivers.
Children’s attractions include the Formula Junior driving experience with vehicles by SB International and the Kinderspielecke play area by HPS Play. Also featured are exhibitions celebrating Formula 1 and eight decades of motor racing, plus the Boxenstopp restaurant and Ring°Shop.
Ring°Werk is open year-round.
Ring°Racer official statement
Using S&S Worldwide’s patented pneumatic launch system, Ring°Racer promises an exciting 1.2km ride through the Nürburgring “Boulevard” at speeds of up to 217km/h (133mph). After problems during tests, S&S issued the following statement (edited extract):
“Recently, during aggressive testing of the ‘abort’ mode of the launch system, a malfunction of the mechanical control system occurred. The ride was not open to the public at the time, but there was some damage to the mechanical equipment caused by this testing and the anticipated world-record achievement will now be delayed. The necessary replacement parts are currently being manufactured. The coaster will open to the public upon completion of the final testing; however it is anticipated that this will occur sometime after the first of next year, due to the time of year, with winter approaching. Upon completion of final testing, Ring°Racer will allow riders to accelerate to 135mph (217.3km/h) in 2.5 seconds, shattering the world record for launched coaster speed.”