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Dispute over Schumi kart track: will Erftlandring be demolished without replacement?

Wilhelm
Coal pact saves Schumi-Kart track
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T he fans of Michael Schumacher can breathe a sigh of relief. The track of the Kart Club Kerpen, one of the pilgrimage sites for Schumi fans, does not fall victim to the lignite opencast mine after all. The original plan was to demolish the historic piece of asphalt on which the Formula 1 record world champion had made his first fast laps in 2020.

The kart racing fans owe the preservation of the track to the environmentalists, of all things . Years of protests against the clearing of the Hambach Forest and the open-cast mine in the neighboring Steinheide by the energy company RWE were ultimately successful.

Hambach Forest and go-kart track are spared

Last Thursday ( January 16, 2020) as part of the so-called coal pact, which limits the running times of the power plants, the restriction of lignite mining in the Rhineland was announced. Accordingly, the Hambach Forest should be preserved permanently. The neighboring area is also spared.

RWE spokesman Guido Steffen confirmed to the Kölner Express: “Our plan is not to use the rest of the Steinheide area within the current mining area. This also corresponds to the demands of the North Rhine-Westphalian state government on RWE. We therefore assume that the kart track located in the Steinheide can be preserved. ”

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Michael Schumacher turned the first fast laps of his career in Kerpen.

This also ends the dispute between the Kerpen karting club, where Sebastian Vettel also earned his first spurs, and those responsible at RWE. The core of the dispute were problems with the promised alternative location for a new buildingthe train. A site that was initially planned by the mine operator was not approved by the city of Kerpen for the operation of a motor sports facility for noise protection reasons.

Command back in Kerpen

Because no suitable site was found until the end , the Kerpen kart club was threatened with a complete end. Even protests and collections of signatures against the cessation of youth support after 55 years of racing could not change the minds of those responsible in the city of Kerpen and RWE.

Last year, the owners of the Erftlandring - two thirds belong to the Schumacher family, one third the go-kart club - already agreed on financial compensation with the energy company. The complete evacuation of the facility and the 1.201 kilometer long go-kart track were scheduled for October. Now it's back to command. Everything can go on as before.

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