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Two Goodyear Employees Killed in Nurburgring Tire Test Crash

Witnesses say the Porsche 911 flipped several times at high speed on the track's main straight.
AP

A tragic high-speed wreck at the Nurburgring Nordschleife on Wednesday left two Goodyear employees dead. The two men, aged 39 and 44, were performing a tire test at the famous 12.94-mile track. As reported by Auto Motor und Sport, witnesses claim the Porsche 911 overturned several times at high speed, ejecting both men before coming to rest near the end of the track’s main straight. Industry testing and tourist drives on Wednesday and Thursday were canceled due to the incident.

“A vehicle taking part in the test drives had a single-car accident in the Tiergarten section of the track,” a spokesman for the track said Thursday.

Reports claim the vehicle involved was a previous generation Porsche 911 Carerra S, built between 2011 and 2019. The 39-year-old passenger has been identified as racing driver Christian Franck of Luxembourg, while the 44-year-old driver’s name isn’t known yet.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, though the public prosecutor based in the nearby city of Koblenz, Kirsten Mietasch, has indicated there are no findings yet. However, YouTuber and ‘Ring denizen Misha Charoudin posted a video yesterday describing how he heard the crash from his residence and that first responders said the Porsche struck a broken part that came off another car and blew a tire.

Many automakers and automotive suppliers test vehicles and components on the Nordschleife, although fatal accidents involving “industry pool” testing by OEMs are uncommon. Fatalities, injuries, and collisions during so-called “testing days” are more numerous. The last fatal accident at the track happened in 2021.

Several high-profile crashes have occurred throughout the track’s history. Formula 1 races have been hosted at the Nurburgring’s shorter Grand Prix circuit since 1976, which is considerably safer for many practical reasons. The decision to switch was made following legendary Austrian racing driver Niki Lauda’s near-fatal accident, which left him with severe burns.

This story has been updated with more details on the circumstances of the crash. Got a tip? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com