24 August 2012:
Nurburgring is the world’s longest and most challenging race track, with over 20 km of asphalt and an astonishing 154 corners. For years, it has been the Mecca for auto enthusiasts around the world, where manufacturers send their new cars for testing. An extremely demanding track, it was famously nicknamed “Green Hell” by former British racer Sir Jackie Stewart. Unfortunately, Nurburgring is now in deep trouble, and is on the brink of closing down due to bankruptcy. It needs about €13 million annually to keep the track operational, has debts of €497 million, and assets valued at only about €126m.
|Bernie Ecclestone ❘ Pic courtesy: Bloomberg
Help is at hand though, from one of the most unlikely quarters and it’s none other than the Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. The highly criticized FIA boss had earlier said that he would allow F1 races to be held at ‘The Ring’, but would keep all the event revenues for himself. A couple of weeks back though he said that he would actually be looking to buy the whole track, and would not be holding any F1 races there. Negotiations are on and for the moment he seems to be the knight in shining armour. The auto world would be a different place without the Nurburgring, and if Mr. Ecclestone is looking to buy and revive it, then it is indeed some good news.
|Nurburgring ❘ Pic courtesy: www.europe-autos.com