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Rescue Mission: Legendary Nurburgring finds new buyer

Located in the Eifel Mountains, the Nurburgring race complex can be described as nothing more than a living legend. The older Nordschleife circuit is a giant conquering monster, spanning 13 miles and representing the ultimate test for both driver and machine. Any circuit that is large enough for villages to exist happily within its titanic boundaries is not one to be ignored.

Although the original racetrack has long since disappeared into the deep annals of time, many alterations were made to the track and the racing heritage of the track continues today. The Nordschleife circuit serves as a vital testing ground for world car manufacturers, giving them the chance to give their new machines the ultimate shakedown on the ultimate race track. Most importantly, Nordschleife holds a strong significance for car lovers around the world; the circuit is often open for public track days. Is there a better treat for any lover of anything automobile?

In addition to the original track, there is of course the modern F1 track that lies within the same facility of the old circuit. This new layout was designed following the unsafe nature of the original design for the high speed nature of Formula One. The new track may only be 3.16 miles long, but it is still a firm favourite among drivers around the world. It has the perfect combination of speed, handling and spectacle.

The Nurburgring Complex includes both the old Nordschleife circuit as well as the modern F1 track. Look at the size of that!

The Nurburgring Complex includes both the old Nordschleife circuit as well as the modern F1 track. Look at the size of that!

Despite its position as the Olympus of motorsport heritage, sitting proudly atop the Eifel mountain range, the Nurburgring has been in massive financial problems over the last few years. One of the most modern additions to the circuit complex was a track side amusement park, which includes a roller-coaster that has never actually been used. The development of this amusement park has been cited as one of the reasons that the track started to struggle. Overtaken by monumental debts, the circuit finally went into administration in 2012.

The search for a new buyer began. This was a matter of life or death. For a long time, the motoring world thought that the complex would be closed down altogether.

In recent years, the F1 calendar has been switching between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim for the honours of the German GP. If the circuit was to close, the German GP would forever only be held at Hockenheim.

The prospect of losing the Nurburgring would have been a massive blow for world motorsport, especially F1. We are currently living in the Tilke generation of F1 tracks; circuits that have no soul, character or interesting qualities whatsoever. I mean seriously, who thought that Singapore was a good idea? And let us not also forget that the home of British motorsport has also been defiled; the Silverstone GP circuit has been changed and ‘improved’…

The Nurburgring, both the old and new circuits, represent a true test of motorsport ability. As tracks to drive they are both challenging and a bundle of fun. Most importantly they have character. They have a history. They have a soul. Why would we want to lose that?

One of the worries I have when race tracks come under new management is the identity of the buyer or the title sponsor. On one hand, there is the chance of a ‘McDonalds Nurburgring’ boasting new corners such as the Big Mac Esses and the McNugget hairpin. Large corporations do indeed have the money to afford race tracks, but I always feel that their name envelops the original character of their new asset and it loses a certain something.

And on the other hand, I do worry that a company with a downright ridiculous name will buy out the track. This does indeed sound ridiculous, but it has happened before. Donington Park, the once home of the British GP came under new management a few years back. The legendary track became known as…Simply Sausages Donington Park.

There are no words.

The modern F1 track was under threat, would we lose a world class race track?

The modern F1 track was under threat, would we lose a world class race track?


It has been revealed that a consortium led by investment company HIG Capital has bought the Nurburgring, for £58 million. Bernie Ecclestone had already put an offer down on the circuit, and his failure to acquire it may still spell the end of the German GP being held at the track. But the future of F1 involvement at the track is still relatively unknown.

When I found out about this, I was rather surprised, not because of the choice of company that has bought the track, but the amount they bought it for. In all honesty, my concept of maths, finance and economic strategy has never been particularly strong, but part of me thinks that £58 million is quite a low number, considering what was at stake. That is £58 million for the modern F1 track, facilities, amusement park AND the beast that is the Nordschleife circuit. Don’t get me wrong, £58 million is no small figure, especially when you take into account the financial woes the circuit had been under, but I would have thought the number would have been higher.

But no matter.

Call the Nurburgring the Rebel Alliance to the Tilke Empire.

The most important fact is that one of the most famous race tracks in the world has been saved and can continue to uphold the true character of motorsport into the next generation.

Keep Driving People!

Follow me on Twitter @lewisglynn69

Peace and Love!