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Ecclestone places bid to buy famed Nurburgring track

Jan 15, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of China - Race Getty Images

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is looking to buy perhaps the most hallowed track in the history of the sport. Reuters reported today that that the British billionaire has put in a bid to acquire the Nurburgring, which has fallen on hard times financially in recent years.

According to Reuters, the assets up for bidding include the track and an adjacent amusement park. An official for the administrators told Reuters that they would not comment on specific bidders but are looking to have a new owner in place soon so they “can start the season in April.”

The famous Nurburgring Nordschleife course has not hosted a Formula One Grand Prix since 1976 – a race known for the fiery wreck that almost took the life of three-time World Champion Niki Lauda. A smaller, modern circuit near the original has alternated with Hockenheim as host of Germany’s F1 event since 2007.

Nurburgring fell into bankruptcy in 2012 after its organization amassed major debts following the construction of a major complex at the track that included the aforementioned amusement park and a large shopping mall. Bigger crowds didn’t appear as expected, and in 2013, bidding began for potential buyers.

Ecclestone had pondered the idea of putting in a bid last year, telling one German publication, Die-Welt, in July that he was “at least thinking about” going ahead with it. But shortly after, he told another German publication, the Rhein-Zeitung newspaper, that he’d decided it wasn’t practical for him.

Now, it appears that he’s had yet another change of heart on the subject.

“We made an offer and we now wait for it to be accepted,” he’s told the Handeslblatt and Wirtschaftwoche publications according to Reuters. “We believe that we can do more than anyone else for the circuit. There could be a decision as early as in the coming weeks.”

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