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Germany’s famed Nurburgring saved from insolvency, possible extinction

Mar 12, 2014, 7:48 PM EDT

Photo courtesy: Savethering.org Photo courtesy: Savethering.org

The future of Germany’s iconic Nurburgring race track has apparently gone from cloudy at best to very sunny.

According to MotorAuthority.com, the track has been sold to German automotive manufacturer Capricorn, thus saving the legendary 16-turn, 5.148 kilometer/3.199 mile from potentially going out of business or even being scrapped and having its massive land area developed.

Track officials had declared the facility insolvent in 2012, but it continued to operate and host major events including Formula One’s German Grand Prix.

Capricorn is no stranger to the facility, according to Spiegel Online, with approximately 100 of its 350 total employees working in a factory on the grounds to produce pistons, camshafts, crankshafts and a variety of other engine parts.

Now that it owns the track, Capricorn is expected to further expand its production footprint, including a new technology center being planned.

Nicknamed “Green Hell” by F1 great Jackie Stewart, Nurburgring’s sale must still be approved by European Union regulators, but that would appear to be a mere formality, given the track had few other suitors to rescue it from its nearly two-year-old insolvency.

F1 president Bernie Ecclestone had made an offer for the track in mid-January, but Capricorn’s offer was reportedly significantly larger.

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  1. chad4208 - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    article is a tad confusing. The grand prix track isnt green hell and obviously green hel/Nordschleife hasn’t hosted a grand prix in decades so…. This article is worded as if the currently used track and the 160 turn Nordschleife is the same thing. Whether it may technically be or not, by ownership, name and land area, it would give a non informed person the wrong information.

    • Jerry Bonkowski - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      Chad, the deal was for the entire complex.

      • testover6370 - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        Right, but the article first talks only about how the new GP Strecke (16 turns, 5.148km) was bought. the refers to it as the Green Hell while making no mention that the Green Hell refers to the Nordschleife, which while being at the same complex, is a 73 corner (according to my infographic desktop background, your count may vary) 12.8 mile different track.

        The article does seem to imply that only the GP Strecke was bought and saved, but apparently the whole complex including the Nordschleife is part of the deal. The Nordschleife is still relevant from a motorsports perspective as it hosts the VLN series and 24 hours of the Nurburgring, as well as being historically significant to F1. As a manufacturer testing ground/benchmark track, and being open to tourist drives, it also helps ties motorsports to road car development.

  2. worknman24hours - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    This is great news.

    But Capricorn has to stay solvent itself and earn enough money to support the deal and to plan for a way to make the Nurburgring complex money self sustaining.

    I really think that Germany itself needs to nationalize the track in the name of Germany as a national treasure and to make sure for all time that the Nurburgring stands for the courage of the German people to have the finest natural track saved for all time as a tribute to the bravery of all drivers worldwide brave enough to come to Germany and test their courage against the German meaning of driving brilliance.

    There is no track as challenging in all the world and as difficult to master and that track resides in Germany.

    The German people build some of the finest cars in all the world and this track is the match to that automotive engineering brilliance.

    The Nurburgring is the electricity that feeds that automotive brilliance.

    We,Germans must never let that electricity go out.

    • indycarseries500 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Considering who built it, I doubt Germany would ever name it a national treasure.

      • kitnamania13 - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        I’m pretty sure the ring was built before that guy rose to power.

  3. chad4208 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    I know the entire complex was in the deal…JERRY. I said the wording was…well what testover6370 said. You wrote the article as if both tracks were the same. Being at the same complex (owner/land area as I originally said) doesn’t make them the same track. It would be confusing to somebody who doesn’t already know two separate tracks were being refereed to, as you, in your writing Guinness, made it seem like a single track.

    And as for the number of turns….*shrugs* I googled so I could even spell “Nordschleife” and the original number I saw on what I clicked on said 160.

  4. chad4208 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    BTW…it was built in 1925…had nothing to do with Hitler and I’m reading up on versions of the track and configurations….Love history

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