We reported just under a year ago that the infamous Nürburgring racing course had been experiencing a number of financial difficulties due to accounting mishaps and mismanagements. The course had come into more than 350 million EUR of debt and had filed for bankruptcy, launching a fan-led Save the Ring effort to keep the facility from going under completely.
One of the options presented to keep the Ring active was a possible sale to a private owner.
Of course, there were concerns that if the Nürburgring come under private ownership, it might change the dynamics of property and alter its place in racing history forever. After all, any owner would want to maximize profits to secure their investment, which might affect how much they took fans and development companies into consideration.
Well, we’re going to find out, because earlier last month, Nurburging sold for just 100 million EUR. A German automotive firm known as the Capricorn Group is the lucky buyer. Capricorn is headed up by Dr. Robertino Wild. Capricorn was one of two major bids made for the property.
At least 25 million EUR of the funds are slated to go directly into investing in the track itself, such as expanding the courses, upgrading the grounds, and the establishment of a new “automotive technology cluster” which will replace the current Eifeldorf roller-coaster and unsuccessful amusement park.
Dr. Wild had this to say about the purchase and Capricorn’s motivation:
“As an enthusiastic motor sport fan, the Nürburgring has always been a passion of mine. We have identified the enormous potential of this unique race venue and would like to optimise the existing structures, but above all turn the vision of an automotive technology cluster into reality. If the Nürburgring does well, then the people in the region also do well.”
Ownership of Nürburgring will effectively change hands on January 1, 2015, so long as the European Commission approves the investor process. In the meantime, fans will continue to have to wait and see what Capricorn actually delivers to Nürburgring and whether it will truly transform the track for better or for worse.