By on July 19, 2012

The legendary Nürburgring, purveyor of records an dreams, is dead. Well, it’s clinically dead, but it might be brought back to life. What else would you do with a 16 mile road that goes nowhere in the middle of nowhere? The Ring is bankrupt. Out of money. Can’t pay its bills. Broke. Bust. Pleite.

It’s not that the owner of the race track is poor.  The Nürburgring is 90 percent owned by its state Rhineland-Palatinate, the remaining 10 are held by the county. The managing company Nuerburgring GmbH ”ran into financial trouble amid a dispute with the track’s operator over leasing fees,” says Reuters. Managing company Nürburgring GmbH has been in arrears in the rent since February, and has canceled the contract.

The state wanted to rescue the Ring with a bridge financing package worth €13 million. However, as we have learned before, such largesse requires EU approval, and none was coming. No wonder: Brussels is looking into €524 million of tax payer money which so far was dumped into the race track and a new theme park.

The matter is seen as political show business in Germany. State premier Kurt Beck blames Europe’s favorite whipping boy, Brussels. Beck’s opposition demands his resignation. There will be races and rock concerts on the Ring. How, will be decided after the court in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler has looked into the matter. By today, it had not even received the paperwork.


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13 Comments on “Hi, Ho, The Ring Is Dead...”

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Goodbye, shalom, arrivederci, sayonara, toodleoo, aloha, farewell – and pass the popcorn.

  • avatar

    Personally I am glad, as it will be one less worthless metric for which the internet auto “enthusiast” will have to decimate cars they will never buy/own

    “I love my Lexus ES, it is a very relaxing car to drive, even in traffic”


    This is only exacerbated by the fact that ring times are done under various traffic & weather conditions, by various drivers, from various start and finish points etc. I am certain it was a great track to drive on, and its a shame people are losing out on THAT. But its definitely a dead horse and dang near a red herring in the context of car talk.

    • 0 avatar

      There is a 0% chance of the Germans allowing the Nurburgring to die.

      • 0 avatar

        +1 Dr Nick. The Ring may be kaput in it’s current financial guise, but it will never be built over or dug up. Germans just won’t let it happen.

    • 0 avatar

      Referring to Bertel’s LFA articles, Chief Engineer Tanahashi seems to think ‘Ring times matter as he used the times around the course as a way to quantify the performance improvement of the $70,000 ‘Ring package.

  • avatar

    The risk of a German bailout of a financially an entity that is broke and unable to pay its bills being blocked by the EU as “largesse.”

    Anyone else smirk to themselves?

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Killed by publicity. It did just fine when it was a couple of crooked German back roads strung together into a few loops. When it became an internet celebrity and moneymaking venture, down the tubes.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes that’s exactly what the “ring” is and was. It’s not like it’s been a place of pilgrimage for European petrolheads, major racing events and series for decades, no, not at all.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Damn, Nürburgring times and panel gap measurements were critical car buying decisions for me.

    • 0 avatar

      Me too. I’ll have to back to ‘how long before it overheats on the Chicago loop during rush hour in August’ standard.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        Congratulations! You have won the the unofficial ‘TTAC Comment Of The Week’ Award.

        Please proceed to the nearest vending machine and buy yourself some Cheetos.

        Oh, and thanks for making the world laugh… or at least yours truly laugh. I needed one this evening.

  • avatar

    Hmmmm. Isn’t there a major international race meet scheduled there for, like, right now?

    I wonder how much the management of the competition track and the excursion track are mingled? (And yes, I know the Nordschleife still hosts organized racing events. At this point, it’s more amusement park than serious racing facility) Seems like a particularly inopportune time to go bankrupt. Or a particularly carefully timed one.

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