It’s official: the Nürburgring has been sold to a German automotive firm for the sum of €100 million.
The newly formed Capricorn Group completed ‘intense and constructive negotiations’ and saw off rival bids to take full ownership of the legendary race circuit, some 20 months after an insolvency application.
One of the insolvency monitors, Jens Lieser, confirmed that the creditors’ committee were presented with “two excellent offers”, plumping for Capricorn’s bid “that delivered the highest purchase price and good prospects for the region”.
Of that €100 million, Capricorn – headed up by Dr Robertino Wild – has earmarked €25 million for investment into the circuit, including an expansion of the ‘Ring itself and its periphery, as well as the creation of a new ‘automotive technology cluster’; the Nürburgring’s roller-coaster (‘ring-racer’) will be shut down, the Eifeldorf will be replaced by the tech cluster, there’ll be a revamp of the organisational structures and the ring-card will be binned.
Barring intervention from the European Commission (who must be convinced the investor process was carried out properly), the company will take over the ‘Ring’s assets on 1 January 2015, which means business as usual for the 2014 season.
Dr Wild, himself an avid racer who won the Ferrari Challenge 2000, said: “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,” he added.
So, that’s that. As a proposed change, what say we lobby Dr Wild and his colleagues for a universal ‘Ring lap time, and start making it the ultimate benchmark, and not – as Ford noted late last year – an irrelevant comparison?