Automotive enthusiasts petrified their beloved Ring, which could be sold for just 125m Euros, will fall into the wrong hands.
Havingfallen into bankruptcy last July, the government-owned Nurburgring is now upfor sale to the highest bidder. According to court-appointed liquidator Jens Lieser, the whole sprawling complex is for sale, including the arena,museum, Norschleife, grand prix circuit... even the now-impotentrollercoaster. Offers in the region of 125m Euros should be enough to secure it. At thisstage it’s unknown whether buyers are interested in the entire complex orwhether it will be split up and sold in pieces.
What is clear is that interested parties have been whittled down from 50 to “between 5 and 10” serious buyers, with “not a single Oligarch or Sheik amongst them”. While that’s meant to assure fans that the Ring won’t be transformed into someone's personal playground, the new owners will need to turn a profit. While governments have a social responsibility to attract tourists and support local business, the new owner could end up canceling unprofitable events like grassroots motorsport races and public track days. On the other hand, a cash injection could help secure the Ring's long-term viability.
Automotive enthusiasts are protesting the sale under the “Save The Ring” campaign. Yesterday, a parade of cars drove from Nurburg to the where the local government resides in Mainz to voice their outrage at the proposed sale; a valiant effort but one that will likely prove fruitless. The Nurburgring has to be sold as the German government can ill afford to keep propping it up. Let’s just hope the new owners continue to maintain the traditions that have made the Ring a mecca of cars and racing for millions of fans across the globe.