A Russian Billionaire Has Bought the Nurburgring

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And many 'Ring fans are less than thrilled.

The state of affairs for the famed Nurburgring hasn't been so good for some time. Basically, a group of investors a few years back had the supposedly brilliant idea to turn the German track into something of a tourist attraction for families, complete with a fancy hotel, restaurants, and even an amusement park. It was a colossal failure and the Nurburgring soon faced dire financial difficulties. A savior was badly needed and the local government also declared it would help out.

For a while F1 head honcho Bernie Ecclestone was said to be interested in buying the property. That didn't pan out, but now reports have come in claiming that another buyer has been found. PistonHeads states that a Russian billionaire, named Viktor Kharitonin, has reportedly bought into an agreement as the senior partner. The junior partner is GetSpeed GmbH. The previous senior partner was a firm called Capricorn and the agreement originally called for a deal worth around 77 million euros. When Capricorn failed to make the agreed upon payments on time, Kharitonin stepped in and paid them instead.

Despite regional government assurances to 'Ring enthusiasts that the property would never fall into the hands of, say, a Russian oligarch, and that other sources of financing would be found, the worst for them has apparently come true. But still, the Nurburgring remains open for business. At least it hasn't been shut down entirely.

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