The world famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany is on the verge of bankruptcy, requiring 13 million euros ($15.5 million) to avoid going broke, according to reports.
Automotive enthusiast website Jalopnik and German publication Rhein-Zeitung report that the Nurburgring, a motorsport complex that includes the 20.8km Nordschleife circuit that cuts through the Eifel mountains and is known for its challenging and dangerous turns, is in dire straits financially and looks likely to go into administration if money is not invested.
The state government previously spent 524 million euros ($626 million) on the complex, resulting in an amusement park, hotels and a shopping mall all opening in 2009, but reports say the European Union isn’t prepared to assist in a bail out.
The Nurburgring had been completely publicly owned until May 2010 when two private investors took control of the complex.
Reports say the 2012 schedule of events will continue unchanged but 2013 is surrounded in doubt.
The Nurburgring, infamously referred to as ‘The Green Hell’ by former racer Sir Jackie Stewart, was constructed between 1925 and 1927. The circuit’s history has seen its share of ups and downs, much like the track itself, including a fiery crash in 1976 that saw the then-reigning Formula One world champion Niki Lauda escape with his life but badly burned.
Between 1928 and 2010 there have been nearly 70 recorded competitor deaths at the circuit, but this number doesn’t include race officials, public users or unofficial testing.
With the track commonly used for testing by manufacturers including Porsche, Audi and Aston Martin among many others, racing events such as the Formula One and 24-hour endurance race, as well as driver training days and public use, it’s hard to imagine that with so many interested and reliant parties involved the ‘Ring could simply be left to stand dormant as an icon of yesteryear. Perish the thought.