There have been many stories recently about the future of the Nurburgring race track. The Nurburgring is one of the world’s most famous race tracks. The 25-kilometer long course first opened in 1927. In 1984, a new track was built to accommodate Formula One racing. Since 2007, Formula One races in Germany have alternated biannually between Nurburgring and the Hockenheimring. At this time, the planned 2013 German Grand Prix race is to be held at Nurburgring.
The Nurgburgring track has been losing money for years. Frequently the state of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided some aid to keep the track afloat. Nurburgring’s present more serious troubles began in 2004 when it built a year-round amusement park and hotel complex that is not yet complete, but this has been a commercial failure.
In July the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, which owns the race track, said it would ask the operating company to file for insolvency, and initiate bankruptcy proceedings due to the perilous financial situation that the track finds itself in.
At the beginning of August the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate released a loan guarantee of about $312M for the Nurburgring circuit. However, the package of state aid that seemed to have rescued Nurburgring is being investigated by the European Commission. If the commission judges that its state-aid regulations have been breached, then it would insist that the loan guarantee be withdrawn. If this was to happen, one could expect the immediate bankruptcy of the Nurburgring.
All of this would be a great shame if the Nurburgring should close. I had the opportunity this spring to go to the Nurburgring track along with my frequently rally partner, Harald von Langsdorff. Harald and I had the pleasure of taking the Nurburgring fast “taxi” ride driven by a professional race driver on the old track or Nordschleife. In addition, we also we able to take our road car on a lap of the Nordschleife. I made several posts to this website on May 5, 8, and 15 about these adventures.
All of these stories about the closing of Nurburgring has caused me to take another look at some of the photos that I took during our lap of the Nordschleife. As a result, I have picked out a few more of these photos to present a wider viewpoint of this magnificent track.
One of the Things That First Surprised and Then Disappointed Me Was The Amount of Graffiti on the Track
In Addition To Many Curves, The Nordschleife Has Many Elevation Changes
This Lap Took Place in Mid-April. The Track Would be More Spectacular When The Tree Leaves Are Out
I Never Understood the Meaning of these “50” Signs
When We Reached the “Karousel”, We Had The Relinquish The Racing Line To A Passing Car
There Were A Number of Cars On The Nordschleife Track
I hope that the Nurburgring can get its financial house in order so that others will be able to lap this track as I have been able to do.
While I suppose that the idea of an amusement park at Nurburgring must have made sense to somebody, when I got to the track, I was disappointed that there was not a good museum which celebrated the history and magnificence of this track.
I expect to hear more about the financial condition of this facility as the planning for next year’s German Grand Prix gets underway.