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Nürburgring Gets Temporary Reprieve With German State Loan


Porsche at the 2011 Nurburgring 24 Hours

Porsche at the 2011 Nurburgring 24 Hours

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When the Nürburgring was forced into bankruptcy last month, the future of the storied racetrack looked bleak, at best. No one knew what would happen to the circuit, whose operators (Nürburgring GmbH) found themselves some $490 million in debt to a Rhineland-Palatinate bank.

Now comes word from AutoWeek that the ‘Ring may have gotten a reprieve, at least temporarily, from the Rheinland-Palatinate state legislature. Its budget committee has approved a $312 million loan guarantee, which will allow the circuit to service its existing debt and continue operation.

That keeps the Nürburgring operational for now, but likely doesn’t solve the longer-term problems that forced it into bankruptcy in the first place. Despite recent rumors that Bernie Ecclestone was considering the purchase of the Nürburgring, Germany’s Der Tagesspiel newspaper (via World Car Fans) quotes Ecclestone as saying, “No. I don’t think its for sale in that way.”

Of primary concern to Ecclestone is having a location to run next year’s German Grand Prix, scheduled for the Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit. If the track is insolvent, the event could return to Hockenheim for another year, or Ecclestone could provide some sort of financial assistance to the Nürburgring.

When asked that specific question by Der Tagesspiel, Ecclestone replied cryptically, “Let’s wait and see. At the moment we’re having talks.”

We’ll take that as a good sign, and we doubt that Ecclestone is the only investor talking about the Nürburgring. As long as the dialogue continues, the track’s fate may not yet be decided.
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