German Government Ousts Nurburgring Operator

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Porsche at the 2011 Nurburgring 24 Hours

Porsche at the 2011 Nurburgring 24 Hours

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It's been no secret that the Nurburgring race track in Germany has been in financial trouble for some time now.

It's also no secret that a large amount of blame for the fabled circuit's current troubles could be placed on the track's private operator Nurburgring Automotive GmbH (NAG).

It was announced Monday morning at a press conference held by local officials lead by Local Interior Minister Roger Lewentz that the contract with NAG, which was set to expire in 2040, would be terminated.

Lewentz went on to say that an interim operator would be brought in until a new management firm was found, of which there are believed to be numerous offers, according to an article in Rhein Zeitung, which was first picked up by Jalopnik.

Of course NAG does not plan on taking the decision sitting idly. In letter earlier in the day, NAG offered their employees assurance that their jobs were secure and that the firm would fight any attempt to terminate the current contract. Now might be a good time to mention that 92 jobs were already in jeopardy due to a lack of funds.

Early signs indicate that this is good news for enthusiasts around the world. Under NAG's stewardship, public lap days have become rarer than they were a few short years ago and their cost has soared far beyond the once paltry sum of 10 euros (approximately $13). Rental fees from car companies who have test centers based at the 'Ring have proven a much more reliable source of income.

Since putting NAG in charge, local governments have invested almost $440 million in the track and have seen very little return. What they got was Ringwerk. Mockingly called Nurodisney, Ringwerk is a complex situated next to the Dorint Hotel on the main straight of the grand prix circuit. It's essentially a shopping center and museum that sees very little foot traffic outside of race weekends. NAG’s failures are perhaps best manifested in the roller coaster that winds its way through Ringwerk and alongside the grand prix track. It's never been operable.

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