Amidst previous reports that automakers were in the running to purchase the finance-stricken Nürburgring Automotive GmbH, Reuters reports that investors from HIG Capital are on the verge of sealing the deal. The owners of Germany’s Nürburgring, one of the most famous and respected racetracks in the automotive world, announced their bankruptcy in July 2012.
Other assets in the $82.4-$96.2 million deal (€60-€70 million) deal include an adjacent amusement park and hotel. According to Reuters, HIG is in the process of acquiring specific Nürburgring assets through the German economic competition authority (Federal Cartel Office).
HIG will apparently also outbid Formula 1 hot shot Bernie Ecclestone, who was said to be in the running to purchase the track and speculated about the potential for Formula 1 to return to the Nürburgring. After the news that HIG may be the top bidder, Ecclestone told Reuters that as to F1 returning to the track, “It depends who buys it.” The last time the 13.1-mile long Nürburgring track hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix was in 1976, when Austrian driver Niki Lauda suffered a devastating crash while driving for Ferrari. Since then the track has been modified, but it remains one of the most challenging and intimidating circuits in the world.
The Nürburgring racetrack remained open since the bankruptcy filings, and the current rate for a lap is €26. German law dictates that any buyer would be required to keep the historic racetrack open to the public, although on certain days it is opened solely for automakers to test future models, or for photo and video shoots. Automotive enthusiasts and industry experts look to Nürburgring lap times as a measure of a car’s all-out capability, and we hope that if HIG completes a deal, it will keep the Nürburgring running for a long time to come.