6 Aug 2012

The Nurburgring is saved - for now

The Nurburgring, beloved of many a petrol-head, was reported by us three weeks ago as having gone bust.

For the time being the medium term future of the track, and the German GP, appears to be safe.  The owners, Nurburgring GmbH, have piled up €300million worth of debt over the past few years.  The loans had been provided by the local Rheinland-Pfälzischen state government, who own 90% of the track's holding company.

The Budget & Finance Committee of the Rheinland-Pfälzischen state parliament met last Wednesday and voted to pump a further €254million into Nurburgring GmbH.  This should allow next years F1 race to go ahead as well as keeping the track afloat for the time being.

The fact that the track went bust in the first place is down to two things - profligate spending by the owners on hotels and night-clubs, and EU rules forbidding state aid for private enterprises.

It appears the EU rules are still a factor - indeed opposition parties who voted against the bailout warn that the payment is "legally dubious".

Capital valuations of the track vary from €90-€200million, notwithstanding the debts.  Hopefully a private company or individual will step in and give the Nurburgring the long term future it deserves.

We'll report any further news that appears.

For those Speedmonkey readers who are interested, and can read German, here is a link to an article in   the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on the subject.