One of the world's oldest and most famous race tracks, the Nürburgring, is facing closure unless hundreds of millions of Euros of debt are repaid
Is the world-famous Nürburgring facing closure? According to European reports, the 21km Nürburgring race track, which is regularly used by car and motorcycle companies to test prototypes of their upcoming models and many weekend warrirors, is facing closure due to outstanding debts.
The legendary Nürburgring originally opened in 1927, and was nicknamed the 'Green Hell' by famous F1 driver Jackie Stewart, but the decision to upgrade the motorsports complex in 2007, with a rollercoaster theme park, hotel and other facilities, seems to have backfired.
The capital used to fund the project was supposed to be from private investment but the Government ended up fitting the bill, and with the GFC taking its toll on European coffers, the EU wants its almost €400 ($523) million back. The theme park is alleged to be unpopular.
There is a possibility that the motorsports complex could be shut down or its facilities pared back in the future if an alternative is not found, and for the time being maintenance is expected to drop and while entry prices rise.
Arguably Germany's -- if not the world's -- most famous racetrack, more and more car manufacturers used their 'Ring lap times to spruik their high performance products over the past half decade, a practice that may soon come to an end.
On certain days the public can pay a nominal fee to do one lap around the Nürburgring on their motorcycle or in their car, but if the issue isn't resolved in the mid-term future, the only way the public will be able to experience the Green Hell will be on the Playstation and Xbox.
There is currently a groundswell of public support to keep the Nürburgring open to the public, via Gopetition.com and several Facebook pages have also emerged.
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Published : Saturday, 8 January 2011