The long, drawn-out saga surrounding the state of Germany’s famed Nurburgring may be finally close to its conclusion.
According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, ADAC — one of Europe’s largest automobile clubs — is one step closer to acquiring the ’Ring after submitting non-binding offer to purchase the famous racetrack. As part of the deal between the auto club and the Rhineland state government, the former would be granted ownership of the circuit, which could include both the ’Ring and the Nordschleife, but not the other veritable neighboring attractions, including the shopping mall and the amusement park.
Should this transaction push through, it’s safe to say that the Nurburgring — if it were alive that is — could rest easy knowing that it’s in good hands. Besides, this isn’t the first time an auto club has owned a race track. Silverstone, for one, is controlled by the British Racing Drivers’ Club and last we checked, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, France’s biggest auto club, still owns the Circuit de la Sarthe where Le Mans is staged.
Here’s to hoping that the Nurburgring’s bankruptcy saga can now be laid to rest for good.
Click past the jump for a quick history lesson on the Nurburgring.
Brief Nurburgring History
The Nurburgring first opened in 1927, and the first races took place on June 18th of the same year. The original Nurburgring had three separate tracks in one: Gesamtstrecke ("Whole Course"), Nordschleife ("North Loop") and Südschleife ("South Loop"). These tracks measured 14.173 miles, 14.173 miles and 4.814 miles, respectively, and none of them lived in their original form beyond 1982. Specifically, the Südschleife was abandoned in 1973, and much of it has been destroyed for other constructions, and the rest of the `Ring was overhauled between 1981 and 1983, following F1 pulling its Grand Prix from the dangerous track that almost cost Niki Lauda his life.
In 1984, an overhaul of the Nordschleife was completed, and it was renamed the GP-Strecke (Grand Prix Course). Essentially, the overhaul included just a barrage of safety features and smoothing out the rough spots on the track. In 2002, the GP Course was updated by the removal of the Castrol Chicane and the installation of a sharp right-hand hook, and installing a large Omega-shaped section where the old kart track was located.
Though the original Nordschleife no longer exists, you can still drive on a slightly shortened version of it, which passes through the small "pit lane" section where the toll gates are located. Because you cannot zip through the tolls at racing speeds, most people that time themselves from the first bridge to the last gantry before the exit, hence the "Bridge-to-Gantry" saying.