There are some very strange things going on between the Nürburgring and F1 right now. Just a few weeks ago, we reported that Bernie Eccelstone was willing to step up to the plate and help the Ring out of its issue. One report stated that Eccelstone would even waive his standard sanction fee for all Nürburgring F1 events in 2013. Just days later, a report emerged that Eccelstone said he will not waive fees, but was instead interested in purchasing the famed raceway.
A report from our friends over at World Car Fans is stating that the Nürburgring cannot afford to host any F1 events in 2013, as it cannot foot the sanctioning bills. That totally negates the rumors about Ecclestone waiving fees or he has rescinded or simply forgotten that offer. According to the report, Nürburgring officials and F1 will go into talks soon to try and keep F1 racing at the `Ring.
Either way, we feel that Eccelstone needs to step up and waive these sanction fees, so that racing can continue at the Nürburgring. The `Ring without F1 racing, just doesn’t quite feel right to us. Nürburgring officials are confident and vow that they can still turn a profit without F1 races, but we are fairly certain that if they miss any races, they are going to have trouble continuing the recovery process.
We will keep a close eye on this whole situation and try to figure out what in the world is going on between the Nürburgring and F1.
Okay, car commercials tend to get just a little extreme and us Americans only get to see a fraction of them, due to certain makes not being sold in the States. One automaker that is not currently selling cars in the U.S., but does well in other markets around the world, is Renault. Part of its success may be due to its crazy commercials, like the one above.
Two women of near equal beauty – racecar driver and French TV presenter, Margot Laffite and a cute blonde known only as “Jenny” – whip a Twingo R.S. around the Nürburgring. The racing is great and the women are superb, but Renault had to add in a slight twist. That twist was to challenge “Jenny” to hold a fish bowl full of water and a fish while Laffite winged this hot hatch around the `Ring.
The reactions of “Jenny” are classic and the enjoyment in Laffite’s face as she scares the crap out of this “Glam passenger” are priceless. To make things a little more interesting for the guys, this well-built passenger is wearing a white shirt, and we all know what a white shirt plus water equals...
Put your tongues in your mouths, guys, she’s wearing a blue bra, so there’s nothing to see, unless wet lingerie is your deal.
In all, the video is pretty sweet and we can’t wait to see the next edition in Renault’s “Challenge Us If You Can” video campaign. Keep it here to get the latest videos as the become available.
In the 11th hour, German officials have come through for their famed racetrack, the Nürburgring. The Ring had been in a bundle of issues, mostly caused by the decision to use public funds to build a roller coaster and a hotel in the vicinity of the track. This loan ultimately went into default and the European Union was, and presumably still is, investigating the legality of these funds.
This latest loan was provided by the German state Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP) and totals €254 million ($312 million at the current exchange rate) to help keep the track afloat and ultimately assure that its original loan is paid back.
The Christian Democrats (CDU) were strongly opposed to the loan and even went as far as to say it violates the EU’s competition laws. The German finance minister rejected the CDU’s questions of legality and continued on with the loan.
So for now, we can consider the Nürburgring safe, but for how long? If it spiraled toward bankruptcy once for reasons that appear unresolved, what’s going to prevent it from doing so again? For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
We are also interested to see if Bernie Eccelstone will hold true to his offer to help the Nürburgring by offering sanction-free F1 races next year. With the condition of worldwide road racing leagues deteriorating, we are willing to bet that Eccelstone forgets his promise pretty quickly now that the Ring is not in immediate danger.
Even though the Nürburgring is hanging on by a loosely tied thread at this time, it is still the setting where cars are made or broken, which is partly why we are all so confused as to why it is in financial ruins. Despite now owning its own track, Porsche is still looking to the `Ring to help build more excitement around its upcoming 918 hybrid model.
Porsche has just officially debuted its 918 Martini Racing wrap and has also announced that it expects big performance from its 918 model. This performance comes in the form of an expected lap time around the Nürburgring of less than 7:22.
That seems like an extremely fast time, we know, but that is also very conservative, considering the less powerful Porsche GT2 RS completed a lap around the famed raceway in 7:18. We anticipate a time nearer to the 7:15 mark than the 7:22 mark and we expect it to turn this lap time with some consistency.
Regardless of how far under the 7:22 mark the 918 comes, there is only one thing to say and that’s “Dayum, that’s fast.” Sub-7:22 times are only achieved by a small handful of cars, like the Viper ACR, Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition and Gumpert Apollo Sport. That’s some pretty impressive company to keep for a newcomer onto the supercar scene, especially one that boasts an anticipated 78 mpg rating.
Hit the jump to read the official press release.
It’s no secret that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has a pretty deep set of pockets. Sure, having that much money has gotten him in trouble on numerous occasions, but it still doesn’t hurt to have those kind of resources because it might come in handy when you are reportedly interested in purchasing a bankrupt race track.
That’s the word coming out of German newspaper, Rheinpfalz, which reported that Ecclestone is interested in buying the Nurburgring race track. Yeah, when we’re worried about the financial hit that will come from buying shoes, Ecclestone seems to have no worries about buying a race track.
Such is life.
In any case, the F1 chief is actually interested in buying the company that owns the Nurburgring. Financial details and specifications surrounding this apparent interest isn’t being divulged, but Ecclestone has made it pretty clear that he still wants Formula One to have a race in one of the most famous tracks in the world although he did say that it would not happen at his expense. This negates previous rumors that F1 would waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring, which totaled $25 million when the race was brought to Austin, Texas.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Ecclestone has gotten into the business of track buying, having previously done so a few years ago when he purchased a controlling stake of the Turkish GP race track. Ecclestone also owns the Paul Richard test circuit in France.
Now it looks like he’s got his eyes set on buying arguably the most famous race track in the world. Just another day in the life of the eccentric F1 billionaire.
Mini’s recently revealed John Cooper Works GP has been described as the fastest production Mini has ever built. At the official launch, Mini announced that the new sports coupe lapped the Nurburgring in 8 min. 23 seconds and today, they have unveiled the video of their speedy lap. This lap time puts the 2013 Cooper JCW GP at about 19 seconds faster than the 2007 JCW GP.
The new GP version is distinguished by large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts, a bespoke roof spoiler, and a newly developed rear diffuser. On the interior, the rear seats were removed in order to add more of a racing appearance. Other adjustments include an adjustable suspension developed specifically for the car, racing brakes, chassis improvements, and special paint and graphics.
There will only be 2,000 units of the Mini Cooper JCW GP produced, so if you want to buy one, you better hurry up.
Videos of people tackling the `Ring are becoming more and more precious, as we await the outcome of its bankruptcy proceeding and find out if the Nürburgring will continue to exist or not. In the above video, we get a great look at just how awesome this sacred track really is, as we watch Kazunori Yamauchi navigate a Lexus IS F racecar around this technical track.
It’s not necessarily the most intense video, as it is relatively event-free, but watching Yamauchi whip the steering wheel as he feathers the throttle is a thing of art. You also get a front-row seat at seeing what it’s like on the `Ring, a thing that none of us will likely ever experience.
What’s even better is that this video was taken during the 24 hours race, so this isn’t the short version of the Nürburgring. This race includes the GP circuit of the `Ring, which also adds significant time to his lap, which YouTube commenters left so much negative feedback on, the poster had to add a disclaimer to the video.
So, crank up the speakers, kick back, and enjoy a spot in the passenger’s seat as Kazunori Yamauchi and his Lexus IS F take us for a tour around the `Ring. It’s definitely worth the 10 minutes.
As the Nürburgring sinks into its bankruptcy proceedings and the light at the end of the tunnel of relief for the famed `Ring looks bleak, everyone in the automotive industry would love to help, but they all have their own problems. F1 has its own lineup of issues to deal with, especially its boss, Bernie Ecclestone, but it has stepped up to the task and is offering a much-needed hand to the failing track.
Ecclestone has vowed to do whatever he can to save the track and isn’t just saying it to sound good. According to a report, Ecclestone has said that he will waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring. For those that don’t know how significant that really is, the fee to bring F1 to Austin, Texas ran a full $25 million. That would bring huge attendance to the ’Ring and general tourism to the suffering area, possibly giving it the injection of cash that it needs.
F1 is still an extremely popular series in Europe, so the entire area could see income in the hundreds of million of dollars, if it is planned correctly. The biggest issue is whether the `Ring is suitable for F1 racing, as low income typically leads to poor track conditions. If it is not in acceptable shape, would Nürburgring officials have the spare cash to fix it up? If there is no cash to fix it, would F1 be willing to inch closer to that plate by helping fix the track to get it race-ready?
According to reports from `Ring officials, there is only a short time frame to get an F1 deal done, but it may be a little too late to completely save the famed raceway.
We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
We are always writing article about this and that sports cars trekking around the famous Nürburgring course in Germany, which we have nicknamed the `Ring out of necessity. We have even seen some not-so-sporty cars lapping the ring, like a CR-V that found out it did not belong on a race track. We never really gave any thought to the financial health of our favorite circuit.
According to a report from Germany, the `Ring is in some serious financial trouble and is in need of a financial bailout. Officials running the Nürburgring have reached out to the European Union for a roughly €13 million bailout, but the EU has said “No way.” In addition to the denial of funds, there is also a pending investigation on a €524 million payment the `Ring and its surrounding attractions – an amusement park, mall and hotel – received.
The reasoning behind this investigation is that German Land Rhineland Palatinate (RLP) provided the €524 million in funds for the building of the aforementioned leisure activities under the guise of tourism. It was later found by the EU that the Nürburgring was already in financial chaos at that time and the funds are seen as a potential bailout, which requires EU approval.
Ultimately, the Nürburgring has already filed for bankruptcy and its future will be decided by either the courts or its new owners.
We knew that the `Ring was in some trouble back in 2010 when the Save the Ring group was formed, but we never would have expected this. We guess Porsche is likely happy with its decision to buy its own track, as the `Ring very well may not exist in just a few years. We hope that is not the end result, but it is a distant possibility.
While we thought we were going to see the new SLS Black Series as Mercedes’ next big move, the company decided to replace the SLS AMG with an even more impressive SLS AMG GT, and keep teasing us with a few more spy shots of the next Black Series. The sports car has been caught testing around the Nurburgring race track yet again, and BridgeToGantry managed to shoot an impressive video of the its hot laps.
The Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series will be powered by a revised 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine with an output taken up to an impressive 660 HP. The engine is mated to a 7-speed double-clutch gearbox and will help the car to deliver more impressive performance numbers. Expect to see a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of about 3 seconds and a top speed of more than 200 mph.