After the Nürburgring race track was acquired a few months ago by the German auto parts manufacturer Capricorn for €77 million (USD$96 million), it seems the famous race track found a new owner again. This time around, a Russian billionaire bought the operating rights of the race track. It’s a new plot to the story of Nurburgring that seems to attract hundreds of drivers each week, but fails to properly monetize its potential.
German news site Wirtschafts Woche reports that Capricorn may have sold its share to NH Holding, which is owned by the 41-year-old Viktor Kharitonin. The Russian pharmaceuticals billionaire that, according to Forbes, is placeed at 1,342 among the richest men in the world. Not to shabby for an automotive enthusiast! It also proves that there is certainly interest for investing in such racing-oriented business ventures.
Nürburgring is a 150,000-capacity motorsports complex around the village of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. This track located about 70 km (43 mi) south of Cologne, and 120 km (75 mi) northwest of Frankfurt. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer old “North loop” track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains.
The north loop is 20.8 km (12.9 mi) long and has more than 300 metres (1,000 feet) of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track “The Green Hell,” and it is widely considered to be the most demanding and difficult purpose-built racing circuit in the world. As you may remember, a bunch of professional drivers lost their teeth during races, events and other forms of competition on the same track earlier.
Originally, the track featured four configurations: the 28.265 km (17.563 mi)-long Gesamtstrecke (“Whole Course”), which in turn consisted of the 22.810 km (14.173 mi) Nordschleife (“North Loop”), and the 7.747 km (4.814 mi) Südschleife (“South Loop”). There also was a 2.281 km (1.417 mi) warm-up loop called Zielschleife (“Finish Loop”) or Betonschleife (“Concrete Loop”), around the pit area.
The Nürburgring is respected and appreciated by professional drivers and amateurs as well.
How long will the current owner keep this prized jewel in the automotive track heritage is left to be seen – we know that the track will continue to excite millions of drivers around the world, for many being one of the bucket list items.