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Nurburgring to agree 5-year GP deal

NEWS STORY
17/06/2014

The Nurburgring is to be the sole host of the German Grand Prix for the next five years after its new owners agreed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone.

In 2006 it was announced that the race would alternate between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim since both circuits were suffering financial problems. Though the agreement was due to come into effect in 2007 a row over naming rights saw the Nurburgring event that year named the European Grand Prix with Germany returning to the calendar in 2008 at Hockenheim.

At a press conference due to be held later today, it is understood that the new owners of the Nurburgring, Capricorn Group, will confirm a new five year deal to exclusively host the German Grand Prix.

Capricorn Group made its 100 million euro (£83m) bid for the circuit in March, the company, which supplies high-end crankshafts, cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods and fibre-reinforced composite materials to the motor sport industry, also getting the legendary 20.8 kilometre Nordschleife and an amusement park for its money.

"It was a close decision," said the administrator for Nurburgring, GmbH, Jens Lieser, at a press conference confirming the deal, revealing that as part of the agreement Capricorn Group has pledged to invest 25 million euros in order to expand the facilities around the circuit.

Capricorn beat off stiff opposition from H.I.G Capital which was hot favourite to buy the circuit, another bid (of $50m) from Bernie Ecclestone having been rejected.

As part of the purchase deal Capricorn pledged to invest 25 million euros in order to expand the facilities around the circuit.

The previous management at the Nurburgring ran into problems after taking out a $370m loan in 2009, the debt having been used to fund construction of an on-site shopping mall, hotel and amusement park.

However, the new facilities were not as popular as hoped and the circuit struggled to make debt repayments. It was then handed additional public support but, in an unexpected twist, the European Commission launched an investigation claiming that the assistance was not granted on market terms. To solve the problem the circuit was put up for sale in May last year. Bernie Ecclestone says his bid would have secured the future of the track and the race.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jasman, 18/06/2014 7:53

"Back in the '80s, after "the ring" had its vasectomy, a friend called the revised track as the "Newburgring""

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2. Posted by Paul C, 18/06/2014 5:02

"Isn't the Nordschliefe the biggest ride in the Nurburgring amusement park?"

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