Originally Posted by MediaArtist
I think auto manufacturers tend to send their top drivers to the Ring. These guys are professionals, many with former GT or F1 experience. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to drivers, so I think they tend to be safe bets. Also the fact that it's not a race. They are simply testing the car for production purposes, fine tuning, etc. It's a more controlled environment overall which makes it much more safer than a race.
That being said, I have no problem with the 'Ring as a track except what I've mentioned already. I hope they find some way to save it, though it seems to be hopeless at this point. If they do manage to keep it open for public use, then I'll take you up on your offer next time I do a European delivery.
Sorry, but you don't know anything about the ring and not much more about professional racing. Period. Fact is, the Nordschleife is almost fully booked with races on weekends throughout the year. So much, that the race series running there exclusively have to compromise as they cannot book enough track time as they would want to. The Nordschleife is booked by the "industry pool" for 8-10 hours on most weekdays, the rest is taken by track day organisers. There are very few all day timeslots left for "tourist" and "Carbon Card Club" member driving. Honestly... if anyone wanted "safe", they could book the GP track at almost any time. But that is not what people come to the ring for. Neither racers nor testers nor tourists. If you want "safe", simply stay on the Playstation. Safety is not the issue. Motorsport is always dangerous, in case you haven't noticed. The tracks generate profit. They have and they will.
The idea to build a mini Disneyland was plain stupid from step one and exactly that is now causing the problem. If you build a theme park as a source of profit and that theme park cannot even generate the funds to pay the interest for the loans required to build it, then you have a problem. And all this is no secret. Plenty of experts warned those responsible, that their theme park idea would never work. Long before the building ever started. There already are a lot of these parks all over Germany and the "ring customer" is typically looking for something else. And the critics were right.
The situation right now is, that it will most likely be "business as usual" until the end of the 2012 season. The big race events at the ring (primarily the F1 race scheduled for 2013, the 24h race, the Truck Grand Prix and the Oldtimer Grand Prix and "Rock am Ring" as a non-race event) now have a problem, that they cannot book the track for 2013 at present. This has nothing to do with the insolvency. It has to do with the fact, that the company managing the ring at present does not have a management contract for 2013 (as their contract has been canceled by the local government) and so customers do not yet have a poc. If you book the track, you have to place a downpayment. Standard business procedure. The events above book so much of the area, that their downpayments have to be quite sizeable. Nobody dishes that type of money out if they know that their contract partners do not have a basis to do business.
As soon as the insolvency statement has been filed at the appropriate court, the court will decide who will now manage the company during the insolvency period. Once that has happened a decission can and will be made what will happen with the tracks. I cannot see them closing down for business. Why should they, since they generate profits? If this insolvency provides the chance to get rid of the useless theme park stuff, then it would actually be positive. But there are risks. For the tracks, for the entire region. These are far to complex to explain them here. Mike (that Dackel quoted) named some of the points via 20832.
Me, personally, I want this track to stay alive! I wouldn't want to race on any other track in the world (actually I couldn't think of anything besides Mount Panorama in Australia that I would even want to consider)! And I am pretty sure I'll be racing there in 2013 just as I am 2012. All I can say is: show the world-wide support at "save the ring".