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      07-18-2012, 11:28 AM   #45
Alpina_B3_Lux
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Originally Posted by ptack View Post
How the hell do you ring up half a billion dollars in debt running an existing race track?
The two race tracks were, as far as I know, always quite profitable (F1 excepted maybe as it always had to be subsidized).

The problem comes from the huge "leisure park" (or NüroDisney) that was built besides the tracks a few years ago. That cost the huge figure of almost half a billion and was never remotely profitable. No attractions, a rollercoaster that never worked and no intelligent concept to attract people from outside the racing community to it (which you would need to make it profitable). With losses piling up each year plus interest on the loans that were incurred, you can see how it got to where we are now.

The thing that really p*** me off is that those who were at the root of the enthusiasm for race driving and motorsport, i.e. those driving on the two tracks, had to pay for this megalomaniac project and its disastrous execution. With crazily expensive Touristenfahrten lap tickets, unaffordable yearly tickets and more and more reduced driving times.

It also often seems the management does not even want to make money - for example they often close down the restaurant besides the Nordschleife when there's a race going on and people really want to eat and drink.

A bunch of incommpetent idiots.

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      07-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
I think it's sad that the 'Ring is going to be closed but there's a reason why the 'Ring fell out of favor in the racing world, why FIA GT holds less events there, why F1 completely left, and why they aren't making money.
I think you haven't understood much of what is going on. Read my previous post - the current financial problems have nothing to do with the tracks themselves.
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As a professional race track, it's simply an extremely dangerous place. It features changing elevations over hundreds of feet, extremely long straights, blind corners, blind chicanes, off-camber turns that have killed unfocused drivers, and if you do crash, good luck getting an ambulance in less than 10-15 minutes while you bleed to death on the asphalt.
I think you ignore that there are two Nürburgring tracks - one is the Nordschleife which is probably what you're referring to, and the other the Grand Prix circuit.

The fascination of the Nordschleife is just that it is so demanding, varied and supremely interesting even if you've already done hundreds of laps. No other circuit can give you that kind of excitement and satisfaction as a driver.

I agree it's no place to run a F1 race, but for other races it's perfectly safe. If there are accidents where someone gets hurt, it's mostly incompetent bikers. And anytime you let inexperienced people on a racetrack, accidents will always happen. It's unavoidable because it's part of human nature.

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Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
The 'Ring will always have a historical place as a benchmark track for all the major performance car manufacturers, but I think it's time the motorsport community evaluates what made the 'Ring captivating, take the good, and integrate that into a newer, safer, but still enthralling race track, for the good of the sport. Then I could see a place like that being not only profitable, but also safe, and still entertaining for us all.
I pray that this will never happen.

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      07-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #47
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I was lucky enought to have driven the track too a couple years back. Sabine power slid the 'Ring taxi M5 around me twice!
It is an awesome experience and I really hope they can save the 'Ring.
If you can get there before anything drastic happens, definitely drive it!!! The elevation changes are staggering and no video can do them justice.
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      07-18-2012, 11:46 AM   #48
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      07-18-2012, 11:50 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post

I agree it's no place to run a F1 race, but for other races it's perfectly safe. If there are accidents where someone gets hurt, it's mostly incompetent bikers. And anytime you let inexperienced people on a racetrack, accidents will always happen. It's unavoidable because it's part of human nature.

Alpina_B3_Lux
I disagree that the track is perfectly safe. I'm not sure on what basis you can even make that claim considering that the track has about a dozen fatalities a year.

I also disagree that it's unavoidable because of "human nature". I've been on numerous raceways including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and the 'Ring itself, and BY FAR, the Ring is the most poorly designed when it comes to safety.

When I was there in 2002, I probably witnessed at least 3-4 close calls over a 2 hour time span. In 2007, I saw an E46 M3 (looked track prepped) go wide into the railing because of oil on the track, which is a common occurrence actually. I mean seriously, how much time have you spent on the 'Ring? I have a hard time believing someone who has actually driven on it considers it a "perfectly safe" track.

It's completely unforgiving, you miss a turn, there's no run-off, you're going to crash. You add the fact that 90% of these bends are blind, with some happening over elevation changes, and you have dramatically increased your chances for a second accident. You combine these conditions, then you add wetness which reduces grip considerably, then you add the pressure of reducing lap times, and it's a recipe for disaster. Seriously, spend some time on a modern race track, and then compare your experience to the 'Ring, it's night and day. When you strip away the glamour, and nostalgia, the 'Ring is a dangerous, old, not very well maintained, track.

Like I said, there's a reason why major motorsport orgs started looking away from the 'Ring as a place to hold major races. It's dangerous, and it's bad publicity having a driver get killed. You may think it has "nothing to do" with the recent financial problems, but I disagree. The financial problems with the 'Ring started a long time ago, before they began taking loans to revamp the site.
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      07-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rated M Roadster View Post
I went to the ring this past summer and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had and probably will ever have... I hope I get the chance to go back again.

This rumor has been going around for years though, I hope it's not actually going to come true.
Went there last September when ED my Z4 35is and 535i M-Sport and drove both car there...one of the best experience in my life

On top of that, the BMW taxi ride in the E90 M3...priceless.

Hope it stay open for my planned ED in 2014...
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      07-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #51
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How can this happen to the Mecca of auto racing... Bankruptcy
What's next McDonalds going bankrupt, that really just came out of nowhere for me!
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      07-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #52
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Really hope something can happen to save this track. Its a legendary track in racing. Even worse, its on my bucket list. I hope to still be able to mark it off one day still.
Me too...
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      07-18-2012, 12:30 PM   #53
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I disagree that the track is perfectly safe. I'm not sure on what basis you can even make that claim considering that the track has about a dozen fatalities a year.
It's perfectly safe for race driving. To my knowledge the fatalities occur almost exclusively during the Touristenfahrten when you have unexperienced drivers overestimating their own abilities. And fatalities are almost all bikers which in my opinion don't belong there anyway.

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Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
I also disagree that it's unavoidable because of "human nature". I've been on numerous raceways including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and the 'Ring itself, and BY FAR, the Ring is the most poorly designed when it comes to safety.
It's much more dangerous than others - which in turn makes it much more interesting and fascinating to drive. There's much, much more driving skill involved in this track than in any other; and the modern Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit is very boring in comparison. No risk, no fun. If you want safety, stay on the couch.

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Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
When I was there in 2002, I probably witnessed at least 3-4 close calls over a 2 hour time span. In 2007, I saw an E46 M3 (looked track prepped) go wide into the railing because of oil on the track, which is a common occurrence actually. I mean seriously, how much time have you spent on the 'Ring? I have a hard time believing someone who has actually driven on it considers it a "perfectly safe" track.
I'm living 70 minutes away from the 'Ring, so I think you can safely assume that I've driven on it a lot, and certainly substantially more than yourself. I've seen lots of accidents myself - but then if you want to eliminate all risk, simply don't drive. This risk aversion and always-fully-insured mentality is something I cannot quite comprehend.

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Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
It's completely unforgiving, you miss a turn, there's no run-off, you're going to crash. You add the fact that 90% of these bends are blind, with some happening over elevation changes, and you have dramatically increased your chances for a second accident. You combine these conditions, then you add wetness which reduces grip considerably, then you add the pressure of reducing lap times, and it's a recipe for disaster. Seriously, spend some time on a modern race track, and then compare your experience to the 'Ring, it's night and day. When you strip away the glamour, and nostalgia, the 'Ring is a dangerous, old, not very well maintained, track.
I disagree. It also seems to me you haven't really been to the Nordschleife very often and certainly not recently. You can't compare today's track to how it was 10 years ago. Yes, it's dangerous and you can crash easily if you do something wrong. But that's just what it makes it so unique and I'm all for keeping it that way. If you personally don't want to drive there, that's your prerogative. But don't substitute your own risk aversity for other people's.

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Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
Like I said, there's a reason why major motorsport orgs started looking away from the 'Ring as a place to hold major races. It's dangerous, and it's bad publicity having a driver get killed. You may think it has "nothing to do" with the recent financial problems, but I disagree. The financial problems with the 'Ring started a long time ago, before they began taking loans to revamp the site.
Previous financial problems of the 'Ring were insignificant with the scope of the current financial disaster. If you want to prohibit anything that may potentially get someone killed, you can start with prohibiting driving a car at all. So much for that logic.

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      07-18-2012, 12:32 PM   #54
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i think my reaction to this news can be summed up in one word:


FUUUUUUUUCKKKK!!!
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      07-18-2012, 12:50 PM   #55
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Media and Alpina - you both make some valid points. I try to go to the Ring once a month, I would go more but I live 4 hours away.

I was actually there three weekends ago and again last weekend. there were a couple of accidents or people who went off the track and clipped the guardrail. The safety officials were already there, every time I'm out for a lap I see numerous ring officials riding motorcycles out there so that if something happens they can warn other drivers. Hard to miss a guy with a big yellow flag...

You can't compare the Ring to say Laguna Seca or Road Atlanta cause the Ring is a classic track thats been around since 1927. Alpina is right it is a physically and mentally demanding track and most of the people that get hurt out there are motorcycle riders that don't know what they are doing and probably shouldn't be out there. While there are a lot of tracks in Germany there are very few that offer public driving days so the Ring is one of the best places to go here.
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      07-18-2012, 01:10 PM   #56
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mis-management at this sorta scale is really scandalous
1/2 billion in debt WTF?
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      07-18-2012, 01:46 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post

It's much more dangerous than others - which in turn makes it much more interesting and fascinating to drive.
Yes you may have spent time on the 'Ring, but have you been on other modern tracks? Like I said I've been on the 'Ring, Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and even Road America. So I have scope of what a MODERN race track is like.

Tracks can be interesting and captivating without being dangerous, that's my point. Laguna Seca is one of the most "fascinating" places to drive, I would also consider Road America equally as fascinating, but guess what? They have run off lanes, gravel traps, well designed bends, and many modern safety measures that keep people from becoming fatalities. That's why I implore you to drive on other race tracks to see what a modern track is like. Get experience on a modern track, then come back here and talk about the 'Ring and its safety. It's night and day. They could have spent some of that "revamp" money into modernizing the 'Ring, instead of building sideshow attractions.

Your assumption that a track is captivating because of the danger is horse shit, and comparing less dangerous tracks like Laguna Seca to "sitting on the couch" is laughable, and certainly shows you haven't been on any of them. I'd love to see what kind of lap times you would turn in at Laguna Seca, that you would compare it to sitting on a couch.

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I disagree. It also seems to me you haven't really been to the Nordschleife very often and certainly not recently. You can't compare today's track to how it was 10 years ago.
I was there in 2002 and 2007. Are you saying that in the past 4.5 years, the track has modernized itself to become more safe? I highly doubt that. Rennlist members who go to the ring multiple times a year have the same complaints I have, so I think you would be dishonest to claim that safety has improved greatly since 2007.

Quote:
Previous financial problems of the 'Ring were insignificant with the scope of the current financial disaster.
That's my point. If they would have solved the problems back before major orgs started leaving, they may not have had to take these enormous loans to build pointless sideshows.

Regardless, this conversation is becoming moot quickly, there is very little chance the 'Ring gets out of insolvency. It almost a certainty that it will be closed down.
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      07-18-2012, 01:53 PM   #58
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Quote:
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You can't compare the Ring to say Laguna Seca or Road Atlanta cause the Ring is a classic track thats been around since 1927.
I'm not comparing Laguna Seca, Sears Point, or Road America/Atlanta to the 'Ring in nostalgia and history factor. I'm comparing them in terms of safety, and entertainment. If you've been on a modern race course, the 'Ring seems severely antiquated when it comes to safety. I'm not sure how anyone who has been on a modern track can deny that.
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      07-18-2012, 03:08 PM   #59
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The 'Ring is a national treasure... Can't the government step in to help?
Clearly you have not been keeping up EU bailout lol
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      07-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #60
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Yes you may have spent time on the 'Ring, but have you been on other modern tracks? Like I said I've been on the 'Ring, Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and even Road America. So I have scope of what a MODERN race track is like.

Tracks can be interesting and captivating without being dangerous, that's my point. Laguna Seca is one of the most "fascinating" places to drive, I would also consider Road America equally as fascinating, but guess what? They have run off lanes, gravel traps, well designed bends, and many modern safety measures that keep people from becoming fatalities. That's why I implore you to drive on other race tracks to see what a modern track is like. Get experience on a modern track, then come back here and talk about the 'Ring and its safety. It's night and day. They could have spent some of that "revamp" money into modernizing the 'Ring, instead of building sideshow attractions.

Your assumption that a track is captivating because of the danger is horse shit, and comparing less dangerous tracks like Laguna Seca to "sitting on the couch" is laughable, and certainly shows you haven't been on any of them. I'd love to see what kind of lap times you would turn in at Laguna Seca, that you would compare it to sitting on a couch.


I was there in 2002 and 2007. Are you saying that in the past 4.5 years, the track has modernized itself to become more safe? I highly doubt that. Rennlist members who go to the ring multiple times a year have the same complaints I have, so I think you would be dishonest to claim that safety has improved greatly since 2007.



That's my point. If they would have solved the problems back before major orgs started leaving, they may not have had to take these enormous loans to build pointless sideshows.

Regardless, this conversation is becoming moot quickly, there is very little chance the 'Ring gets out of insolvency. It almost a certainty that it will be closed down.
I can see some of your point Media, but one thing you also have to see is if the track is so dangerous as you say it is, then why so many sport auto manufacturers go and test their cars at Nurburgring? I have been on Hockenheim and Sachsenring (modern tracks that host DTM and Hockenhem hosts F1 this year) and neither of these tracks compare to what the 'Ring offers in terms of skill demand and concentration.

Since I have been here in Germany (2005) I have ran the 'ring several times and have had my share of scary moments there. Even with that I still think that the Nordschleife is safe. What doesn't make it safe and it is the same case for any racetrack anywhere in the world, is the other person on the track with you. Most if not all the fatalities at the 'ring since I have been here have ocurred due to either operator error (going too fast for someone's ability) or mechanical failure (fluid spills). That happens at any track.

Most drive it because of the sheer exhillaration but I agree with Lux on that one. But with those dangers comes a choice, either you get on....or you don't. As simple as that. 85-90% of those who get on understand the rules of the road and respect those rules. You don't get that type of adrenaline rush at any other track here, and I tell you that from experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaArtist View Post
I'm not comparing Laguna Seca, Sears Point, or Road America/Atlanta to the 'Ring in nostalgia and history factor. I'm comparing them in terms of safety, and entertainment. If you've been on a modern race course, the 'Ring seems severely antiquated when it comes to safety. I'm not sure how anyone who has been on a modern track can deny that.
Safety at the ring has increased dramatically since I have been here, but when you have administrators that do not understand what a motorsports venue is or how it should be ran, the danger becomes bigger.

If you are ever out here let me know. I'll gladly meet you there and even let you take my car around or you can roll shotgun with me.

At the end of the day, everyone has their perspectives as to how they feel about something.
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      07-18-2012, 03:48 PM   #61
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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.
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      07-18-2012, 08:36 PM   #62
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Damn it!!! if I had a couple hundred Million or a Billion lying around I would buy it or find some investors!!

Someone needs to save this iconic track!!!!!
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      07-18-2012, 09:30 PM   #63
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this is certainly sad and really stinks that the owners have done such a crappy job.

my question is.......even it goes bankrupt and gets sold off, dont you think SOMEONE will end up running the place? Its not going to turn into a vacant piece of land.

worst case scenario, they develop it and rip up the track.
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      07-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #64
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Now it’s official - today July 18th 2012 - the Rhineland-Palatinate government under premier Kurt Beck called a press conference at 10:30 am. They declared they will file for bankruptcy for Nürburgring GmbH.
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      07-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #65
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Nürburgring Track Bankrupt - Official Today

Now it’s official - today July 18th 2012 - the Rhineland-Palatinate government under premier Kurt Beck called a press conference at 10:30 am. They declared they will file for bankruptcy for Nürburgring GmbH.
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      07-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #66
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Drives: N51,LCI,M-Sport,6MT
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NorCal

Posts: 115
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I'm really kicking myself now for not going there when I did my European delivery in '10. I was like "oh it will give me another reason to go back". Yeah right.
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