Nurburgring Auction Details:
- Recent track records: Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid broke seven minute record, Alfa Romeo4C set 250hp and under class record
- In two years, three deaths and 230 accidents have occurred
- Yearly revenue est. 50-60 million euros (67 - 82 million dollars) annually
- Underlying annual profits of 6-8 million (8.1 - 10 million dollars)
When you think of the most famous and dangerous track in the world, only one name should come to mind: Nurburgring. Ever since Niki Lauda's fiery crash in the 1976 Formula 1 season, this famous German track has been deemed unsafe for F1. But today auto manufacturers use the track for what is seen as the ultimate test of an automobile.
We have recently reported two significant achievements by automakers including: the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid breaking the seven minute record around the Ring. Along with the Alfa Romeo4C that set a record for cars equipped with under 250hp. Whether it be production based achievements or racing events, this track is still known best for one thing, death.
In just two years, three deaths and 230 accidents have occurred. Most tracks rarely see that many in a decades time. Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann, who lost a friend to the Nurburgring in 2001, commented,"F1 doesn't race on such long distances anymore because it's very difficult to control."
"It's the toughest track by miles," Vincent Radermecker, a Belgian driver who has raced in the World Touring Car Championship among others. "If you make a mistake here, you destroy the car, and yourself."
It is the world's longest track with over 13 miles and 73 bends, with elevation changes that would make anyone's stomach churn. But the distance isn't what is most dangerous; it's the fact that even the smallest of errors can cause even the most accomplished of drivers to end up in the wall at very high speeds.
What the Ring is currently best known for is the grueling testing and record breaking done by automakers if not for bragging rights then for demonstrating what their vehicles are made of.
"The Nurburgring is without a doubt the cradle of German motorsports...It's an automotive cultural treasure," said Peter Meyer, President of German motoring club ADAC.
Hyundai's European marketing chief, Mark Hall said, "Anything we can make of that facility and the link between the Nurburgring and Hyundai is fantastically useful for me." And this rings especially true for the automaker considering nearly 7 million euros (9.5 million dollars) was spent building a new trackside test center. Hyundai are among five other carmakers to do so. This is all of course in hopes of inching closer to European rivals achievements.
Currently the track brings in a routine amount of revenue with the help of an adjacent amusement park, featuring a rollercoaster that mimics the g-force of an F1 car. Revenue is around 50-60 million euros (67 - 82 million dollars) annually, but underlying profits are est. annually at 6-8 million (8.1 - 10 million dollars).
And while parts of the year, the Ring remains closed to the public, those times when it is open, anyone with four wheels can drive the track for only 26 euros ($35) per lap. At least we can be reassured that by law, whoever buys up the track is required to keep it open to the public and the auto industry.
Even with these insane numbers, we won't be surprised once we learn who snatches up this dangerous piece of history.