It may as well be on The List, because lapping the infamous Nordschleife at the Nürburgring is one of those rites of passage for so many driving enthusiasts around the world. It's also increasingly becoming the go-to test track for automakers big and small. But those two things may in the end become mutually exclusive.

The root of the problem appears to be a lack of funding for the Nürburgring. The famous public race track in the Eifel hills of Germany is publicly owned but privately managed, and the books have – push come to shove – just not balanced out recently. In an effort to turn a profit, Nürburgring Automotive has tried turning it into a tourist attraction, but with the expensive Ring˚Werk complex still weighing down the books and the number of tourists it was supposed to attract still not coming out to the track's remote part of the German countryside, management is apparently changing tracks. (Figuratively speaking, anyway.)

The result is that the latest calendar released by Nürburgring Automotive has fewer and fewer slots open for "tourist drivers" to come lap the Ring. That's because the circuit is being rented out more and more to automakers, who undertake development work there and pay more consistently than random ticket sales from enthusiasts. There's still plenty of weekend openings available, but those – as Autoweek correspondent Davey Johnson points out – typically much busier than the now-elusive weekday slots.

At the end of the day, we can hardly blame anyone in specific. The enthusiasts pay handsomely and take considerable risks to do what they love. The automakers pay more in search of the bragging rights and the taut chassis setups we all clamor for. Nürburgring Automotive, for its part, needs to balance the books if the Nordschleife is to stay open at all. But the bottom line is that the days of showing up in Eifel and lapping the vaunted Green Hell may be drawing to a close, and that's just a shame.


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  • 29 Comments
      DC Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      You'd figure some of the "enthusiasts" that show up in $250k+ supercars would scrape some paper together to help out.
      Diesel
      • 3 Years Ago
      It breaks my heart to see circuit racing go in a steady and progressive decline. :'(
      dtrump_21
      • 3 Years Ago
      So long as those days are not gone for good, its fine by me. Balance the books, sort out the management, then bring back the good old days :) methinks it might not be that easy however
      JR
      • 3 Years Ago
      All the billions the manufacturers have and the PR they get from running there, ya think they could throw them a bone.
      jon4than
      • 3 Years Ago
      isn't it "rite of passage?"
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      MAJikMARCer
      • 3 Years Ago
      We'll always have Forza 4. Well, that's likely the only way I'll ever run the Nurburgring.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      budwsr25
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish the US had a place like this. Maybe if the Germans would have won the war we would have.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @budwsr25
        [blocked]
        Krazeecain
        • 3 Years Ago
        @budwsr25
        BAHAHAHAHAHA- Oh. You're not serious are you? ...... SIEG HEIL!
      ELG
      • 3 Years Ago
      The nurburgring did not have this problem before the RingWerk complex was installed, so you can lump all blame the morons that decided to install the overwrought amusement park without a ghost of a profitable business plan. They were warned up and down that there was no way that it would make money, and upon its demise would take down the iconic track with it. And go figure, look what is happening.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Occupy Nürburgring!!!
        Ray
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Krishan Mistry
        Umm..... I think we did in the 40s
      Carbon Fibre
      • 3 Years Ago
      All due to s*** budget automakers lapping their low end cars just for the show off. I thought this place was only for hi-end exotics at certain occasions.
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