Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on the Nürburgring

Germany's famed Nürburgring racetrack has needed a new owner for some time. Under local government control, the Ring has fallen some 400 million euros into public debt, forcing it into bankruptcy while still keeping its gates open.

Last week we reported on the prospect that one of Germany's major automakers could take over the complex, and noted that ADAC - Europe's largest automobile club and one of the largest in the world - was also in contention. And now it seems that ADAC is preparing to take it over.

The news comes from Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, which reports that ADAC has submitted a non-binding offer to purchase the Nürburgring. The deal between ADAC and the Rhineland state government would see the club take over the circuit (presumably both the Nordschleife and the grand prix track) but not some of its associated facilities, like the amusement park and shopping mall.

Although most major racetracks are privately owned, the notion of an automobile club controlling one is not unprecedented - particularly in Europe. For example, the Silverstone circuit is owned by the British Racing Drivers' Club, and the Circuit de la Sarthe where Le Mans is held is owned by France's largest motorist association, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest.