The Nürburgring has been officially sold, and it wasn't to HIG Capital and its group of investors as we had previously expected. Instead, Düsseldorf-based Capricorn Development put in a last-minute bid to buy the track for 77 million euros ($106.8 million), and it's promising to invest a further 25 million euros ($34.7 million) into the historic racecourse. The company will take full ownership of the 'Ring on January 1, 2015.
Capricorn is saying all of the right things about its plans for the Green Hell. During the press conference that announced the sale, it said that motorsport will be the focal point of its ownership, and the track will remain open to the public. It wants to work with companies to create a technology center there and bring more industry to the Nürburgring region. The company already has an office at the 'Ring that supplies lightweight components to automakers and racing teams, according to RP Online.
According to Piston Heads, which attended the press conference, Capricorn's bid arrived with minutes to spare. It beat HIG Capital, which reportedly offered between 60 million and 70 million euros ($83.2 million to $97 million), because of the promise to bring new business to the area.
The major lingering question about the track's future is whether Formula 1 can remain at the grand prix course. Bernie Ecclestone previously threatened to hold future German Grands Prix only at Hockenheim. While it's too early to say for sure, Capricorn says that F1 is the pinnacle of the Nürburgring, according to Rhein Zeitung. At least we know it's valued.
After a year of questions, one of world's greatest racetracks will remain in German hands. If Capricorn stays true to its word, then it looks like the tracks legacy is only going to get better. The 'Ring lives!