The Nürburgring, the green hell, that hallowed home of expert (and not-so expert) hoonery, is up for sale.
It's been a tough time for the legendary course, driven into insolvency last year after a failed attempt at turning the property into a greater tourist attraction. State loans were secured later, but owners have failed to meet deadlines.
Now, the hunt for a new owner of the 379 hectare property begins, and lawyers for the insolvency are expecting it to go for more than $165 million.
“The value of the property is between 120 million euros ($156 million) and priceless,” Lawyer Jens Lieser said. “We’re talking about a motorsports icon.”
Icon indeed. Built in 1927, the circuit has hosted around 30 Formula One races, served as a home for testing new models, and as a mecca for weekend warriors and enthusiasts across the globe.
Many carmakers maintain permanent R&D facilities at the circuit, including Hyundai, which opened a $7 million centre earlier this year.
Prospective buyers can bid for the whole property or parts of it, and the state government is expected to soon approve a law that will require the property's new owners to keep it open to the public.
Bidding is set to end in September and the sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.