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Friday 2nd November 2012

Ringside Seat: no news is good news?

Snow stops play and gives time to ponder what the future has in store for the 'ring



As you can see from above, things are quiet here at the Nurburgring right now. This year the end of the season has arrived rather abruptly. October was a blur of activity; lots of public sessions, track days and special events.
Then the snow hit for a single day, and all the bookings just stopped.

And in the silence left behind, all I can hear is one question. "What next?"

Do you feel lucky, punk?
Do you feel lucky, punk?
The destiny of the 'ring is still totally undecided. While I'm still feeling pretty positive about the future, the truth is nobody can say for certain what will happen next.

In the last few days the maligned NAG lease-holders officially left their offices and a new sign appeared on the Nurburgring office doors. While NAG are still running place, at least the way is clear for a new direction.

As you'd expect after this news, rumours are flowing quicker than the weissbier. Popular topics include the asking price for the track, or if it might be sold separately from the concrete mess that is the 'Eifel Dorf'. Possible buyers dominate the conversations too. From rich Arabs to Hollywood millionaires, everybody knows somebody who is interested. Possible consortiums of top-tier German businesses are already being formed by brown-nosed yes-men intent on taking their commission.

My personal favourite rumour (although possibly the least likely) is that the circuit could be bought and operated by a co-operative. I like that idea, millions of motorsports fans around the world would love to be a shareholders of the Nurburgring.

But to be honest, it's irresponsible reporting (when has that ever stopped me) to start regurgitating every rumour in every gory detail here. But conjecture runs rife when the atmosphere is starved of truth. And what I find disagreeable is that once again the future of the 'ring, and of a whole dependant region and economy, is being discussed (and maybe even decided) behind closed doors. That's exactly what got us into this mess.

OK, perhaps not the weather for it
OK, perhaps not the weather for it
After years of living and working here, I should be used to the mushroom treatment, and to be honest, I kind of am. So my blind optimism is telling me not to worry too much, that the money-printing Nordschleife will be safe and I should just get on with enjoying it. And that's pretty much the attitude being taken by most local businesses - investment and growth continues unabated.

Hotels are adding more beds, yet more new buildings are going up down at the industry park. My own employers are refreshing and increasing their fleet of rental vehicles, swapping from one German hot hatch to another. Yesterday this gave me an opportunity to stop worrying about the future and do some actual laps planning for it. And that's a pleasure considering the snow on Monday scared the whole track empty again.

Now call me a snob, but DSG, VAG and FWD are not acronyms that I would normally associate with trackdriving pleasure. But I was happy to be proved wrong, so it doesn't matter who will be running the track next year; we'll be renting out race-prepped Sciroccos for it.

 

Dale Lomas
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Gecko1978

Original Poster:

589 posts

43 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
If they do float it in a sort of co-operative type way say at £1,000 a share I would have a dabble just to say I owned part of it. But i would guess minimum stake might be in the Millions etc.


AA88

310 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
"The destiny of the 'ring'"

Automatically made me think of The Lord of the Rings spin

Gecko1978

Original Poster:

589 posts

43 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
AA88 said:
"The destiny of the 'ring'"

Automatically made me think of The Lord of the Rings spin
Well it is precious....

rtz62

620 posts

41 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
I can see another cash-rich oligarch or Saudi oil sheik buying it; another bit of Europe silently invaded and occupied!
And no, I'm not a xenophobe or racist, just can't believe we can't, collectively, get our arses in gear and do something about it.
How about each European country that sends aid to India and china divert 6 mths worth of that money and pay for the 'ring?
After all, India actually said they don't need the aid (backed up by Kofi Annan!)

AA88

310 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Gecko1978 said:
Well it is precious....
My precious....!
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405dogvan

4,279 posts

151 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
"But conjecture runs rife when the atmosphere is starved of truth."

That has to win some sort of award for being the most perversely formed sentence in the history of ever...

It's the journalistic equivalent of "as serious as cancer" or "you're about as easy as a nuclear war" surely? smile

405dogvan

4,279 posts

151 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Gecko1978 said:
If they do float it in a sort of co-operative type way say at £1,000 a share I would have a dabble just to say I owned part of it. But i would guess minimum stake might be in the Millions etc.
It's a race track not a diamond-coated skyscraper - if the authorities rightly bite-the-bullet on their own mistake, all they have to 'lease' is a lot of tarmac in the countryside - all the need to nett is the cost of maintenance...

PhilJames

232 posts

79 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
rtz62 said:
I can see another cash-rich oligarch or Saudi oil sheik buying it; another bit of Europe silently invaded and occupied!
And no, I'm not a xenophobe or racist, just can't believe we can't, collectively, get our arses in gear and do something about it.
How about each European country that sends aid to India and china divert 6 mths worth of that money and pay for the 'ring?
After all, India actually said they don't need the aid (backed up by Kofi Annan!)
I think it's illegal for a government in Europe to bail them out. confused

scz4

1,726 posts

127 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Was that a 8:10 lap B2G? Impressive!

Has the car been remapped?

Tankman2

19 posts

30 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Dale, did you pass wind just before Hatzenbach? (1.04)

Numeric

358 posts

37 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Tankman2 said:
Dale, did you pass wind just before Hatzenbach? (1.04)
Ooo he does!! Is that the secret to a good lap - where's m' Heinz Beans

Martian O

2,620 posts

48 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
I'm not deserting the 'ring, I'm there on Sunday driving this Scirocco and again in less than two weeks time doing the same! That'll be ten times I've been to Nurburg this year! biggrin

Martian O

2,620 posts

48 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
scz4 said:
Was that a 8:10 lap B2G? Impressive!
I'll see if I can beat that if I get a dry lap in on Sunday! biglaugh

Dale Lomas

152 posts

41 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
I don't passwind, I make my customary raspberry exhale following a moment... the moment this time was me hitting the brakes too hard over the crest and spooking the ABS. Beginners mistake and I was upset with myself.

Martian - you will love the Scirocco, and it might have some more go-faster bits by the time you're here! smile

scz4 - yes 8m09s actually. First lap was 8m24s, second was 8m09s. There's more to come if I can have some more seat time, but those are they only laps I've ever driven in the car. Engine-wise, the car is 100% stock. About 210hp if memory serves...

Gecko1978

Original Poster:

589 posts

43 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
405dogvan said:
It's a race track not a diamond-coated skyscraper - if the authorities rightly bite-the-bullet on their own mistake, all they have to 'lease' is a lot of tarmac in the countryside - all the need to nett is the cost of maintenance...
Your assumption is the authorities will bite the bullet, however history would suggest that goverments local or otherwise are not prone to moving fast and saving cash. The dome springs to mind.

End of day if it goes into admin there is nothing stopping the goverment taking ownership and letting the weeds grow until someone writes a big enough check.

Sad but true..I think


PascalBuyens

2,868 posts

168 months

[news] 
Saturday 3rd November 2012 quote quote all
Martian O said:
I'm not deserting the 'ring, I'm there on Sunday driving this Scirocco and again in less than two weeks time doing the same! That'll be ten times I've been to Nurburg this year! biggrin
Honestly, you should come when I'm around instead of trying to avoid me all the time smile

PascalBuyens

2,868 posts

168 months

[news] 
Saturday 3rd November 2012 quote quote all
"we'll be renting out race-prepped Sciroccos for it."

Was it Rent4Ring that had a GT86 on showcase there on the 12th of October?

paranha

606 posts

128 months

[news] 
Saturday 3rd November 2012 quote quote all
The Problem is FAR more complex than has been stated.The BIG problem is Political, as if You couldnt guess---The State, Rheinland-Faltz is governed by the SPD/Greens--who were the Experts in giving the go ahead to spend Millions of Euro,s without any clue of values.
A New leader of the party starts in Jan 2013,but could be just as poor as at present.They havent got a clue---best would be for the Greens to pay off all the debts, and get the ADAC/ONS to run the NS----+ BMW/MB/VW to buy the Ring GMBH.


fwaggie

1,428 posts

86 months

[news] 
Saturday 3rd November 2012 quote quote all
Good for (if I understand correctly) the second lap in the car.

To me it seems as if you slowing down a bit more than necessary for the slow bends? Compared to the cornering forces you're getting in the fast parts, the slow bends look as if the cornering forces were way lower. The first time I thought something had gone pop smile Unfamiliarity with the brakes/grip/something else?

(I realise as I've never been to the Ring this comment will come across as a bit "armchair enthusiast" but it isn't meant that way!)

Verde

439 posts

74 months

[news] 
Saturday 3rd November 2012 quote quote all
Perhaps someone can explain in lay terms, under what ownership and financial model the 'Ring is governed? I always thought it was a piece of public roadway but clearly not. And the definition of terms will of course bear on the means of it's resolution. So, who is an expert here?
I dearly hope that the leadership of the Ring doesn't get 'outsourced' to a wealthy group from anywhere but where is resides. The people in the area seem to be fortunate enough to have a wonderfully rich (in value and history) piece of roadway in their midst and why they should not benefit from that is a mystery to me.
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