The future of Germany’s iconic Nurburgring race track has apparently gone from cloudy at best to very sunny.
According to MotorAuthority.com, the track has been sold to German automotive manufacturer Capricorn, thus saving the legendary 16-turn, 5.148 kilometer/3.199 mile from potentially going out of business or even being scrapped and having its massive land area developed.
Track officials had declared the facility insolvent in 2012, but it continued to operate and host major events including Formula One’s German Grand Prix.
Capricorn is no stranger to the facility, according to Spiegel Online, with approximately 100 of its 350 total employees working in a factory on the grounds to produce pistons, camshafts, crankshafts and a variety of other engine parts.
Now that it owns the track, Capricorn is expected to further expand its production footprint, including a new technology center being planned.
Nicknamed “Green Hell” by F1 great Jackie Stewart, Nurburgring’s sale must still be approved by European Union regulators, but that would appear to be a mere formality, given the track had few other suitors to rescue it from its nearly two-year-old insolvency.
F1 president Bernie Ecclestone had made an offer for the track in mid-January, but Capricorn’s offer was reportedly significantly larger.
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: