Report: Nurburgring to host German GP annually starting next year

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The German Grand Prix has alternated between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim on a yearly basis since 2008. But that may soon be changing.

A German newspaper, the Rhein Zeitung, is reporting that the Nurburgring – which was sold earlier this year to automotive group Capricorn – has secured a five-year agreement with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to stage the German Grand Prix annually, starting in 2015.

Hockenheim will stage this year’s German round and is currently slated to do the same in 2016 and 2018.

Regarding the reported agreement, Hockenheim chief executive Georg Seiler was quoted by Australian news agency AAP saying: “The fact is that I was surprised by the news.”

He also said in the AAP report that he had “always known and respected Mr. Ecclestone as a fair and good partner.”

Back in 2006, it was announced that this particular race would flip between Nurburgring and Hockenheim in the face of both tracks facing financial struggles.

However, a dispute between the tracks over naming rights caused the 2007 race to run at Nurburgring under the European Grand Prix moniker. The German GP proper returned in 2008 at Hockenheim.

It is also being reported that as part of Capricorn’s deal to purchase Nurburgring, 25 million Euros will be earmarked for expansion of the track. Leading up to the Capricorn deal, Ecclestone said that he had put in a bid for Nurburgring, which proved unsuccessful.

The track went into bankruptcy in 2012 after previous owners amassed major debts following construction of an entertainment complex that included a shopping mall and amusement park.

Alex Zanardi set for Rolex 24 entry in 2019 with BMW

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BMW has announced that ex-Formula 1 and CART racer-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi will enter the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2019.

Zanardi enjoyed a successful single-seater career before losing both his legs in a crash at the Lausitzring in 2001, appearing to cut his racing ambitions short.

The Italian made a return to motorsport in modified touring cars, and also pursued a career in hand cycling, going on to win four gold medals across the London and Rio Paralympics in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Zanardi’s next challenge will see him enter the 24-hour endurance sports car race at Daytona International Speedway in 2019, as announced by BMW on Friday night.

More to follow…