Schwedenkreuz and the Karussel will stay but say good bye to Flugplatz, Aremberg, Brünchen.... and if anyone crashes, they will sue. The Americans are coming, the Americans are coming!
By now you have read many articles about the (likely) sale of Nürburgring, a.k.a. the debacle in the Eiffel, to a US based private equity firm. Sentiments runs the gamut from the predictably ridiculous, to the doom and gloom to the optimistic.
Setting aside 'Murica eagles over the Karusell, who's right: the optimists or the pessimists? Both actually.
Mike Frisson, founder of Save the Ring, is the conscience of the die hard, grass roots ringers. His view is that the Ring is essentially a national treasure that should be run as a non profit rather than be in private hands. He sees costs going up and access more and more restricted to a wealthy elite.
Problem is, the Germans (or at least some Germans) already messed up the 'Ring experience, it's already hideously expensive and, at least the last we were there, you had to pay to even take a piss.
The Germans are always happy to refer to other European nations as "mafiosos" but the Mafia around the ring, from the politicians to the tow truck operators is quite well established, danke.
Dale Lomas represents the pragmatists. Dale works with one of the car rental agencies at the Ring so he really has no choice but to think the best. He points out this latest buyout attempt is being led by a true tracktard, one who happens to have worked at Goldman-Sachs. Meyrick Cox told Dale of big investment plans including cameras all around the track and GPS for every car, it all sounds very exciting.
For sure it will not be the ring you know.
The question of liability also came up. If, as part of the deal. the track stops being a public road then the liability burden on the owners would increase substantially. Ways of lowering liability that might be looked at would be limiting, segregating or perhaps even eliminating bikers on public days. I would guess the same might apply to those familiar sites on track: tour busses and overloaded station wagons carrying whole families, who knows.
Whatever the result, things will certainly change at the Ring. Shame because it will not the "wild west" adventure it once was but, you could argue, nobody could mess it up more than the Germans themselves have in the past decade.