February 4, 2011

World's Oldest Performance Driving School Cancelled After 52 years!

Scuderia Hanseat is the grand daddy of all high performance driving schools, founded in 1958, it is expensive, exhaustive and by all accounts a fantastic learning experience. Since its beginnings 52 years ago, Scuderia- Hanseat has run their classes on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring and were all set to run the 2011 edition when they got a call from the office at the track....

New management, Nurburgring Automotive GmbH declared their previously negotiated contract renewal null and void and demanded more money for less track time. Hanseat was forced to cancel or face a 60% increase in fees.

This mirrors rumors that the Nurburgring has demanded a 10x increase in fees charged to the motor industry pool for their testing days at the track. As you may know almost all major manufacturers maintain a testing base at the ring and use the track about 3 days a week. The rumored fee increase, coupled with requirement of included lodging in Nurburgring owned hotels, has apparently resulted in Pirelli dropping out first.

While some will argue that the Motor Pool was getting too good a deal, it's harder to argue forcing a company like Scuderia Hanseat out is a good move, Check out Hanseat's full press release after the jump

Porsche 911 993 GT2 Evo
(thanks to Mike Frison)

Green Hell.

Freitag, 04. Februar 2011
Scuderia Hanseat has to cancel their Spring course - for the first time since 52 years.

Scuderia Hanseat has cancelled their Spring course - for the first time since 52 years.

This is the Press Release from today (thanks to Frank for the translation!)

A fast buck instead of sporting tradition – is this the end of the Nurburgring?

The Nürburgring is a legend. Even people who have nothing to do with motorsports know about its importance. And now this legendary track is in danger. When profit comes before tradition, then there is reason to be concerned. The Automotive GmbH is now managing the day to day running of the Nurburgring and the company is not afraid to snub and offend regular customers and motorsport fans in a way that has not been seen before in this usually quite fairly run business. The case involving the Scuderia Hanseat is given as case in point here.

Scuderia Hanseat was founded by well known motorsport personas 52 years ago. The list of instructors reads like a who-is-who of motorsport: Edgar Barth, Graf de Beaufort, Richard von Frankenberg, Paul Frère, Helm Glöckler, Hans Herrmann, Stirling Moss, the legendary Hans Stuck, Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips – to name only a few.

For 52 years has the Scuderia Hanseat organised two major yearly training courses for sports drivers on the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit at the Nurburgring. Every course saw around 300 drivers from 20 nations take part, with many big names from the world of showbiz and business attending, such as the King of Sweden and his son who both attended multiple times. This tradition, success and not least promotion of the region is now under threat of being destroyed by the new management of the Nurburgring.

Due to expiry of the contract on 31.12.2010, a new five-year contract had already been signed between the former management of the Nürburgring GmbH and representatives of the Scuderia Hanseat on the 01.08.2009. As in previous years, everything from the time frame of the event, over days for the courses, right down to pricing was firmly agreed on. The management of the Automotive GmbH then approached Scuderia Hanseat unexpectedly with requests for changes to the contract.

In a still relaxed atmosphere both sides tried to find a mutually acceptable solution. On 31.12.2010, a new draft contract was submitted by the Automotive GmbH. This draft was wholly unacceptable as far as Scuderia Hanseat was concerned. The course days and periods were changed and other terms and conditions were also altered. In particular, track times were shortened considerably. In return, track rent experienced an extreme increase and additional costs were also introduced – this would have increased the total package cost by 60%.

Attempts to reach an amicable settlement unfortunately failed. Scuderia Hanseat is currently considering legal action – firstly, to claim damages for the Spring 2011 course, which is now unfortunately canceled (for the first time in the history of the school), and secondly to force the Automotive GmbH to honour the existing contracts.

It is regrettable that, at Scuderia Hanseat alone, 80 staff members and hundreds of drivers are affected by the business tactics of Automotive GmbH. And surely this is just one example. Moreover, these business tactics by the new “Ring Masters” are depriving the local hospitality industry, the car industry and the local towns and regions of valuable income.

Here are just a few key points about this:

3200 overnight stays in the immediate vicinity of the ring
Petrol consumption in excess of € 100,000.00 per course
Loss of shopping, eating / entertainment revenue in places like Adenau, Daun, Mayen und Bad Neuenahr.
For more information, please contact Scuderia hanseat: Scuderia Hanseat Tel: +49 40 390 50 86 eMail: info [at] scuderia-hanseat.de


More about Scuderia Hanseat on Axis


  1. This is somewhat sad to hear. I hope this can still be resolved.

  2. Seems like a very bad PR move, but I guess they have to come up money to satisfy the lease.
    I'm sure the master plan is to drive every independent business either in a partnership with them or just out of business.

  3. what a shame! I'm not returning to the nuburgring untill those get the f*ck out of there.

    I hope automotive GmbH go bankrupt

  4. Well. they have a 20 year lease and the local government is a partner and will not let them fail. They have a big loss on the books, I imagine they will do what it takes to recoup... that's not changing.

  5. I just hope that pisten and bookatrack won't cancel their trackdays too

  6. Treat it like a speeding ticket and SUE.


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