American Investors Are Buying The World's Scariest Racetrack For $90 Million

Alex Davies
nurburgring race track germany september 2012

Built around the medieval castle of Nurburg, in western Germany's Eifel Forest, the Nurburgring motorsports complex ended up in bankruptcy in 2012 and is now falling into American hands.

A group of investors, led by H.I.G. Capital in Miami, has purchased the track for €60-70 million ($83-97 million), according to Road & Track.

The facility includes a Grand Prix track and arena, a museum, and a defunct roller coaster.

But the real attraction is the North Loop, better known by its German name, the Nordschleife.

Built from 1925-1927 as a project to alleviate unemployment, it is still one of the longest and most challenging racetracks on the planet.

Blind hills, narrow straights, and trees on either side earned it the nickname, the "Green Hell."

The estimate of driver deaths on the track varies, according to Car and Driver, from 2 to 12 per year.

Here's a view of the complex from the air.

And a panoramic shot of the complex entrance.

The Formula One-themed 'ring°racer' roller coaster has not opened yet, after a history of delays and accidents.

This circuit map says, "No driving in the Eifel (Mountains) without a lap on the Nürburgring."

[Source: Wikipedia]

At a 1965 event, the drivers ran to their cars to begin the race. This approach, called a Le Mans start, was abandoned because drivers tended not to take the time to fasten their safety equipment.

In 1963, a Mercedes-Benz touring car hit the track.

Here's a shot from a 1973 race.

The Grand Prix track was built in 1984.

It's still used for Formula One racing.

And there are stands for fans to enjoy the races.

But the north loop — or Nordschleife — is the star of the complex.

It's built around the medieval castle of Nurburg.

Drivers must face blind hills, narrow straights, 985 feet of altitude change, and 170 corners.

Trees line much of the track, so it's easy to see why Formula One driver Jackie Stewart named it 'The Green Hell.'

In May 2013, Aston Martin celebrated its 100th birthday with a parade of its best cars around the Nurburgring.

In December, McLaren announced its P1 hypercar ran the circuit in under 7 minutes — a feat accomplished by only three other production cars, including the Porsche 918 Spyder.

The fastest lap ever belongs to Stefan Bellof, who in 1983 did it in just 6 minutes, 11.13 seconds, driving a Porsche 956.

[Source: Car and Driver]

The Nordschleife is open to the public (for a $35 toll), so driving enthusiasts can test their skills.

[Source: Car and Driver]

Sometimes, it proves to be too much for amateurs.

And even professionals have trouble: This Ferrari P 4/5 ended up on fire.

A Mercedes AMG SLS Black Series wrecked, too.

Hopefully, the American investors will keep the Nordschleife open for public access.

Now check out the car we can't wait to see take on the circuit.

DON'T MISS: Sweden Just Blew Away The Auto World With Its New Hypercar >

See Also: