PAY UP NEW NURBURGRING OWNERS! The new owners of the Nurburgring, Capricorn, have missed its due date for payment of the famous racetrack. Image: AFP
GERMANY - The Nurburgring's sale has hit a fork in the road.
In March 2014, the financially embattled German GP host was bought for a reported equivalent of more than R1-billion by a Dusseldorf based automotive group called Capricorn.
Capricorn has since been successfully negotiating with Bernie Ecclestone about a new long-term race contract. Rhein Zeitung newspaper claimed that Capricorn has not paid the second due instalment to the Rhineland-Palatinate state.
Citing sources, the report said the equivalent amount of R71-million became due on July 31. To date, Capricorn has only paid one installment in the same amount.
Rhein Zeitung reported: "It is assumed that Capricorn's financing from banks has come to a standstill because the European Commission has postponed several times the decision on the legality of the sale."
A spokesman for the financial recovery experts in charge of the Nurburgring insolvency was quoted by Speed Week: "We have a timescale shift for the second purchase installment. We still expect the sale to go ahead."
And Capricorn chief Robertino Wild told Auto Bild it is "untrue" the payment delay is in fact due to the company's own financial problems.
"This is a completely normal process. The operation of the business is going very well," he added.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Belgium GP this weekend.