Nurburgring Motorsports Complex Acquired by Russian Billionaire Viktor Kharitoni

Nurburgring Motorsports Complex 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
As of April 2016, 43-year-old Viktor Kharitonin is worth $1.04 billion. The source of his personal wealth? Pharmstandard, a pharmaceutical company with a portfolio that includes products used in the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and the list goes forth. Compared to other Russian billionaires, Kharitonin has put its wealth to good use by buying the Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
Kharitonin has upped his stake in the Nurburgring from 80 percent to 99 percent, thus giving him the status of full owner. The remaining 1 percent is owned by minority shareholder GetSpeed Performance GmbH, the company that owns the Performance Center at the Nurburgring. According to reports in the Russian media, Kharitonin has paid €77 million (or $87 million at current exchange rates) in total.

That money translates to a strip of asphalt that stretches over 20.81 kilometers (12.93 miles), 154 turns, and a nickname penned by Sir Jackie Stewart: the Green Hell. Yes, this is gearhead heaven, the place where we get our dopamine kicks and the stomping ground of racing driver and Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz.

Not everything is fine in gearhead heaven, however. You see, neither the Green Hell nor Hockenheim have hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix since 2014. In a fortunate turn of events, Hockenheimring has returned for the 2016 Formula 1 season, but the Nurburgring’s 5.1-kilometer (3.2-mile) F1 racetrack will have to wait. In the best case scenario, the GP-Strecke will act as the German host of the king motorsport in 2018.

In any case, things are way better than they were not so long ago when Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone came close to buying the motorsports complex. Old farty pants couldn’t acquire the Nurburgring because he offered too little money to the then owners. I guess that fate has its way of coming gradually and at its appointed hour. Good on you, Viktor! Now work hard and bring Formula 1 back to the Ring.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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