SCUDERIA HANSEAT BLASTS 'RING MANAGEMENT

Supercar race school with 52-year heritage at the Nurburgring launches scathing attack on the new operators and cancels its spring booking



The trouble at the 'ring shows no sign of blowing over, as the battle between big-budget driving school Scuderia Hanseat and the new 'ring management has spilled out into the public arena. In a press release seething with barely concealed anger, Scuderia Hanseat celebrates the Nordschleife's unique place in motorsport history while saying "the new management of the Nürburgring is now threatening to destroy this tradition, this success and not least the promotion for the region."
Strong words that Scuderia Hanseat backs up with hard facts about exactly what its 300 or so high-rolling customers bring to the Eifel community on their twice-yearly visits to the Nordschleife. This includes 100,000 euros-worth of fuel being poured into thirsty supercars and 3200 nights-worth of accommodation booked out in the local region, not to mention the additional spending in shops, bars and restaurants.
That's money that Nürburgring Automotive GmbH, the circuit's new operator, desperately wants to rake in itself in an effort to both turn a profit and meet local government demands for paying back the 350m euros of public money the redevelopments at the Grand Prix track have cost.
Scuderia Hanseat is among track day organisers, racing schools and the famed 'industry pool' in feeling the pinch of new, hard-nosed business tactics employed by Nürburgring Automotive that have seen long-standing contracts ripped up and prices hiked by huge margins. In Scuderia Hanseat's case this amounts to, it's claimed, a price rise of 60 per cent and reduced track time, contrary to agreements laid down before the new management took over.
The Hanseat press release doesn't hold back either, saying "it is regrettable that, at Scuderia Hanseat alone, 80 staff members and hundreds of drivers are affected by the business tactics of Automotive GmbH." It goes on to say "these business tactics by the new "Ring Masters" are depriving the local hospitality industry, the car industry and the local towns and communities of valuable income."
In a high-stake game of double bluff, Scuderia Hanseat has decided to cancel the first of its 2011 bookings and take legal action in an attempt to force Nürburgring Automotive to honour what it says were existing contracts. PistonHeads contacted Nürburgring Automotive for comment, but none was forthcoming at the time of writing.