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Ecclestone makes bid for historic Nuerburgring

Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone leaves the High Court in central London November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone leaves the High Court in central London November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

BERLIN (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has put in a bid to buy the famous yet financially troubled Nuerburgring circuit, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The race track has gone into administration after local politicians loaded it with debt equating to around 50 years worth of profit and the famed and feared track is now looking for a new owner.

A source close to the procedure told Reuters that Ecclestone had submitted an offer for the circuit which at 20km is the world's longest race track but which has not hosted a Grand Prix since Niki Lauda crashed there in 1976.

The adjacent modern F1 track, which is 5.1km in total, first hosted Formula One in 1984 but now shares the German Grand prix with Hockenheim.

Completed in 1927, the original Ring was built to showcase German auto engineering and racing prowess, and now the country's deep-pocketed carmakers have been cited as potential bidders.

The assets include the track and adjacent amusement park that features a rollercoaster designed to mimics an F1 car.

An official for the administrators refused to comment on Ecclestone's bid, saying: "We do not comment on any specific bidders. But everybody who has an interesting offer is warmly welcome."

"We're in the final stages of the process and want to conclude it in Q1, so that the new owner(s) can start the season in April."

The 83-year-old Ecclestone himself told two German publications on Wednesday his move was aimed at keeping a Formula One race in Germany in the coming years.

"We made an offer and we now wait for it to be accepted," he told Handeslblatt and Wirtschaftwoche publications.

"We believe that we can do more than anyone else for the circuit. There could be a decision as early as in the coming weeks."

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner, Writing by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Martyn Herman)

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