The prestigious Ascari race track, often dubbed the “Circuit of the Stars,” situated between Ronda and Teba, is now under new ownership. Swiss banking security expert and millionaire entrepreneur, Francisco Fernández, the founder of Avaloq, has taken the reins after a substantial investment of approximately 25 million euros. This transition marks a significant change for Ascari, a facility cherished by an exclusive group of members, including renowned names such as Jay Kay of Jamiroquai and former Formula 1 pilot Damon Hill. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of this noteworthy acquisition and its implications for the future of Ascari.
Ascari Racetrack’s History and Unique Features
The exclusive Ascari Racetrack, located in the picturesque Serranía de Ronda, was inaugurated in 2003. It is the culmination of the vision of Klass Zwart, a Dutch engineer who made his fortune through patents in the petroleum industry. Zwart, an avid car racing enthusiast, not only founded his brand, Ascari Cars but also acquired the stunning terrain in Ronda, laying the foundation for constructing a world-class racetrack. The total cost of this endeavor is estimated to be around 40 million euros.
The racetrack’s allure lies in its unique features. With 26 challenging corners, evenly distributed between right and left turns, it emulates the world’s finest tracks, such as Daytona, Silverstone, and Spa. As a tribute to Alberto Ascari, an Italian racing legend admired by Zwart, there is a section that replicates the iconic zigzag of Monza, where Ascari tragically lost his life in 1955. This track spans 5.4 kilometers and boasts the coveted approval of the International Automobile Federation (FIA). While not hosting official racing competitions, Ascari operates as an exclusive club where affluent members, primarily of international origin, can indulge in their passion for speed. Members must pay an entry fee that can surpass 40,000 euros and an annual fee exceeding 10,000 euros. In addition to track access, members enjoy complimentary technical support from engineers and instructors for guidance on mechanics, telemetry, and driving techniques.
Recent times have witnessed a momentous change in the ownership structure of Ascari Racetrack, located between Ronda and Teba. In a complex transaction involving Spanish and Swiss entities, the ultimate titleholder of the racetrack now stands as Swiss entrepreneur Francisco Fernández. Known for his reserved nature, Fernández is the founder of Avaloq, specializing in cybersecurity within the financial sector. His software is utilized by an impressive roster of 450 banks worldwide, including heavyweights like Barclays, HSBC, and Deutsche Bank, solidifying his standing in the financial industry. His company has grown from a mere 20 employees to a formidable 2,500, with 500 of them being programmers. Furthermore, he has expanded his reach to encompass 150 clients in 30 countries.
The change of ownership at Ascari has been a discreet but substantial shift, wrapped in secrecy and sealed after protracted negotiations. The reported transaction value stands at a minimum of 25 million euros. The change in leadership also marked Jesús Gijón assuming the role of CEO for Circuito Ascari, S.L. In their statement, the company noted that this transition is the beginning of a new chapter for Ascari, with a focus on enhancing synergies with the local community. They also expressed concerns about proposed photovoltaic park construction in the region and the potential aesthetic and environmental impact.
Legal Aspects of the Acquisition
Behind the scenes, the change of ownership at Ascari Racetrack involved intricate legal maneuvers. Notably, the transaction was overseen by legal experts from the Ruiz Ballesteros law firm and tax advisors, along with professionals from UHY Fay and Co, all of whom were dedicated to safeguarding the interests of both the former owner, Klass Zwart, and the new owner, Francisco Fernández. However, the veil of confidentiality shrouding the transaction remains unbroken, as neither law firm was willing to divulge any specifics related to the deal.
The Ascari Racetrack, a haven for the world’s most affluent car enthusiasts, has embarked on a new journey under the ownership of Francisco Fernández. This exclusive, high-speed circuit in the breathtaking Serranía de Ronda region boasts a rich history, stemming from the dreams of founder Klass Zwart and his passion for cars. The change of ownership, with an estimated worth of 25 million euros, signals a period of transformation and evolution. As the new owners strive to enhance their connection with the local community, Ascari holds exciting prospects for the future. This unassuming gem in the world of motorsport will continue to cater to the passions of its exclusive members, who find their thrill on its asphalt, all under the discreet guidance of Francisco Fernández.
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