MARCH 9, 2007
Forbes Magazine has just produced its annual list of the world's billionaires and it makes impressive reading, considering that there are now 891 of them (at least when one is counting with the weak US dollar). The list features a number of folk who are involved in racing, although ironically Flavio Briatore, who is busy flogging a brand called Billionaire, is not among them.
In racing terms top of the pile is BMW heiress Susanne Klatten, who ranks 68th with a fortune of $9.6bn. This is small in comparison to number one Bill Gates, with an impressive $56bn. Klatten's brother Stefan Quandt is 96th with $7.6bn while their mother Johanna Klatten is 111th with $6.6bn.
There is then a big gap back to Bernie Ecclestone (or rather his family) which is reckoned to be worth $3.6bn, which is enough to rank them 243rd in the list, ahead of Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz at 287th with a $3bn fortune. Roger Penske is 432nd with $2.2bn while Midland partners (former owners of Spyker F1 team) Eduard Shifrin and Alex Shnaider are 538th and 557th with $1.9bn and $1.8bn respectively. The NASCAR owning France Family has Jim France and Bill France Jr at sharing 664th with $1.5bn apiece.
The list does not include some who perhaps ought to be there but it is just a rough estimate and there are no guarantees that the numbers are even close to being correct as many wealthy people like to hide their money away from prying eyes.
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