NURBURG RING CHIEF IN LONDON
MAJOR DORMER, manager of Nurburg Ring, paid. a brief visit to England last month. Arriving just before Whitsun, he went down to Brooklands on the Saturday to see the practising, and was taken round the track to various viewpoints by Mr. Percy
Bradley in the latter’s Bentley. With him were his son and Mr. Seydel, general representative of the German Railways in this country.
On the actual race day the party was conducted round the circuit to watch the racing by Sir Malcolm Campbell, and Major Dohmer expressed his admiration of the track facilities. On the following day a few members of the British Press were invited to meet Major Dohmer over a cocktail in the Pall Mall offices of the German Railways. Major Dohmer does not speak English, so he addressed his guests in German, and a translation of his statement in English was given out. One paragraph, in particular, was of great interest, for it threw official light for the first time on a subject which has long been discussed and ‘argued in Britain. Explaining the reasons for the remarkable victories of German racing cars during recent years, Major Dohmer said :
“Since 1933 Korpsfuhrer Huhnlein has been responsible for the whole of German motor sport. All organisations concerned do their utmost to further the interests of motoring. ” The Government aids the industry by means of subsidies, not only to the factories, but also for the improvement of racing circuits, in particular the Nurburg Ring. The tz,ctorics have large depart merits which are concerned solely with the construction of racing cars and ‘Special sections whose job it is to visit and study the principal racing events,”
The italics, Of course, are ours. Then followed a film-show which included a number of excellent sequences taken at Avus, the Ring, Hohenstein (motor-cycles), Monza, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Donington and the Grossglockner. The cutting of the films was first-rate, giving a great sense of drama to the races and pit-stops. Possibly the best part of the whole show was the film showing the fire which forced Von Brauchitsch out of the German Grand Prix last year, when he was narrowly leading front Seaman. The sequence opened with a closeup of Seaman’s fate while his car was being refuelled. He looks along the track, to the pit where Von Brauchitsch has also stopped (although we cannot see the latter’s car.) Suddenly a look of amaze ment comes over Seaman’s face. He stares, scarcely able to believe his eyes. He frowns, and looks again, completely absorbed—until at last the camera switches round to the scene that has held Seaman’s attention so rigidly for the
past thirty seconds. Then we see the spurt of flame at the tail of Von Brauchitsch’s car ; Neubauer leaping forward and pulling the driver bodily out of the cockpit on to the ground ; Von Brauchitsch jumping to his feet with arms ablaze, beating out the flames with his hands ; and finally the heroic moment when he climbs back into the car, which is covered with white foam, and drives slowly off. It is all a most graphic record of an historic moment in motor-racing.
During the film show MajOr Dohmer and his son distributed interesting souvenirs of the visit in the form of Nurburg Ring postcards stamped with three new German stamps—one showing the first motorcar, another with two racing-cars hurtling along with the Nurburg castle ruins in the background, and a third illustrating the Volkswagen. The stamps were franked with the Eifelrennen postmark, (the Ring has its own post office) and a set of three new stamps was also given to each visitor.
Here are some interesting facts about the Ring. It was built during the Years 1925-27 at a cost of 15 million Reichsmarks. It has a total length of over 171 miles and is 26 feet wide, except at the starting and finishing ‘area. which is (36 feet wide. The circuit is divided into three sections, or loops : the North Loop (about 13 miles), the South Loop (4f miles), and the start and finish loop (4 miles) which connects the two together. Nowadays only the Northern and start and finish loops are used for motor-races. The track varies in height from 1,051 feet above sea level at its lowest point to 2,030 feet at its highest. The steepest uphill section has a gradient of 1 in 6 and the biggest downhill gradient is 1 in 9. There are 174 bends, 89 of them being left-handed and 85 of them right-handed.
The sharpest corner is the Karussell, which has a radius of 105 feet, and the longest absolute straight is the 5 furlongs (1,100 feet) at the start and finish. There is also a test hill with a gradient of about 1 in 4. The main grandstand is 560 feet long and seats 2,500 people. The track is open for use by private motorists and motor-cyclists every day as a general rule, on payment of a small toll.