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The History of the Sachsenring Circuit

Am Sachsenring 2
09353 Oberlungwitz
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The history of the Sachsenring circuit is moving, strange and at the same time interesting. How was the circuit built, who were the legendary figures, who were the first winners? How did the Sachsenring circuit become what it is today?

It has not only enjoyed good times during the course of its development. After all, the history of the circuit also covered the Second World War and even the East German government viewed Sachsenring more as a threat than an opportunity. But Sachsenring is now an important and popular racing circuit – both for drivers and ten thousands of spectators.

 

A summary of interesting facts

 

1927

Badberg-Viereck Race on 26 May

 

1928

Second and last race for a while.

41 race accidents and 133 instances of the German Red Cross providing assistance after accidents with 21 people injured in the accident year: this led to massive, serious attacks by local people. So there were no more races at Hohenstein-Ernstthal until 1934.

 

1934

Venue for the German Grand Prix and international races in the 250 cc, 350 cc and 500 cc classes

 

1935

Venue for the German Grand Prix and international races in the 250 cc, 350 cc and 500 cc classes

 

1936

Venue for the European Grand Prix

 

1937

The "Sachsenring" is given its name

Venue for the German Grand Prix and international races in the 250 cc, 350 cc and 500 cc classes

James Guthrie, the Sachsenring favourite and winner of the 1935 and 1936 races, was killed in an accident in the 500 cc race.

 

1938

Venue for the European Grand Prix

 

1939

Venue for the German Grand Prix and international races in the 250 cc, 350 cc and 500 cc classes

 

1950

Pan-German championship races and a new record – 480,000 spectators at the Sachsenring

 

1951

Car races in a class of their own

Paul Greifzu from Suhl pushed former European champion Hans Stuck senior into 2nd place in the Formula 2 race in his home-made BMW.

 

1952

Top performances for the “Silver Jubilee” along the 8.731 km track

• Start and finish wooden stand: 14,000 seats stretching for 240 m

• Stand at the MTS bend with 1,000 seats

• 1,500 straw bales were distributed

• 6 pedestrian bridges between the inner and outer ring

• 100 track observers on duty

• 10 first aid vehicles and 10 first aid tents on stand-by

• 56 large loudspeakers and 35 speakers attached to trees were used

• 800 agitators from the district communist party leadership in action to provide political intelligence

 

1960

World road championship in cycling

 

1961

Ernst Degner won the first Sachsenring motorcycle world championship race

The Sachsenring was the venue for a motorcycle world championship race until 1972

 

1966

Stastny better than Agostini and Hailwood. Things were in the right order at the start: Hailwood at the front next to Agostini and behind them Stastny. Then Hailwood had engine problems and Agostini led with an advantage of one lap, but drove into the woods less than 2 km from the finish during the last lap. The fortunate winner of the race was Stastny.

 

1971

Dieter Braun (West Germany) won the 250 cc class race.

The loudspeakers on the race track were shut down when the national anthem was played.

The circuit no longer applied to act as a venue for a GP race after 1972 under the communist party government.

 

1972

Last motorcycle world championship race at the Sachsenring under the East German regime

 

1990

The end for the Sachsenring racing circuit that used existing roads

 

1995

The road safety training centre was opened

Motor sports was to return to the Sachsenring circuit – signatures were collected, there were protests and demonstrations – and the Saxon parliament decided to support the “Road Safety Training Centre at the Sachsenring” project in 1994 and the centre was handed over in August 1995.

 

1998

The Sachsenring was awarded motorcycle world championship races for four years (decision made in 1996)

ADAC head of sports, Hermann Tomczyk: "The motorcycle world championships are the province of the best fans. And they are here at the Sachsenring.”

The contract was later extended until 2006.

 

2001

Two natives of Saxony in the starting line-up - Steve Jenkner und Jarno Müller

 

2002

75th anniversary of the race circuit

Three Saxons took part in the world championships - Jenkner and Müller were joined by Dirk Heidolf

 

2003

Motorcycling world championships race, supermoto race for the first time, stopover venue for the Saxony Classic Oldtimer Tour

 

2004

Motor cycling world championships race, IDM, supermoto, Saxony Classic and Mini Bike Cup, first race of DMSB production car championships

 

Source: Sachsen Magazin Spezial: 75 Jahre Sachsenring, Labhard Verlag GmbH, 2002 (except 1971)

Photos: Rolf Eggersdorfer

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