Long and Infamous History of Sachsenring

April 27, 2016
Alexander S

  • Sachsenring
  • Sachsenring Moto GP
  • Sachsenring
  • Sachsenring

Sachsenring, located near the town of Chemnitz in Saxony has a long history but was never considered as the one of the top racing venues in Germany.

Early days at the circuit were especially dangerous

The first motorcycle race was held in 1927 on the public road running through the nearby village. That track was 8.618 km long and 10 years later that venue was named Sachsenring. In 1934, the German Moto GP was held there for the first time and that race is still the main event at this circuit every year.
The following year race attracted almost 150.000 spectators who could see turbulent competition with more than 40 accidents on the track. The ambulance was overloaded and local authorities decided to abandon racing through the countryside.

Sachsenring circuit layout/map

Map: Sachsenring circuit layout

First German Grand Prix was held in 1934

Racing fans had to wait until 1934 when the inaugural Grand Prix of Germany was held, as a part of European Motorcycle Championship. Sadly, tragedies happened very often and many riders were killed, including champions Gunnar Kalen and Pol Demeuter. The circuit officially was named Sachsenring for the 1937 German Grand Prix during which was killed a winner of two previous races Jimmie Guthrie.

MotoGP race, Old Sachsenring,

Motorcycle race at old Sachsenring

Racing at Sachsenring wasn’t for everyone

World War II stopped the races at Sachsenring until 1949. All German Motorcycle Championship in the following year attracted almost half million spectators and despite being in DDR, the circuit had an active life, also hosting international events through the years. Motorcycle races still were more often and more popular than cars races, with a World Championship event as the highlight, but when local motorcycles became less competitive against the ones from the West, authorities decided to allow entries, for both cars and motorcycles, only for the competitors from the countries behind the iron curtain.

Sachsenring MotoGP

German MotoGP at Sachsenring

New beginnings

When the iron curtain fell, future looked slightly better for this venue. Early years for unified Germany weren’t easy for Sachsenring. Venue still had only a few wooden stands and safety was at a very low level which led to fatal accidents. In the mid-1990s, ADAC took the control and in 1995 new facility was built south of the original track.

Cars racing at Sachsenring, race detail

Detail from the race at Sachsenring

Through the years, the track went through many modifications to get highest FIM certification what meant that World Championship event can return to Sachsenring. The fans were delighted and almost 150.000 people rushed for the race in 1998.

Sachsenring circuit is now a modern venue

After more changes made in 2000, the track became better suited for the cars racing while in 2001 famous architect Hermann Tilke gave a final touch to the track. Sachsenring is now modern racing circuit which still hosts motorcycle races but also is a regular host of ADAC GT Masters round. FIA GT1 World Championship also was a guest at Sachsenring, just as the DTM series before switching to another venue in former East Germany, a new Lausitzring.

Sachsenring ADAC GT Masters race

ADAC GT Masters race at Sachsenring

Sachsenring’s Circuit A Grand Prix is 3.7 km long with 14 turns and it is anti-clockwise ran track while Circuit B Omega is 2.1 km long. The shortest layout is Circuit C with a length of 1.7 km.

Getting there is relatively easy. Three airports, in Dresden, Leipzig and Erfurt are 100-150 km from Sachsenring. A train connection is also available from Berlin and the station nearest to the venue is Hohenstein-Ernstthal, some 10-minute walk from the track.

Address: Am Sachsenring, 09353 Oberlungwitz, Germany
Phone: +49 351 4433190
Website: sachsenring-circuit.com

Photo: sachsenring.de wikipedia.org

Related Posts