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Report & Gallery: ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring

Submitted by on September 23, 2021

By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

Last weekend the rebirth of the 1000 km was organized by the Düsseldorfer Automobil- und Motorsport Club 05 at the Nürburgring. This traditional endurance race was held until 1984, with the legendary Nordschleife being the stage for this race until 1983. In 1984 the 1000 km race was held for the last time on the considerably shorter Grand Prix circuit. Motorsport Retro’s European correspondent Marcel Hundscheid was present to cover this unique historic racing event.

We have to go back to 1953 for the inaugural 1000 km of the Nürburgring, part of the World Sportscar Championship. Italians Alberto Ascari and Guiseppe Farina won the inaugural event in a Ferrari 375 MM Vignale Spyder.

It was remarkable that from Germany just Porsche, Borgward and Gutbrod were represented as home brands. Mercedes was the big absentee, which probably also explained why there was virtually no audience. When it turned out that Mercedes gave up again a year later because the 300 SLR was not ready, it was even decided not to let the race go ahead. 1955 became a dark page in motorsport history due to the tragic accident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans involving Mercedes. Reason enough not to let the 1000 km continue for that year.

From 1957 to 1983, the 1000 km was run annually on the Nordschleife. Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass were the last two drivers to be flagged as winners of the 1000 km on the Nordschleife driving a Rothmans Porsche 956. During the event German Steffan Bellof wrote history by setting the fastest time ever on the Nordschleife in a stunning 6:11.13 during practice.

In 1984, the 1000 km was run for the first time on the new Grand Prix track. For four years, the 1000 km was raced on the significantly shorter Grand Prix track with Jochen Mass and Jean-Louis Schlesser as winners in a Sauber-Mercedes C9. From 1989 the 1000 km races were shortened to 480 km. In 2000, the 1000 km of the Nürburgring was revived, but as part of the ELMS, followed by a 1000 km race in 2005 as part of the Le Mans Endurance Series.

This year the 1000 km race covered a seven hour duration over 38 laps to take in the overall track consisting of the Grand Prix Track and the Nordschleife. An endurance race on a track of this size is unique in Europe.

On Saturday morning qualifying took place on the Grand Prix Track, followed by the 1000 km race on both layouts. The Nordschleife is a unique race track unlike any other in the world. Not only the length cannot be compared with anything, the location and surroundings are also breathtaking and demand the utmost of man and machine.

The Eifel race has been held on public roads in the Eifel since 1922. As crossing towns at racing speed in the region was very dangerous, it led to the construction of a permanent track. Back in 1925 construction work began on a first mountain, racing and test track. After up to 3,000 workers had completed the work, the Nordschleife was opened together with the start-and-finish loop and the Südschleife on June 18, 1927. The longest and most difficult racetrack in the world unfortunately also suffered a lot of fatal accidents since the very first race in 1927. Difficulty was equated with dangerous as serious, often fatal accidents on the Nordschleife were not uncommon.

In the summer of 1970, the Nordschleife was boycotted as a Grand Prix track by Formula 1 drivers for a short time after serious accidents had occurred on other tracks. Renovation works commenced, including hard shoulder, guardrails, fewer jump crests and for the first time the use of curbs.

The end of the Nordschleife as a Formula 1 track was already foreseeable with the expiry of two three-year contracts. Nika Lauda’s serious accident on the 1st of August in 1976 made this decision final. In 1980 the last motorcycle Grand Prix took place on the Nordschleife. Other racing series such as Formula 2, the German Racing Championship (DRM) and the sports cars continued to drive there temporarily in 1983 also on a route shortened to 20.8 km with temporary boxes, as construction work was in progress in the area of ​​the previous start-finish loop.

Nowadays the Nordschleife lap is the longest permanent race track in the world measuring 20.832 km long. It has officially 73 bends (depending on how you count, there are sometimes more) and inclines of up to 18% (ascent between Caracciola-Karussell and Hohe Acht) and up to 11% incline Fuchsröhre). The track doesn’t include the former steep section Steilstrecke) with a 27% gradient, which still exists but has not been used for decades.

For the 2021 edition, 80 cars appeared at the start. The organization therefore deserves a big compliment, especially in times of COVID-19, which brought the necessary restrictions. In addition the public was also welcome, both in the stands on the Grand Prix run and in the beautiful area of ​​the Nordschleife.

After 6 hours and 44 minutes the colourful Porsche 934/5 of Kersten Jodexnis, Robin Chrzanowski, Dr. Eddy Althoff and Andreas Gülden crossed the finish line, winning the event. No less than 8 Porsches finished in the top ten, claiming the top three as well. The organization has already announced that the edition for 2022 is planned for mid-September of next year. Hopefully the situation will then allow for an even larger starting field with more participants from the ’60s and ’70s.

Results ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring 2021

1) Porsche 934/5, Kersten Jodexnis, Robin Chrzanowski, Dr. Eddy Althoff, Andreas Gülden

2) Porsche Carrera 964 Cup, Ivan Reggiani, Jacoma Jvan, + 1 lap

3) Porsche 964 Cup, Jürgen Rudolph, Michael Knebel, Heiko Hammel, + 1 lap

4) BMW 635 CSi, Peter Schumann, Jürgen Schumann, Joachim Kiesch, Olaf Mantey, + 1 lap

5) Porsche 964 Cup, Alexander Kolb, Vincent Kolb, + 1 lap

6) Porsche 911 RSR, Georg Griesemann, Björn Griesemann, + 1 lap

7) Porsche 911 RSR, Pedro Sanchez, Lucco Sanchez, Oliver Mathai, + 1 lap

8) Porsche 993, Arne Bast, Kurt Strube, + 2 laps

9) Porsche 964 Cup, Jürgen Pentz, Achim Leinhorst, Marc Simon, + 2 laps

10) Ford Escort Mk.1 RS1600, Heinz Schmersal, Mike Stursberg, Markus Diederich, + 2 laps

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