Solitude Revival

solitude_ring

The Solitude Grand Prix 1964 saw world champion John Surtees on Ferrari 158 finish second to Jim Clark on Lotus 33 Climax at the Solitude Ring.

The Solitude Revival was organized this weekend, 108 years after the first event took place around the Solitude castle. The legendary Solitude Bergrennen started life in 1903 with a 6km hill climb for motorcycles starting from the western Stuttgart railway station and finishing at the Solitude castle.

As from 1922, this event was also organized for sports and race cars. From the beginning, the Soltitude Bergrennen were heavily supported by  Mercedes,  entering their best racing cars and drivers. In 1926, the Solitude Bergrennen had already grown into an international racing event, attracting the best racers from all over Europe.

Year after year racing speeds increased, leading to a ban on all motor racing activities at the Solitude Bergrennen in 1928 and ultimately leading to the construction of a permanent road course of 11.4 km length in 1935.

Starting at 383m altitude, ascending to 502m at the Frauenkreuz section and after that descending consistently. Main characteristics  were the 2.3km long straight, the Schatten-esses and the twisty Mahdental section, resulting in 45 corners in total, of which 26 lefthanders and 19 righthanders.

Motor racing activities stopped between 1937-1949 and it was only in 1961 that F1 cars entered the scene at the Solitude Ring. In 1962, Porsche entered their new flat-eight engined F1 car, taking an historic double victory with Dan Gurney and Joakim Bonnier.

The 1964 Solitude race is considered to be one of the most successful motor racing events of all times, attracting some 288,000 spectators.

Due to the questionable safety for both pilots and spectators, the last race on the Solitude Ring was organized in 1965. No run-off areas, but a lot of trees next to the track instead and crowd control, apparently a big problem, introduced the end of the Solitude Ring.

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