Südschleife, the forgotten part of the old Nürburgring
You can call the Südschleife (South-loop) the forgotten part of the old Nürburgring. It was a part of the original circuit as it was at the opening in 1927. Till 1931 races where held at the 28 km long combination of the Nordschleife, Start und Ziel Schleife and the Südschleife.
Overview of the original Nürburgring. The red part is the Südschleife.
At the end of the Second World War the facilities of the circuit where used as headquarter of the allied forces. With their tanks they drove at the circuit and damaged the surface. After the war the Südschleife was first repaired with financial support from the French government, and in August 1947 the first pos-war race in Germany was held here. Two years later the Nordschleife was repaired too (See also the main article about the history of the Nürburgring).
This is now the entrance to the parking.
The last official race at the Südschleife was a Formula 3 race on the 17th of october 1971. Till 1975 it was used for Tourist Rides in combination with the Nordschleife. And some unofficial races have been held where they used the so called Stichstrasse. The Stichstrasse (Shortcut Road) was a connection, constructed in 1938, between two parts of the Südschleife, to make it possible to use it even when there were races on the combination of the Nordschleife and the Start un Ziel Schleife.
The Rassrück section.
The end of the Südschleife
After Nikki Lauda’s grave accident in 1976, when the Nürburgring lost the German Grand Prix, plans where made to build a brand new circuit. The Start und Ziel Schleife and a part of the good old Südschleife where demolished to make place for the new Grand Prix Strecke (Grand Prix Circuit). The Nordschleife, who survived the modernisation, was connected with the new track to make a combination of both circuits possible. But this was definitely the end of the Südschleife!
The name of the corner in front is Sharfer Kopf.
The Südschleife today
The first part is now the public road from Nürburg to Müllenbach. An average motorist will not expect that this road was once a part of the worlds most exciting race track! Another part is abandoned and neglected. Actually, it looks now more like a forrest path than a race circuit. The best conserved part is now used as the entrance road to the parking during events.
Here the public road has the same shape as the circuit once. After this corner was the connection with the Start und Ziel-Schleife.
An old telephone post from the Marshalls is now leaved on the public road.
The abandoned section.
Text and pictures: Herman Liesemeijer
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