Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Ring Cycle

The Nürburgring was the last circuit I watched a race at. It was also the last circuit I drove on, although I must confess that was just a few laps round the infamous Nordschleife in the road car.

As for the race, my brother was driving in the historic Formula Junior race as part of the Oldtimer GP last August. As often happens, it rained, and as he'd never raced either at the circuit or in the rain, we'd have been foolhardy to expect a brilliant result. But the memory of the circuit stays with me, and although the new circuit isn't as exciting (terrifying would be more appropriate) as the old classic version, it's still a great circuit. The sort of circuit you'd love to drive on. Swooping corners, hills and dales. Fast corners, slow corners. It's actually got the lot, and it's possible to marshall the circuit and maintain high levels of safety.

In a week when there have been some serious accidents in motorsport around the world, mainly in rallying, it's important to remember that motor racing is dangerous. People can get killed or maimed. So the trend to race at modern circuits is understandable, but that doesn't mean that circuits have to be boring. The 'ring shows that, and if there aren't many overtaking moves there this weekend, just as there were so few at Imola, maybe we should be looking at the cars, rather than the circuits. The Formula Junior race finished with the first three cars line abreast, and the same chassis, albeit with different engines, were eligible for the F1 race later in the day.

Everybody knows we can learn a lot from history. I can't help thinking there is scope for that in motorsport.


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