The first ever motorsport event at Hohenstein-Ernstthal near the City of Chemnitz (in the epoque of the communist dictatorship in East Germany known as Karl-Marx-Stadt) had been a motorcycle race held at the Ascension of Christ of the year 1927. It had been called 1. Badberg-Viereck-Rennen and had been attended by a crowd of 130.000 . The race had been repeated the following year, but more then 40 accidents happening had made the organizers cancel the event for the era to come caused by the pressure put on them both by the public and the authorities. Motorcycle racing came back to the natural road circuit between the famous track sections of Badberg, Queckenberg and Heiterer Blick during the thirties. In 1937 the track at Hohenstein-Ernstthal, that is the home town of Germany´s most famous novelist Karl May (1842 - 1912), was named Sachsenring for the first time. Star drivers like Guthrie, Pagani, Serafini and the German aces Georg Meier, Ewald Kluge, Karl Gall, Walfried Winkler and Kurt Mansfeld were competing in this great epoque of motorcycle racing riding the bikes of the great makes like Norton, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, BMW and DKW. This exciting period ended in 1939 when World War broke out.
It took a complete decade, up to 1949, to make motorsport return to it´s famous, 8.7 long circuit in Saxony. Half a million spectators attended the first race after the war followed by crowds of 250.000 coming regularly from that time on to watch excellent sport both on two and four wheels. The Golden Era of the Sachsenring began, when the first Motorcycle Worldchampionship round, the Grand Prix of the German Democratic Republic, had been established in 1961. For the following eleven years the complete world´s elite of international bike racers like Agostini, Reed, Redman, Taveri, Nieto and Braun were competing in this glorious time. But in 1973 communist blockheads in the GDR government (that was, in contrast to the state´s name, everything else than democratic) decided to allow only riders and drivers from the Socialist countries to take part in the Sachsenring events. It took 17 years to make international motorsport back to the Sachsenring. In 1990, after the peaceful revolution in the GDR making the bankrupt and corrupt marionette regime in East Berlin collapse within a few weeks, Superbike Racing was the first international competition being organized in Saxony for nearly two decades. But the road course with it´s wonderful atmosphere influenced by the beautiful countryside infront of the doors of Chemnitz was not safe enough anymore for the fast bikes of the nineties. Three riders killed made the officials stop their activities that just had begun so promising. But only after a short while a new group of organizers was found under the lead of the ADAC, Germany´s biggest automobile club with about 12 million members. Also involved were the Federal State of Saxony, the County of Chemnitz, Europe´s biggest car magazine auto motor und sport and star architect Herman Tilke, the creator of the Formula One circuits of Spielberg, Sepang, Bahrain und Shanghai. In 1995 a driving performance centre was opened on the ground of the Sachsenring followed by a semi-permanent race track both for bike and car use on the highest safety standard. With no public roads involved anymore, the multi-purpose sporting area (that can be also used for cultural events like rock and pop concerts) has got a permanent, but flexible motorsport infrastructure similar to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium or the Albert Park of Australian Melbourne. So it was no wonder, that international motorsport returned very quickly to Saxony also making the massive crowds coming back. On the new Sachsenring the Super Touring Cars were competing as well as the DTM and Formula 3 from 1996 on. Since 2000 the Sachsenring is the host of the Cinzano German Grand Prix as a round of the MotoGP Worldchampionship. On the following pages photographer Klaus Ruemmler gives you an exclusive look into four decades of work at the side of one of the world´s most fascinating road circuits, realized by researchracing authors Peter Ruemmler and Hans Joerg Denzler.
Graphics by project * 2000
© 2004 by researchracing
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