The Nürburgring is a 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, a much longer Nordschleife "North loop" track, built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains; the north loop is 20.8 km long and has more than 300 metres of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track "The Green Hell"; the track featured four configurations: the 28.265 km -long Gesamtstrecke, which in turn consisted of the 22.810 km Nordschleife, the 7.747 km Südschleife. There was a 2.281 km warm-up loop called Zielschleife or Betonschleife, around the pit area. Between 1982 and 1983 the start/finish area was demolished to create a new GP-Strecke, this is used for all major and international racing events. However, the shortened Nordschleife is still in use for racing and public access. In the early 1920s, ADAC Eifelrennen races were held on public roads in the Eifel mountains.
This was soon recognised as dangerous. The construction of a dedicated race track was proposed, following the examples of Italy's Monza and Targa Florio courses, Berlin's AVUS, yet with a different character; the layout of the circuit in the mountains was similar to the Targa Florio event, one of the most important motor races at that time. The original Nürburgring was to be a showcase for racing talent. Construction of the track, designed by the Eichler Architekturbüro from Ravensburg, began in September 1925; the track was completed in spring of 1927, the ADAC Eifelrennen races were continued there. The first races to take place on 18 June 1927 showed sidecars; the first motorcycle race was won by Toni Ulmen on an English 350 cc Velocette. The cars followed a day and Rudolf Caracciola was the winner of the over 5000 cc class in a Mercedes-Benz Compressor. In addition, the track was opened to the public in the evenings and on weekends, as a one-way toll road; the whole track consisted of 174 bends, averaged 8 to 9 metres in width.
The fastest time around the full Gesamtstrecke was by Louis Chiron, at an average speed of 112.31 km/h in his Bugatti. In 1929 the full Nürburgring was used for the last time in major racing events, as future Grands Prix would be held only on the Nordschleife. Motorcycles and minor races used the shorter and safer Südschleife. Memorable pre-war races at the circuit featured the talents of early Ringmeister such as Rudolf Caracciola, Tazio Nuvolari and Bernd Rosemeyer. After World War II, racing resumed in 1947 and in 1951, the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring again became the main venue for the German Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship. A new group of Ringmeister arose to dominate the race – Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx. On 5 August 1961, during practice for the 1961 German Grand Prix, Phil Hill became the first person to complete a lap of the Nordschleife in under 9 minutes, with a lap of 8 minutes 55.2 seconds in the Ferrari 156 "Sharknose" Formula One car.
Over half a century even the highest performing road cars still have difficulty breaking 8 minutes without a professional race driver or one familiar with the track. Several rounds of the German motorcycle Grand Prix were held on the 7.7 km Südschleife, but the Hockenheimring and the Solitudering were the main sites for Grand Prix motorcycle racing. In 1953, the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring race was introduced, an Endurance race and Sports car racing event that counted towards the World Sportscar Championship for decades; the 24 Hours Nürburgring for touring car racing was added in 1970. By the late 1960s, the Nordschleife and many other tracks were becoming dangerous for the latest generation of F1 cars. In 1967, a chicane was added before the start/finish straight, called Hohenrain, in order to reduce speeds at the pit lane entry; this made the track 25 m longer. This change, was not enough to keep Stewart from nicknaming it "The Green Hell" following his victory in the 1968 German Grand Prix amid a driving rainstorm and thick fog.
In 1970, after the fatal crash of Piers Courage at Zandvoort, the F1 drivers decided at the French Grand Prix to boycott the Nürburgring unless major changes were made, as they did at Spa the year before. The changes were not possible on short notice, the German GP was moved to the Hockenheimring, modified. In accordance with the demands of the F1 drivers, the Nordschleife was reconstructed by taking out some bumps, smoothing out some sudden jumps, installing Armco safety barriers; the track was made straighter, following the race line. The German GP could be hosted at the Nürburgring again, was for another six years from 1971 to 1976. In 1973 the entrance into the dangerous and bumpy Kallenhard corner was made slower by adding another left-hand corner after the fast Metzgesfeld sweeping corner. Safety was improved again on, e.g. by removing the jumps on the long main straight and widening it, taking away the bushes right next to the track at the main straight, which had made that section of the Nürburgring dangerously narrow.
A second series of three more F1 races was held until 1976. Howe
Sebring International Raceway
Sebring International Raceway is a road course auto racing facility in the southeastern United States, located near Sebring, Florida. Sebring Raceway is one of the oldest continuously operating race tracks in the U. S. its first race being run in 1950. Sebring is one of the classic race tracks in North American sports car racing, plays host to the 12 Hours of Sebring; the raceway occupies a portion of Sebring Regional Airport, an active airport for private and commercial traffic, built as Hendricks Army Airfield, a World War II training base for the U. S. Army Air Forces. Sebring Raceway occupies the site of Hendricks Army Airfield, a training base for B-17 pilots in operation from 1941 to 1946. After the war, Russian-American aeronautical engineer Alec Ulmann was seeking sites for converting military aircraft to civilian use when he discovered potential in Hendricks' runways and service roads to stage a sports car endurance race similar to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race Ulmann was inspired to somewhat re-create in the United States.
Sebring's first race was held on New Year's Eve of 1950, attracting thirty race cars from across North America. The Sam Collier 6 Hour Memorial race was won by Frits Koster and Ralph Deshon in a Crosley Hot Shot, driven to the track by Victor Sharpe; the first 12 Hours of Sebring was held on March 15, 1952, shortly growing into a major international race. In 1959, the track hosted the U. S.' First Formula One race, held as that year's installment of the historic United States Grand Prix competition. However poor attendance and high costs relocated the next U. S. Grand Prix to Riverside International Raceway in southern California. For much of Sebring's history, the track followed a 5.2-mile layout. After a disastrous 1966 12 Hours with five fatalities, the track was widened and lengthened 50 yards for 1967 with the removal of the Webster Turn between the hairpin and the top of the track and replacement with the faster Green Park Chicane; this was closer to the hairpin and allowed a flat-out run through a fast corner to the top of the track and the runway.
Another dangerous section was the Warehouse straight, where the organizers installed a left-right turn to move the track away from the warehouses and buildings after a crash where during that 1966 12 Hours a privately-entered Porsche went into one of the warehouses and into a crowd, killing four spectators. The circuit was changed and shortened in 1983 to allow simultaneous use of the track and one of the runways, major changes in 1987 allowed use of another runway. Further changes in 1991 accommodated expansion of the airport's facilities, allowing the entire track to be used without interfering with normal airport operations and bringing it close to its current configuration; the hairpin was removed in 1997 due to a lack of run-off, replaced with what became known as the "safety pin". Gendebien Bend was re-profiled to slow the cars' entry to the Ullman straight; the track is owned by IMSA Holdings, LLC through its subsidiary Sebring International Raceway, LLC via its purchase of the Panoz MSG in September 2012.
It is leased by the Sebring International Raceway, LLC, which acquired the facility from Andy Evans in 1997. The track is recognized for its famous, high-speed "Turn 17", a long, fast right hander that can make or break a car's speed down the front straight; the corner can fit up to 3 cars wide. Skip Barber Racing School held numerous programs at the facility, including a scholarship opportunity for young racers; the World Endurance Championship runs a round called the 1000 Miles of Sebring, run concurrently with the famed 12 Hours. This race was first run with Toyota Gazoo Racing winning overall. Sebring International Raceway consist of three tracks: the Full Circuit, the Short Circuit, the Club Circuit; the course of the track itself is 3.74 miles long. It is a seventeen-turn road course with long straights, several high-speed corners, technical slower corners. Many of the turns and points along the track are named for the early drivers. Due to Florida's flat nature there is little elevation change around the track and little camber on the surface, providing a challenging track for drivers when it rains.
Sebring is renowned for its rough and changing surfaces. The course still runs on old sections of World War II-era landing fields that were constructed of concrete sections with large seams; the transitions between sections are quite rough and sparks fly from the undercarriages of the cars as they traverse them. Much of the track has intentionally been left with its original concrete runway surface; the 12 Hours of Sebring is renowned as a race, harder on machinery and drivers than Le Mans, is seen as an ideal preparation run for the famed French race. The track surface has 0.7 miles of concrete. Mario Andretti, a 3-time 12 Hours winner, said that one of the hardest parts about the original Sebring track was "finding the track to begin with." There had been many accounts of drivers retiring due to accidents at night, quite because they got lost on the runway sections and couldn't find the track again. Some drivers got lost during the day because the track was poorly marked down with white lines and cones.
Sebring is most notable for hosting the 12 Hours of Sebring, sanctioned by the FIA and IMSA, as part of many major endurance racing series, including the World Sportscar Championship, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, ALMS, now, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This race is the second of four races in t
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Royal Automobile Club
The Royal Automobile Club is a British private club and is not to be confused with RAC, an automotive services company, which it owned. It has two club houses: one in London at 89–91 Pall Mall, the other in the countryside at Woodcote Park, near Epsom in Surrey, both with accommodation and a range of dining and sporting facilities; the Royal Automobile Club welcomes both women as members. It was founded on 10 August 1897 as the Automobile Club of Great Britain; the headquarters was in a block of flats at 4 Whitehall Court, moving to 119 Piccadilly in 1902. During 1902 the organisation, together with the formed Association of Motor Manufactures and Traders campaigned vigorously for the relaxation of speed limits claiming that the 14 mph speed limit imposed by the Locomotives on Highways Act 1896 was'absurd' and was observed; the organisations, with support from the Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, had considerable influence over the forthcoming Motor Car Act 1903 which proposed to remove all speed limits for cars while introducing the offence of driving recklessly.
In the face of considerable opposition a speed limit of 20 mph was retained in addition to the creation of the offence of driving recklessly, dangerously or negligently. In 1905, the Club organised the first Tourist Trophy motorcycle race, the oldest run motor race; the Club became the governing body for motor sport in Britain. King Edward VII's interest in motoring led to the command in 1907 "that the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland should henceforth be known as The Royal Automobile Club". In 1911 they moved to part of the site of the old War Office, it cost over a quarter of a million pounds and is described in the Survey of London as "a polished essay in the late French Renaissance manner". At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the Club arranged for twenty-five of their members, with their personal cars, to accompany the British Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium to act as chauffeurs and messengers for the British General Staff. Describing themselves as the "RAC Corps of Volunteer Motor Drivers", the drivers included the Duke of Westminster, Lord Dalmeny and "Toby" Rawlinson.
In September 1914, a further group of RAC members put themselves and their cars at the disposal of the British Red Cross, to help transport war casualties. The RAC was responsible for organising the first British Grand Prix motor race at Brooklands, Surrey in 1926 and runs its sister organisation, the MSA. In 1978 during a re-organisation the'Associate Section' was established as a separate company RAC Motoring Services Ltd, owned by the organisation. In 1991 the RAC Foundation was split off as the research arm of'RAC Motoring Services'; when RAC Motoring Services was sold in 1999 the Foundation was granted a legacy and was subsequently established as a charity to research and promote issues of safety, mobility and the environment related to motoring. In September 1999 members sold RAC Motoring Services to Lex Service plc, who renamed themselves RAC plc in 2002. RAC Plc was acquired by Aviva plc in March 2005 for around £1.1 billion. The RAC introduced uniformed mobile patrols around the roads of Britain during 1901 with the patrolmen wearing a uniform not unlike the military police of the day, including tailored jodhpur trousers.
The patrolmen had an army-like rank structure with corporals and officers. Mounted on Matchless motorbikes with sidecars containing a tool kit, engine hoses, metal cans of spare petrol they were located on standby at laybys and major road junctions; until around 1930 control could only contact the mobile patrolmen by telephone, so they waited by public telephone boxes for the callout. From 1957 onwards they were equipped with radio sets for two way contact with their local headquarters. In 1912, following the lead of the competitor organisation The Automobile Association, the RAC installed roadside telephones on laybys and junctions of the main trunk roads in the UK for members to summon help. Although they were never as numerous as AA boxes there was a measure of cooperation between the two motoring clubs—keys fitted both types of box and members' messages were passed on; the telephones were installed in locked boxes painted in royal blue with the RAC logo badge mounted on the top of the box.
Members were provided with a key to the boxes. Members' cars were identified by a metal club badge affixed to the radiator grille and the patrolmen would come to attention and salute as a member drove past, or, if the patrolman was riding a motorcycle salute; this practise was the basis of an unofficial service given by the club to its members. The RAC issued an annual'Guide and Handbook' that contained road maps of the UK with the location of all RAC telephones marked on it, together with lists of local RAC approved garages and hotels. To give members an indication of the quality of each establishment the RAC was one of the first organisations to provide an recognisable grading system, their inspectors assessed each hotel and garage and awarded between one and five stars in the case of hotels and one to three spanners to garages. The RAC disbanded its hotel inspection team in 2004. Motorcycle patrols gave way to small vans during the 1960s and by 1970 the last motorcycle patrols had been phased out.
RAC telephone boxes were withdrawn from service when they were eclips
World Sportscar Championship
The World Sportscar Championship was the world series run for sports car racing by the FIA from 1953 to 1992. The championship evolved from a small collection of the most important sportscar and road racing events in Europe and North America with dozens of gentleman drivers at the grid, to a professional racing series where the world's largest automakers spent millions of dollars per year; the official name of the series changed throughout the years, however it has been known as the World Sportscar Championship from its inception in 1953. The World Sportscar Championship was, with the Formula One World Championship, one of the two major world championships in circuit motor racing. In 2012 the World Sportscar Championship was revived and renamed as the World Endurance Championship. Among others, the following races counted towards the championships in certain years: 24 Hours of Le Mans 1953– Mille Miglia 1953–1957 1000 km Nürburgring 1953– RAC Tourist Trophy 1953–1964 12 Hours of Sebring 1953– Carrera Panamericana 1953–1954 Targa Florio 1955–1973 1000 km Monza 1963– 1000 km Spa 1963– 12 Hours of Reims 1964–1965 24 Hours of Daytona 1966–1981 1000 km Buenos Aires 1954–1972 1000 km Zeltweg 1966–1976 1000 km Fuji 1983–1988 Norisring 200 Miles 1984–1988 Watkins Glen 6 Hours 1968-1971,1973-1980 In the early years, now legendary races such as the Mille Miglia, Carrera Panamericana and Targa Florio were part of the calendar, alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Tourist Trophy and Nurburgring 1000 km.
Manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin fielded entries featuring professional racing drivers with experience in Formula One, but the majority of the fields were made up of gentleman drivers in the likes of Nardis and Bandinis. Cars were split into Sports Car and GT categories and were further divided into engine displacement classes; the Ferrari and Maserati works teams were fierce competitors throughout much of the decade, but although Maserati cars won many races the make never managed to clinch the World title. The Mercedes-Benz work team pulled out of the championship after 1955 due to their crash at Le Mans, while the small Aston Martin factory team struggled to find success in 1957 and 1958 until it managed to win the championship in 1959. Notably absent from the overall results were the Jaguar works team, who did not enter any events other than Le Mans, despite the potential of the C- and D-Types. In 1962, the calendar was expanded to include smaller races, while the FIA shifted the focus to production based GT cars.
The World Sportscar Championship title was discontinued, being replaced by the International Championship for GT Manufacturers. They group cars into three categories with specific engine sizes. Hillclimbs, sprint races and smaller races expanded the championship, which now had about 15 races per season; the famous races like Le Mans still counted towards the prototype championship, the points valuation wasn't tabular so the FIA returned to the original form of the championship with about 6 to 10 races. For 1963 the three engine capacity classes remained. For 1965 the engine classes became for cars under 1300 cc, under 2000 cc, over 2000 cc. Class III was designed to attract more American manufacturers, with no upper limit on engine displacement; the period between 1966 and 1971 was the most successful era of the World Championship, with S and P classes, cars such as the Ferrari 512S, Ferrari 330 P4, Ford GT40, Lola T70, Alfa Romeo 33, Porsche's 908 and the 917 battled for supremacy on classic circuits such as Sebring, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Targa Florio, Le Mans, in what is now considered the Golden Age of sports car racing.
In 1972 the Group 6 Prototype and Group 5 Sports Car classes were both replaced by a new Group 5 Sports Car class. These cars were limited to 3.0 L engines by the FIA, manufacturers lost interest. The new Group 5 Sports Cars, together with Group 4 Grand Touring Cars, would contest the FIA's newly renamed World Championship for Makes from 1972 to 1975. From 1976 to 1981 the World Championship for Makes was open to Group 5 Special Production Cars and other production based categories including Group 4 Grand Touring cars and it was during this period that the nearly-invincible Porsche 935 dominated the championship. Prototypes returned in 1976 as Group 6 cars with their own series, the World Championship for Sports Cars, but this was to last only for two seasons. In 1981, the FIA instituted a drivers championship. In 1982, the FIA attempted to counter a worrying climb in engine output of the Group 5 Special Production Cars by introducing Group C, a new category for closed sports-prototypes that limited fuel consumption.
While this change was unwelcome amongst some of the private teams, manufacturer support for the new regulations was immense. Several of the'old guard' manufacturers returned to the WSC within the next two years, with each marque adding to the diversity of the series. Under the new rules, it was theoretically possible for aspirated engines to compete with the forced induction engines that had dominated the series in the'70s and early'80s. In addition, most races ran for either 500 or 1000 km going over three and six hours so it was possible to emphasize the "endurance" aspect of the competition as well. Group B cars, a GT class, were allowed to race, but entries in thi
Autodromo di Pergusa
The Autodromo di Pergusa is an automobile and motorcycle circuit that encircles the only Sicilian natural lake, Pergusa Lake. The circuit is known as Enna-Pergusa, as the lake is located near the city of Enna. During the 1960s, the track hosted various sportscar events such as the Coppa Citta di Enna and in the 1970s the Coppa Florio, it played host to a non-championship Formula One event known as the Mediterranean Grand Prix. In 1989 the Italian round of the World Superbike Championship was held here. In the 1990s, the track was upgraded and hosted events for the FIA Sportscar Championship, FIA GT Championship, Formula 3000. In 1997 the track was the location of the Ferrari festival; the last round of the 2012 Superstars Series and 2012 International GTSprint Series was held at Pergusa. The circuit hosted a round of the FIA European Touring Car Championship in 2013, 2014 and 2015; the venue hosted a round of the 2015 TCR Italian Series. The dust and the abrasive nature of the track tended to make the surface slippery.
The Formula 3000 races in particular were known for poor standards of organization and marshaling. Media related to Autodromo di Pergusa at Wikimedia Commons Autodromo di Pergusa Trackpedia's guide to racing Pergusa
Jim Hall (racing driver)
Jim Hall is a former racecar driver and constructor from the United States. He competed in Formula One from 1960 to 1963, participating in 12 World Championship Grands Prix and numerous non-Championship races, he scored three World Championship points. Hall's special place in motorsports history came as the result of his being the "motivating force" and co-owner, with Hap Sharp, of Chaparral Cars. Based in Hall's hometown of Midland, during the 1960s, in the United States Road Racing Championship, in the Can-Am, Chaparral cars were the most innovative in racing. Hall was the first to use automatic transmissions in his race cars. Hall was a early adopter of aerodynamics applied to race cars and was the leading proponent of that technology for an entire decade, he had a sabbatical in the early 1970s. Hall's Chaparral Cars team came back to prominence in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series, including two wins in the Indianapolis 500 in 1978 and 1980, he would turn to using off-the-shelf racecars to race in his Indycar team, renamed "Jim Hall Racing" until 1996, when he retired from racing altogether.
Hall now resides in Midland, remaining active in the oil and gas business, motorsports racing legacies. An entire wing at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland portrays the saga of Hall and Chaparral Cars, his son, Jim Hall, Jr. operates the Jim Hall Kart Racing School. Hall was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1997. Hall was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1994. Hall received the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001