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Bremgarten circuit: numbers, facts and current pictures

Daniel Reinhard
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D he search for the Bremgartenring is a puzzle game. It doesn't work without old route sketches and an exact map of the outskirts of Bern. And even then you need a good imagination or an experienced tracker like the former Swiss Formula 1 reporter Adriano Cimarosti to track down the remains of the Bremgartenring.

Cimarosti knows the old Swiss GP track like the back of his hand. And he took us on a round that is no longer a round. The motorway to Lausanne cuts through the southern part of the route. Fragments of a maximum of two kilometers of what was once 7.280 kilometers have been preserved.

The famous Forsthaus curve and the entire start /finish area are now in an industrial area. Zero signs that there was once a huge grandstand and that some of the racing drivers drove over cobblestones. The steep descent to the quarry is a narrow stretch of road that ends in a gravel works.

Bremgartenring is still partially passable

The exit from the passage known from photos leads to a dual carriageway that compared to the original route was greatly widened A few meters further on comes the point where Achille Varzi had a fatal accident. The Italian fell into a ditch with his Alfa Romeo and was killed by his own car.

The Jordenrampe has given way to a village 63 years after the last race. Only at the exit of the village can the track of the route be reconstructed. Now comes the best-preserved part. The two right-hand curves Eymatt and Tenni and the following straight, around 750 meters long. They are practically still in their original condition.

Then the road loses itself in a narrow cycle path, which roughly follows the route of the route, but no longer exactly where the course was. 'It's a shame that they didn't leave at least the old piece of asphalt as a memorial. But no one here had anything for history,' mourned Cimarosti.

This part of the route was the most difficult because the route there was free Leads back to the forest. The light /shadow change made it difficult to see. It is getting dark exactly at the apex of the Tenni curve. There was no guardrail at the end of the right-hand arch, but trees. The curve got its name after the European motorcycle champion Omobono Tenni fell to his death in 1948. The rest of the route leads to theForsthaus curve uphill through the forest.

Mercedes archive
Juan-Manuel Fangio won the last time Formula 1 visited the Bremgartenring in the Mercedes.

Great challenge for the pilots

The layout shows that the course northwest of Bern has hardly any straights. The Bremgartenring is more like a collection of fast corners. It opened in 1931 with motorcycle racing. Cars were added in 1934. As a result, there was only one event per year. Motorcycles and cars met together for the Swiss Grand Prix.

The year 1948 saw an audience record with 111,700 spectators. The drivers feared the track because of the critical visibility, its uneven surface, the high speeds and the many trees on the edge of the track.

Rudolf Caracciola had his worst accident in Bremgarten in 1952. The great pre-war racing driver got off the track with his Mercedes 300 SL probably because of a brake defect on the approach to the Forsthaus curve and hit three trees. A complicated thigh fracture ended his career.

Caracciola also holds the course record from 1937 with a time of 2.32.0 minutes. The average of 172.4 km /h was damn fast for the conditions at the time. The time was no longer undercut at the five Formula 1 Grand Prix after the war. Juan-Manuel Fangio managed the fastest Formula 1 lap in 1951 with 2.35.9 km /h and 168.1 km /h.

In 1955 the Bremgartenring disappeared secretly, quietly and quietly from the scene. The Swiss GP was canceled after the Le Mans accident with 82 dead. A little later, the Swiss government banned circuit racing in its own country. With the construction of the autobahn at the beginning of the 1970s, the racetrack gradually disappeared.

Route data

  • Location: 5 km, northwest of Bern
  • Length: 7.280 km
  • Width: 8.0 m
  • Right turns: 13
  • Left turns: 8
  • Fastest Part: Glass fountain ramp
  • Slowest part: Forsthaus curve
  • Record: 2.32.0 min=172.446 km /h (Rudolf Caracciola, Mercedes, 1937)

In the gallery we have some impressions of what is left of the Bremgartenring todaystayed.


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