Round 4: Norisring 100 Miles, Norisring street circuit, Nuremberg, Germany, June 29th, 1986

It’s June in Nuremberg, Germany.  We are at the Norisring, the street course laid out on the former rally grounds of the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party.  The World Sports Car Championship will fly around this circuit, in Nuremberg, Germany, within Bavaria, the home of the German toy industry and of Richard Wagner’s famous Meistersingers opera.  The high powered turbo sports cars of the World Sports Car Championship will fly through the streets in front of one of the biggest crowds of the year.  This race has a different format than all the others in the championship.

It is a short, 180 kilometer (112.5 mile) race, with just one driver in the car, and no fuel stops.  The sponsors are also different, because the Norisring 100 Miles is also a round of the German Super Cup series.  The weather is sunny and hot in the temporary pit lane.  The track is 1.348 miles long, with just eight corners.  Hans Stuck has the #1 factory Porsche 962, but it is running in Blaupunkt car audio livery this weekend, as are the Joest Porsche’s.  Stuck wants to go for the victory at Norisring.  He has not won in Bavaria, his homeland, since 1974.  This race will be run over 80 laps duration.  The factory Porsche Stuck is driving uses the PDK gearbox which Porsche wants to prove is reliable.

Hans Stuck is more than half a second quicker than anyone else.  Stuck knows his rival Klaus Ludwig is really quick.  Stuck gave it 100% in practice.  Stuck says this race is popular because it’s in Bavaria.  Stuck knows he has good opposition, drivers like Klaus Ludwig, Derek Bell, American Danny Ongais, (“The Flyin’ Hawaiian”), Bob Wollek, Eddie Cheever in one of the three Jaguar’s, (Cheever, Stuck, and Marc Surer, ran for BMW at Norisring, in the ‘70s), Thierry Boutsen, Derek Warwick (in the other Jaguar), and others.

Derek Bell and Hans Stuck are separated, due to FISA (FIA) regulations.  No Lancia’s from the factory, although Bruno Giacomelli has a privately entered Lancia in the race.  As mentioned, Danny Ongais is here.  He is using a single turbo 962 IMSA car, which has less decent fuel consumption than the European cars.  Stuck knows he has to be very careful, use his head, and finish the race at the Norisring.  Stuck does want to win.  He won it for BMW in 1974 as it was a saloon car race.  Derek Bell raced for BMW back in those days as well.

Derek Bell is here to race for the driver’s championship, and didn’t want to be in this race.  But, he needs the points for the championship.  The Norisring is an imposing place.  He’d rather be shooting in Wales with Jackie Stewart.  Derek Warwick thinks the Norisring is an interesting course, as it is bumpy, and demanding.  He says, “79 laps around here, you’ll earn your money.”  The engine power and fuel efficiency will be an advantage to the Jaguar’s.  Eddie Cheever did win here with a BMW, in 1974.  But he says the track is not the right sort of circuit for the Jaguar’s.  Fuel consumption, and small amounts of space between the cars, is a challenge.

Cheever says that sprint races are good for the public, and personally believes the 6 hour races are boring.  It’s a follow the leader kind of situation.  The sprint races are more cut and thrust.  So, we join Klaus Ludwig driving the Joest Blaupunkt Porsche on a lap of the Norisring.  Crossing the finish line at 180 miles an hour, we brake hard into the Grundig Kehre.  Powering towards the esses we go.  We enter the esses at 120 miles per hour passing the Steintribune grandstand.  Then, it’s uphill to the Station hairpin.  Past the lake, and onto the back straightaway (Zeppelinstrabe), before hitting turn 7, Dutzendteich Kehre, and the final turn, down the front straightaway known as Beuthener Straight, in just 47 seconds.

70,000 spectators are here, along with the prettiest girls and most beautiful cars in Germany.  Here’s the grid for the Norisring Supersprint 100 miles.

  1. #1 Hans Stuck                Porsche AG Porsche 962
  2. #7 Klaus Ludwig            Blaupunkt-Joest Racing Porsche 956B
  3. #14 Bob Wollek                Liqui Moly Equipe Porsche 956
  4. #51 Eddie Cheever  USA       Silk Cut Jaguar Jaguar XJR6
  5. #18 Thierry Boutsen                       Brun Motorsport Porsche 956
  6. #52 Derek Warwick       Silk Cut Jaguar Jaguar XJR6
  7. #17 Walter Brun                 Brun Motorsport Porsche 962C\
  8. #53 Jean Louis Schlesser    Silk Cut Jaguar Jaguar XJR6
  9. #6 Bruno Giacomelli           Sponsor Guest Team Lancia LC2/85
  10. #10 James Weaver        SAT Porsche Kremer Team Porsche 962C
  11. #38 Frank Jelinski           Team Memorex Porsche 962C
  12. #0 Danny Ongais    USA       Blaupunkt-Joest Racing Porsche 962
  13. #8 John Winter             Sachs-Joest Racing Porsche 956
  14. #11 Franz Konrad           SAT Porsche Kremer Team Porsche 956
  15. #9 Jurgen Lassig            Hans Obermaier Porsche 956
  16. #33 Derek Bell                 John Fitzpatrick Racing Porsche 956B
  17. #46 Jan Thoelke              Derichs Rennwagenbau Zakspeed C1/8 Ford Cosworth
  18. #56 Jochen Dauer          Victor Zakspeed Team Zakspeed C1/8 Ford Cosworth
  19. #74 Stanley Dickens                      Gebhardt Racing Cars Gebhardt JC853 Ford Cosworth
  20. #99 Thorkild Thyrring DNK.   Dana RBR (Roy Baker Racing) Tiga Tiga GC286 Ford Cosworth
  21. #63 Ernst Schuster GER.        Ernst Schuster Porsche 936C
  22. #66 Costas Los                    Cosmik Racing March 84G Porsche
  23. #97 John Sheldon           RBR (Roy Baker Racing) Tiga Tiga GC285 Ford Cosworth
  24. #89 Martin Schanche                   Martin Schanche Racing Argo JM19 Zakspeed

That’s your 24 car field for Norisring.  Fans pack the tribunes where once, the members of the Nazi party stood erect as the Panzer division paraded down what is now the start/finish straightaway.  Norisring has a carnival atmosphere helped by the people, the charisma of the venue, and the drivers.  But the heat is a nightmare for the drivers, some of whom will wear cool suits.  The memories live on as Manfred Winkelhock and Stefan Bellof have not been forgotten.

Everywhere you look, the pretty girls pose with the drivers, the very essence of Norisring, now turned into a motorsports stadium instead of a place of military power.  The field rolls off being the safety car.  One tank of fuel is needed for the race and a mere 79 laps to get things done.  We are ready to race, at Nuremberg.  The cars file through Grundig hairpin and Station hairpin, again behind the Porsche 959 safety car.  Green lights, on, and away we go!  Derek Warwick immediately charges after the leading Porsche’s.  Hans Stuck leads Klaus Ludwig, Bob Wollek, and Eddie Cheever, who are running side by side down into the first corner.  Warwick is also scrapping early on with Thierry Boutsen.  Further back in the field a battle is developing between Bruno Giacomelli and Danny Ongais in the camera car, car #0.

Klaus Ludwig leads, and then, Hans Stuck makes the pass for P1.  Ludwig says “no you don’t, sunshine” and slams the door in Stuck’s face.  Bob Wollek is third, Derek Warwick in fourth spot.  Jean Louis Schlesser is running well in the third Jaguar XJR6, car #53.  Ludwig and Stuck are still having a humdinger of a race at the sharp end.  The race leaders put a lap on the leader in Group C2, Stanley Dickens with the Gebhardt.  Stuck has taken over the lead from Klaus Ludwig.  It’s a battle of the Scandinavians in C2, folks.  Dickens, the Swede, fends off the attack of the Argo of Martin Schanche from Norway.  Stuck vs. Ludwig, black knight, vs. white knight, or should we say Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker?

They are passing each other all the time.  What a motor race!  Ludwig takes the lead back from Stuck!  But, Hans Stuck has a problem with the PDK transmission in his Porsche 962!  This transmission apparently does not have the reliability for this short sprint the way it did for the sprint race at Monza, or, at Le Mans in the 24 hours, last time out.  Ludwig asserts his lead as Stuck, trundles towards the pit lane.  It is now a Porsche vs. Jaguar fight as Eddie Cheever puts Jaguar #51 into second spot.  Stuck is pushed into pit lane.  Game over.  Meanwhile Ludwig consolidates his lead.

Thierry Boutsen snatches third spot from Warwick, and soon, he has Jaguar’s all over him like a rash.  Stanley Dickens continues to lead C2 as Boutsen and the Jaguar’s chase him down as well.  Warwick spins the #51 Jaguar!  He does a complete 360 and continues.  Boutsen is still having issues with Cheever and if neither of them are careful, it could end in tears.  Wallop!  Boutsen slams into Cheever’s Jaguar, but it’s the Belgian who pays the price with a cut down front tire.  Klaus Ludwig is cruising, and all he needs to do is finish to win Norisring for the second consecutive year.

Checkered flag!  Klaus Ludwig, after a fierce 67 minute contest, is crowned King Ludwig of Bavaria.  This race only counts towards the driver’s world championship.  Here are the results.

C1

  1. #7 Klaus Ludwig       Blaupunkt Porsche 956
  2. #51 Eddie Cheever USA       Silk Cut Jaguar XJR6
  3. #52 Derek Warwick       Silk Cut Jaguar XJR6
  4. #38 Frank Jelinski       Team Memorex Porsche 962C
  5. #10 James Weaver       SAT Kremer Porsche 962
  6. #17 Walter Brun          Eterna Brun Porsche 962

C2

  1. #74 Stanley Dickens       Gebhardt Racing Cars Gebhardt JC853 Ford Cosworth
  2. #99 Thorkild Thyrring DNK.   Dana RBR (Roy Baker Racing) Tiga Tiga GC286 Ford Cosworth
  3. #89 Martin Schanche  Martin Schanche Racing Argo JM19 Zakspeed

Here are the points’ standings after four rounds of the championship.

  1. Hans Stuck 55 points
  2. Derek Bell 55 points
  3. Eddie Cheever 35 points
  4. Derek Warwick 32 points
  5. Oscar Larrauri 26 points
  6. Jesus Pareja 26 points
  7. Al Holbert 20 points
  8. Klaus Ludwig 20 points
  9. Walter Brun 20 points
  10. Emilio de Villota 19 points
  11. Fermin Velez 19 points

Here are the C2 points, and despite missing the Norisring event, Gordon Spice and Ray Bellm continue leading the driver’s championship in the C2 division.

  1. Gordon Spice 41 points
  2. Ray Bellm 41 points
  3. Stanley Dickens 40 points
  4. Ian Harrower 32 points
  5. Evan Clements 32 points

The next race is back in England, the Brands Hatch 1,000 Kilometers.

 

Published by

the braking zone

International racing fan for over 20 years. I follow Formula One, Indycars, sports cars, touring cars and other varied forms of racing within and outside the U.S. I am a recent college graduate and have been following the world of car racing since childhood.

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