Saturday, 14 September 2013

"Rush" Job

Way back a few decades I was interested in Formula One racing, as it was then, but have dropped off in the last couple as other things have crowded the bit between the ears.

So when the new film "Rush" goes to satellite, picture above, I hope to watch it, if only for old time's sake.  The cinema is out, the decibel levels hurt too much.   The reason is personal.

Back in the mid 1970's camped by the Moselle at Bernkastel-Kues, the chance was taken to visit the old Nurburgring up in the hills.  There I found that for 15 DM, around £3, I could drive the family car round it, with the family, purely of course to take in its scenic qualities.

So I can claim truthfully to have driven the old Nurburgring at least shortly after the "greats" of motor racing had done.  Been there, done that, as the saying goes.  I picked up this item from an interview with Jackie Stewart about the film.


Jackie Stewart has had this to say re the new film "Rush" about James Hunt and Nicki Lauda:

Q: What was the most dangerous racetrack when you were racing?

Nurburgring. There were no barriers and there was no fencing, despite the fact you were racing at more than 200mph through a road in the middle of a forest. I remember racing there in conditions where you couldn't see 50 metres ahead of you.

There were 178 corners per lap and in good weather the car took off 13 times. Racing cars take off well, but they never land well.

In Nurburgring, you knew that you couldn't go off the road because of the trees that lined the course. Those trees were planted by Hitler in the Eifel area, there are forests and valleys and the altitude is significantly higher.

That type of racetrack could never continue and I closed the Nurburgring in 1970 because they wouldn't do one little thing for safety.

Ironically, I won four times at Nurburgring and that was the most challenging racetrack ever but it was also hideously unsafe. 

I have pictures of me leading the race and in the background you can see a saloon car sticking out upside down in the ditch from a previous race.


It was there that I learned to fully respect the Formula One drivers.  Some of the bends and dips were tricky at 50 mph or less in an ordinary car, even one in the higher ranges.  Quite how they managed the course in racing I could only imagine.

One of the family told me that there are some of super rich today who can afford to buy the old racing cars and drive them.  It seems that they take part in the film with their own cars.

He said it seemed ridiculous and of course I fully agreed.

But I did buy more lottery tickets than usual this weekend.

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