Jump to content


Photo

1977 (non-WC) Grosser Preis von Deustchland - did it really happen?


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor
  • Member

  • 1,093 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 27 July 2008 - 23:36

I've been unable to find anything online about this race - the 1977 non-World Championship Grosser Preis von Deustchland held at the old Nordschleife.

There's a two and a half page report on it in Motor Sport, September 1977 yet the whole thing almost seems like a joke.

Highlights include:

- John Watson being so wary of the Nordschleife, he couldn't bring himself to go off and do a full lap, hence drove repeatedly round the Betonschleife before finally getting out of the car and calling it quits;
- The race starting under the fall of a flag as the lights system wasn't reliable enough to use;
- H-J. Stuck taking the jump at Brunchen so fast, he cleared the armco barrier and landed in the middle of a camp site, resulting in the car draped in tents and sleeping bags and then finding an unbroken bottle of beer and drinking it while apologising to the owners of the tents;
- Nilsson blowing his engine next to a coach full of Swedes that Wisell had brought over from Stockholm, with Nilsson climbing the fence and sitting back and enjoying himself while reminiscing about the good old days of Jo Bonnier, Eric Carlsson and Ronnie Peterson;
- People realising after the race that no one had seen Vittorio Brambilla since Friday afternoon and upon touring round the circuit on the Monday after, found his car at the bottom of a ravine with a note saying that "Brambles" had gone home as he hadn't found a way of retrieving the car.

Seems all too good to be true, although it wasn't exactly printed on April Fool's Day...One thing to note is that there are no pictures, simply pictures from pre-war Grand Prix like "A German won his own Grand Prix" (referring to Mass, yet depicting Caracciola) and "An Englishman set fastest lap" (referring to Hunt setting fastest lap, yet depicting Richard Seaman in a Mercedes).

Advertisement

#2 KWSN - DSM

KWSN - DSM
  • Member

  • 8,048 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 28 July 2008 - 00:43

Don't think this happened.

Could not have been "Grosser Preis von Deustchland" as that was held at Hockenheim.

And I can not find any mention of it in 1977, not sure if was done in another year.

:cool:

#3 Smudger

Smudger
  • Member

  • 558 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 28 July 2008 - 00:54

Sounds like a DSJ/WB satire to me, especially given that the German GP moved to Hockenheim on safety grounds, and Denis was never very PC in that area.

#4 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 28 July 2008 - 06:22

Originally posted by Smudger
Sounds like a DSJ/WB satire to me, especially given that the German GP moved to Hockenheim on safety grounds, and Denis was never very PC in that area.


DSJ...

The actual GP at Hockenheim got short shrift and Jenks wrote this fictional report that told more truths than had been seen in racing for many a year.

#5 Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor
  • Member

  • 1,093 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:58

Originally posted by Smudger
Sounds like a DSJ/WB satire to me, especially given that the German GP moved to Hockenheim on safety grounds, and Denis was never very PC in that area.


Yes, I was thinking that...

The report gives the grid and the finishing positions, but no times or fastest laps.

#6 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,022 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:15

In October someone gently pointed out that the Hockenheim event would go down in history as the real Grosser Preis, whether DSJ liked it or not.

#7 Risil

Risil
  • Member

  • 13,415 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:42

Originally posted by Paul Taylor

- John Watson being so wary of the Nordschleife, he couldn't bring himself to go off and do a full lap, hence drove repeatedly round the Betonschleife before finally getting out of the car and calling it quits;
- The race starting under the fall of a flag as the lights system wasn't reliable enough to use;
- H-J. Stuck taking the jump at Brunchen so fast, he cleared the armco barrier and landed in the middle of a camp side, resulting in the car draped in tents and sleeping bags and then finding an unbroken bottle of beer and drinking it while apologising to the owners of the tents;
- Nilsson blowing his engine next to a coach full of Swedes that Wisell had brought over from Stockholm, with Nilsson climbing the fence and sitting back and enjoying himself while reminiscing about the good old days of Jo Bonnier, Eric Carlsson and Ronnie Peterson;
- People realising after the race that no one had seen Vittorio Brambilla since Friday afternoon and upon touring round the circuit on the Monday after, found his car at the bottom of a ravine with a note saying that "Brambles" had gone home as he hadn't found a way of retrieving the car.


:rotfl: :clap:

#8 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,022 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 28 July 2008 - 13:41

Was this the time that Jenks claimed to have fallen asleep from boredom and was reporting what he dreamed - or was that another year?

#9 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 28 July 2008 - 15:24

1977 (non-WC) Grosser Preis von Deustchland - did it really happen?


No.

#10 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 28 July 2008 - 19:52

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
.....People realising after the race that no one had seen Vittorio Brambilla since Friday afternoon and upon touring round the circuit on the Monday after, found his car at the bottom of a ravine with a note saying that "Brambles" had gone home as he hadn't found a way of retrieving the car.....


Wasn't he in one of the five Marches that had been cobbled together as 'starting money specials' (remember, this was as much about the way GP racing was funded and other political issues as anything)?

And as I recall, it was 'the deepest ravine' and the note said something like he didn't believe they'd be able to repair the car.

#11 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,314 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 28 July 2008 - 20:58

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
...yet the whole thing almost seems like a joke. .


Yes, strange that isn't it.... :rolleyes:

DCN

#12 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,417 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 29 July 2008 - 01:13

This race was in the same series as the Grand Prix of Gibraltar.

#13 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 36,870 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:23

There used to be these odd things, a Bermuda GP in Autosport in about 1971 and I have memories of a Hungarian GP 1984 won by Alboreto in Motor Sport, I need to check.

#14 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:27

None of these would have been as good as Jenks' report...

Even when he was making it up he was better than the others! It's a great piece to read.

#15 Smudger

Smudger
  • Member

  • 558 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:31

The reference to starting with a flag because the lights were unreliable harks back to a GP von D in the late 30s where a similar thing happened. It was seen as a comment on German efficiency.
The 'Brambilla lost in undergrowth' has resonance with a Bill Boddy story of the half-crown laps at Brooklands, where no-one checked that the 'civilians' lapping in their street cars ever came back.

So perhaps DSJ and WB collaborated on this one.

They should have got Peter Ustinov to commentate, after all he did so well with the Grand Prix of Gibraltar.

(Sorry, DCN - missed your earlier Ustinov post!)

#16 Rosemayer

Rosemayer
  • Member

  • 1,253 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 31 July 2008 - 14:50

Here is 'Brambilla trying to find the undergrowth.



Posted Image

#17 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 31 July 2008 - 17:57

No pics of it in 'the deepest ravine'?

I don't think it would have looked quite that good there...

#18 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,417 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:59

Originally posted by Smudger
(Sorry, DCN - missed your earlier Ustinov post!)

I take confusing me with DCN as one heck of a compliment! Thank you!!
Tom

#19 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 36,870 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:52

Originally posted by ensign14
There used to be these odd things, a Bermuda GP in Autosport in about 1971 and I have memories of a Hungarian GP 1984 won by Alboreto in Motor Sport, I need to check.

I found the latter, it was never specified as Hungarian but eastern European, allegedly a non-championship race put together by Bernie to keep everyone occupied before the late-ish start to the '84 season, Alboreto won by a tenth from Tambay with Watson in third replacing an injured Prost. You can tell it's fiction as de Cesaris retired through loss of fuel rather than a crash. The entry list was also given with the number system that was never in fact used (Ferrari 3-4).

Advertisement

#20 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,022 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 01 August 2008 - 08:01

There was also a work of fictional race reporting in The Motor in the late 1950s/early 1960s, in the series "Moments that Made History" (this one was called "Moments that Maddened History"), either in a Christmas edition or April 1st. If I could be bothered, it's in my loft somewhere.
So far as I recall the punch line was that the winner crossed the line backwards, upside-down and on fire. I think it was set in mythical eastern Europe with drivers' names to match ("Turnthe Petrolov", etc). There were photographs. . . .